Arts Desk

Exclusive: 20th Century Fox Slams Olszewski for Early Chipwrecked Review

A lot of folks are talking today about an email exchange, leaked to IndieWire, in which Hollywood super producer Scott Rudin rebukes New Yorker film critic David Denby for reviewing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ahead of its Dec. 13 embargo date. Over the weekend—at exactly the same time, in fact!—I received a similar missive from the chairman of the parent company of 20th Century Fox, who was irked about one of my upcoming reviews. It turns out studio types are really serious about these things!

—Original Message—–
From: Murdoch, Rupert
Sent: Sat 12/3/2011 12:08 AM
To: Olszewski, Tricia

You’re going to break the review embargo on Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked? I’m shocked that you of all people would even think about doing this. It’s a very, very injurious move and a complete violation of what you agreed to. You may be a woman of ill repute, but you’ve always adhered to embargo rules.

From: Olszewski, Tricia
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 11:19 AM
To: Murdoch, Rupert
Subject: RE:

Dear Rupert:

Rupert, I never meant to break the embargo, and I wouldn’t have with a negative review. But this time of year is difficult on alt-weeklies: A glut of dreary Oscar-bait films are released, and we don’t want to undermine something as compelling as Chipwrecked with a tiny write-up. So we decided to give it the space it deserved, which meant running the review early. What were we supposed to cover instead—Tinker Toy Soldier, or whatever it’s called? That’s not what the City Paper is all about.

So we reluctantly went with Chipwrecked, which I called “powerful.” I apologize for the breach, but it was a result of the strength of the film as well as year-end madness. It won’t happen again.

Congratulations on producing such a winning piece of cinema.

From: Murdoch, Rupert
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 13:04:32 -0500
To: Olszewski, Tricia
Subject: Re:

I appreciate all this, Tricia, but the bottom line is you broke your word. You very badly damaged Chipwrecked by doing this; now ALL outlets will feel free to post early reviews of it willy-nilly. It doesn’t matter that you loved the film. You tacitly agreed to the embargo by attending the screening. The needs of your shitty publication do not trump the demands of the almighty 20th Century Fox or Newscorp, and if you knew you were going to break the rules, you should have done the honorable thing and confessed your intended breach to your Fox overlords before seeing the film. I cannot in good conscience invite you to another screening of ours. Have fun paying for Ice Age: Continental Drift.

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  • Phantanos

    Rules of conduct must be followed. Receiving early news and the agreement of releasing it in proper time must be carried out. In spite of how good or bad a review you intend to give. One's own passion may lead them to their undoing. I'm no journalist, yet I knew that this particular Chipmunk installment would surpass the others. Thus causing many a pompus,& arrogant critic to eat their words,soil their shorts, and die from shock! Because you broke the rules. I am sorry you can no longer get free early passes.

  • ls

    Tricia, you are a retard. Once you're actually invited to a screening of note, perhaps you'll understand. Until then, have fun at the bottom rung. Next time, don't waste a "scott rudin" google alert.

  • Terry

    Well, there's two people who had it zoom right over their heads...

  • FilmSnork

    Just so you know, the use of the word "retard" to insult someone is low class and devalues anything constructive you may have said (if anything.) If you have to stoop to using such an insensitive and reprehensible term to attack someone's piece of work, it probably explains why you missed entire comic tone of the article. This article may have been over your head, but in the future at least try to stay classy while you stay stupid.

  • RachaelB

    I just hope everything will be fine. Everything will be resolved in a simply conversation. I love Alvin and the chipmunks. I actually loved its last sequel with Charice as their rival singer. Very good!