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re: Speaking of Bullying...
Posted by: NewtonUK 09:13 am EDT 05/19/21
In reply to: Speaking of Bullying... - FreddyF 06:56 am EDT 05/19/21

I think you are expressing what is in part a false equivalency. Reviews are opinion pieces, and we expect opinions to be honest, and frank. The last thing we need is criticism turning into the American joke of 'Everybody's a winner!' Have there been critics who have gone beyond unspoken, unwritten limits? A few - a very few. John Simon at his height was won - being critical of actors' faces, noses, body shapes, voices, mannerisms and on and on and on. But - he reveled in that, and so did his readers. You read John Simon for the horrid things he would say - kind of like watching Tucker Carlson. Giving a bad review is not bullying. Saying someone is awful (and explaining why you think so) or miscast or whatever, is what the job requires. Just as heaping praise is their job when required. Critics do not exist to provide us with cozy comfort. They are there to criticize - the good, the bad, and the even worse. There is a reason that the advice given to EVERYONE involved in a play, or a musical, or a film, or an opera, or a ballet is - DON'T READ THE REVIEWS. Someone might say 'You got a great notice in the Times!' and then you might ask the person closest to you to take a look and see if you should actually read it. I have no problem with critics. I have gotten 'love letter' reviews, and I have gotten 'that show sucked' reviews. Sometimes I have gotten both types for the same show. So what? I respect the right of the critic to like, love, respect, dislike, or loathe my work. I had a critic ask for a 2d pair of tix before completing his review - which when written was a pan - he obviously wanted to see if he hated it as much as he though I did. Again. that's his right. For me, making the whole world nice, and friendly, and cozy, and support should not be a goal. Random attacks, like John Simon used to shoot off, perhaps not as much - but he was an 'entertainer' as a critic. I respect that too.
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