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Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators

kerraig UK

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3 hours ago, Bazjam said:

I find it amazing that Jackson seems to avoid the mass condemnation that other accused celebrity sex offenders get.


In what other situation would we consider it in anyway acceptable that a middle age man admits to regularly sleeping in the same bed as children who stay over with him.


I was at Epcot 5 years ago and went to watch Captain Eo (or whatever it was). It was effectively a shrine to Jackson, and at the end it got a standing ovation.


He's basically an American God and there's no way he's getting torn down. 

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10 years or so back I worked on a documentary and the main cameraman was the guy who did that Martin Bashir/Jacko documentary. He filmed extensively at Neverland and with Jackson and was 100% certain that he was guilty as hell. Apparently, Jackson's main bedroom could be locked from the inside and there were a number of rooms that only Jackson had access to. Lots of people have rooms that can lock from the inside, but it was the sheer number of locks, the air of creepiness and that the room was fairly impregnable if you were outside. Bashir spoke to a number of the accusers, whose stories weren't included in the documentary and the cameraman totally believed their accounts and thought the evidence they offered was compelling. Anecdotal, granted, but it was enough to convince me. 

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Just now, Unofficial Who said:


One false story by one person shouldn’t tarnish genuine survivors.

I didn’t say it should. And it’s hardly just one - it happens to be one that destroyed the lives of innocent men. But the point is, liars lie. Real victims are something else. One doesn’t make the other any less likely.

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I don't know that story very well, but an important distinction to make it is, I'm not talking about 'accusers' who come forward with stories that are then investigated outside the public eye by the judicial process.


I'm talking about people who come forward publicly (such as members of the #metoo movement, as well as these men we're discussing) and go into great detail - exposing their lives to scrutiny - where the only possible gain is to reveal the truth. 


There will always be a small subset of fantasists who exploit situations for money or notoriety, but I would hazard a guess that those with an even partway credible story are an even smaller subset within that subset - incredibly rare. It would be equivalent to saying you were - say - a serial killer. When discovered you were lying, it would ruin your credibility and your life. Plus you'd be prosecuted.


This 'Westminster Nick' guy provides a false positive: because his story is so rare (piggybacking onto a national scandal for notoriety's sake, at the cost of his freedom and reputation) that very rarity means it hits the papers. Which in turn makes it appear as though there are two stories (#1 a bunch of people come forward for no gain telling the truth; #2 a single bloke comes forward in a similar fashion but lying) and implying a 4:1 or 10:1 ratio or something, whereas in reality it's more like 1,000,000:1.


As it's such a tiny subset who meet all these criteria: appear rational, give compelling testimony, have lots of circumstantial evidence, some hard evidence, will receive no monetary reward AND are lying about abuse by another male, that it may as well be discounted. 

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On 28/01/2019 at 00:11, Unofficial Who said:

This is going to overshadow everything else in this thread for a while perhaps.




Content warning for everything else at this link.





I was always in the Jackson is innocent camp, maybe because the two high profile cases seemed so fishy and I loved his music.


but after reading that article, there is little denying it. I’m not sure what to do now, I don’t think I can listen to his music again.


Those two victims sound legit and are not looking for money.

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On 30/01/2019 at 18:51, Pelekophoros said:


I was at Epcot 5 years ago and went to watch Captain Eo (or whatever it was). It was effectively a shrine to Jackson, and at the end it got a standing ovation.


He's basically an American God and there's no way he's getting torn down. 


Woah, I had no idea they’d brought Captain EO back.

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  • 3 weeks later...



Lena Headey has become an icon to many of us through her social media presence, no f***s given attitude, and witty answers to all our pressing questions about Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones.

So why has she been pretty much off our radar before all of this? Maybe because, earlier in her career, she shut down advances from Harvey Weinstein when she was working on two television shows with the Weinstein Company. Shortly after she laughed at his remarks about her and declined to go to his hotel room, she had a dry spell until Game of Thrones. Mysterious!

Headey talked to the Sunday Times about the situation and realizing that maybe turning down his advances impacted her career in a way she hadn’t realized before:

“After he was discovered to be a slime ball, on a grander scale than me just knowing it, I did start thinking, ‘F—, maybe because I didn’t shag him, that’s impacted a decade of my working life. Because I did two jobs for [Weinstein’s production company] Miramax before those incidents, and after that there was nothing.”

Of course, the Weinstein Company denies the claim, though, stating that Headey is talented, which … Yes, of course. We know that, but if she’s so talented, why was there a dry spell in her career after this happened?

“Lena Headey is a terrific actor with smart and resourceful agents, as her role for the past eight years on Game of Thrones confirms. There was never anything other than a professional and respectful relationship between Ms. Headey and Mr. Weinstein, and any other assertion is absolutely untrue.”

