These are strange times with slippery rules. Just ask Roger Friedman,the veteran Fox News entertainment columnist and blogger who has always written with a swagger and jaundiced eye about Hollywood. Friedman reportedly got fired (or did he?) after he reviewed the purloined version of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” that has been pinging across the Internet in recent days.The review was an audacious thing to do (or maybe just stupid) considering that 20th Century Fox, a corporate relative, had gone to the FBI to fight back against the theft and mass piracy.
Here’s an excerpt from a solid story on the unfolding controversy by Tatiana Sigel at Variety:
On Saturday News Corp. released a statement saying the Hollywood gadfly had been “terminated.”
But on Sunday afternoon Friedman told Daily Variety that he had not been let go.
Fox News released its own missive when asked on Sunday afternoon if Friedman had been ousted. “This is an internal matter that we’re not prepared to discuss at this time,” a Fox News spokesperson said.
For its part, the studio weighed in Friday with its own statement, calling Friedman’s actions “reprehensible.”
Friedman came under fire for posting a review of a pirated version of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” Both Fox News and 20th Century Fox are divisions of parent company News Corp.
You can read the rest of Siegel’s story right here. I’mnot a huge fan of Friedman’s work, although I have to say that his tenacity through the years in covering Michael Jackson has been impressive, especially considering the number of exclusives in the crowded sector of tabloid purgatory that surrounds the Gloved One. Like so many Fox voices, Friedman stirs things up with zeal but too often it’s with oversimplified provocations or simply nutty theories (like the one about “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” being delayed because of Daniel Radcliffe’s nudity in the stage play “Equus”). The guy has lot of sources, though, and I’m sure he’ll be landing somewhere quite soon. I met him once at the Oscars and I have to say I liked him more in person than in print, so I wish him well. But no matter where he ends up, bet that the next time he writes about “Wolverine,” his review won’t be nearly as favorable as the ill-advised first one.
– Geoff Boucher
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“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” images courtesy of 20th Century Fox