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  • 8 months later...



Weinstein turned up at a stand-up event at a New York bar.


One of the comedians acknowledged "the elephant in the room" and got a mix of boos and cheers:



Subsequently a male comedian followed-up her line which didn't come across quite how it was intended:



Later, a male comedian joked about Bachman bringing up Weinstein.


"I'd like to address the elephant in the room," said Andrew B. Silas, a comedian visiting from Florida. "Who in this room produced Good Will Hunting? 'Cause that shit was great."


Silas told BuzzFeed News that shortly before performing, one of the show's organizers asked performers not to mention Weinstein's presence. Silas said he did not mean for his Good Will Hunting crack to support Weinstein and instead was intended to play off and remind people of Bachman's earlier joke.


"Her courage was incredible," said Silas via Instagram DM. "I didn't want Kelly to feel alone. And I didn't want to tread on her, honestly. And if he didn't want attention, I was going to give him attention."


Silas, who said he'd had three gin and tonics before performing, said he'd planned to joke about asking Weinstein where to obtain chloroform "but something told me that would be in poor taste."


"I swear I'm not a piece of shit," he added.


Silas said that after his bit, he walked past Weinstein and shrugged at him but the two did not speak.


However, Stuckless said that watching the male comedian engage with Weinstein after his joke upset them.


"That's when I felt so much anger and shame and fear bubbling in my gut," said Stuckless. "That [Weinstein] was allowed to be in this space and allowed to be laughing, and that comic was able to demean the person that went up before him."


That actor, Zoe Stuckless, confronted Weinstein (there's a video of this in the BuzzFeed article), got kicked out and wrote this on Facebook:



Here's the statement from the venue:



And the event's organiser:



Alexandra Laliberte, the organizer of Actor's Hour, told BuzzFeed News it was the second time Weinstein had turned up to one of her events. Laliberte added that she doesn't have a security team, and rather than turn Weinstein away, she thought the community could address him.


"I welcome all walks of life into my space," she said.


When asked why she allowed Weinstein to attend an event specifically intended to support and encourage young actors when he has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of them, Laliberte told BuzzFeed News: "I protect them by freedom of speech."


"Comedians made fun of him," said the 26-year-old actor. "This one lady stood up and screamed at him. People walked out, which was fantastic."


But in a follow-up statement shared on Actor's Hour's Facebook page, the organization said it "apologize[ s ] wholeheartedly for the way the situation was handled."


Laliberte denied that Weinstein was invited by her or anyone from her organization. However, Rollo and Bachman said they were told by other event organizers that Laliberte had allocated that table specifically for her industry contacts.


And in the interests of Letting Both Sides Be Heard For The Sake Of Balance:





When contacted by THR, a representative for Weinstein said, "Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too."


The statement continued, "As an aside — Harvey in fact suggested the woman should be allowed to talk and ask him any questions. The venue’s personnel asked the woman to leave, not Harvey’s. I would just point out that he is being treated as if he has been convicted. Accusations are, in fact, not convictions. Due process is still the foundation of each and every one of our civil rights in this country. Please don’t lose sight of that definitive conviction when you write. Anyone should be allowed to be there if they are acting in accordance with the norms of the space. As for the name calling, it was 100 percent not anyone in HW’s employ and not someone speaking on HW’s behalf."


Weinstein reportedly offered to "address anyone’s questions" and said that "we should all be offered the courtesy to voice opinions and be heard, and to even get answers. I am glad we all still have these rights."


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2 hours ago, SeanR said:

What’s all this about Jeremy Renner?

He and his wife are going through a particularly nasty divorce, she says he put a gun in his mouth and threatened to kill himself or something.


As for the Rosario Dawson thing, the guy making the accusations seems to be a free-loading methhead shit and Rosario and her nan lost patience trying to evict him.

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8 hours ago, GwiDan said:

Was there some deeper meaning to the Good Will Hunting reference other than Weinstein produced it?


I don't think so. It sounds like the joke was he was repeating the "elephant in the room" phrase to make everyone think he was going to say something against Weinstein like the earlier comedian, then flipping it round to praise his work instead.

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I can understand that he is so deluded about himself that he carries on with life and has nights out, but who the fuck are the people with him? People who think nothing of sharing a table and a laugh with a mass rapist? They need to have a serious look at themselves.

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  • 7 months later...

The Daily Beast recently published an article about producer Adam Donaghey, who was arrested this year on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old actress. They reported that he had other incidents of sexual assault; the audio and a transcript of one with Cristen Leah Haynes is included in the article. They allege that people at the production company Cinestate (which aimed to make "'populist entertainment' for the Trump-friendly crowd long ignored by Hollywood") knew about and covered up his actions. The article also gives other examples of Cinestate having a history of unsafe sets.





When Cinestate joined forces with Donaghey in 2017, handing him producing duties on a number of its genre films—The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, VFW and Satanic Panic among them—it was met with a raised eyebrow by many in the Texas film scene, who were well aware of Donaghey’s reputation as a serial predator.


“The first time I was ever on set I was warned about Adam Donaghey,” a female filmmaker tells me. “I was told he was the Harvey Weinstein of Dallas.”


The Daily Beast has spoken to more than 30 people within the Texas film scene, from directors to actors to PAs, who say that Donaghey’s penchant for sexual harassment and labor violations was common knowledge. (Many of these people have requested anonymity, fearing professional retaliation.)



Just after she released the audio, Donaghey reached out to Haynes by phone for what she describes as a weak apology. “As soon as the audio circulated in 2016, he called me on the phone and tried to apologize. And I responded, saying there really wasn’t much he could do at this point,” says Haynes. “This is years after the fact and you’re only apologizing because somebody has said something, and because there’s proof.” During their conversation, Haynes recalls him asking her, “What do we have to do to make this go away?”



“There were multiple moments of that same feeling that I had when I first told somebody—a kind of sickening helplessness of, well, this is just how the industry goes and people will just turn a blind eye to it,” says Haynes.


Over a dozen people in the Dallas film scene, from filmmakers to producers to crew, told The Daily Beast that two people who turned “a blind eye to it” were Cinestate founder Dallas Sonnier and his producing partner Amanda Presmyk.



Ten people have told The Daily Beast that they reached out to either Dallas Sonnier or Amanda Presmyk to inform them of Donaghey’s history of bad behavior—including his sexual harassment of Cristen, and the existence of the audio—and that their protestations fell on deaf ears. Further, four people allege that they personally offered up the audio to Presmyk, who declined to hear it. “They completely swept it under the rug,” one prominent local filmmaker tells me.


This is what Cinestate's founder Dallas Sonnier says:



During an hour-long conversation with The Daily Beast, Sonnier and Presmyk both allege that they’ve never heard the audio to this day, that it was never offered to them, and that they merely knew “the gist” of the incident, which was first brought to their attention in mid-2017. “[Adam] was part of our producing team—I’m not denying that. But I confront the hypothesis that there is some scandal here, because there isn’t. I don’t always get things perfectly right but I’m always trying my best,” Sonnier tells The Daily Beast. “I have a different system of handling things that may be a little antiquated than Twitter in 2020 demands of companies and CEOs. I thought a person I knew and worked with made a pass at another person I knew and worked with, and I told him to apologize to her. I didn’t understand the severity of it. I didn’t take the time to investigate it. I’m guilty of that… portion.”


Sonnier pointed to the fact that he doesn’t live in Dallas and that he was very busy running his company as the reasons why he never so much as sought out the audio, even though it has been circulated widely within the Texas film world. He also criticized Haynes for not filing an official sexual-harassment complaint, and repeatedly characterized the allegations against him and his studio as “performative” and “partisan.”


“We’re under siege right now,” says Sonnier. “Everyone involved has their own personal vendettas against us. They have a history of harassing us and having problems with us. It feels like a targeted hit, and it feels like an attack. I think people have real issues with us. They have issues with our success, with the amount of movies we’ve made and in a short time built this company to be something very special. It feels partisan.”


When I asked him to expand on his “partisan” comments, he said, “I think there’s a perception of politics at Cinestate, and the truth is, we are a truly diverse company… I am a complicated guy who identifies as conservative because of certain fiscal responsibilities, limited federal government, things like that. But I’m no fan of the president.”


But Haynes disagrees with Sonnier’s theory. “I’m not attacking anybody. I’m merely stating facts. I’m not out to burn Cinestate. I’m hoping that, given this information, they will evolve into something better. I don’t have any vendetta against them.” She also questions why, if they indeed haven’t heard it, they haven’t tried to get ahold of the audio. “I feel if someone was under my employ, those things would be the first things I’d try to find out. Even to have someone suggest that someone’s done something like that, why wouldn’t you look into it? That’s just negligence,” says Haynes, adding, “I question his morals and values as a company owner.”  


Other examples of Cinestate being a bad employer:



On top of the sexual-harassment charges, six crew members on VFW and Satanic Panic accuse Cinestate of making them work oppressively long hours—sometimes 18-hour days—with no overtime pay, and that Donaghey, a producer on both films, consistently pressured crew members into being drastically underpaid either by inputting less hours on their time cards or asking them to turn down overtime. “At that point, it’s a safety issue,” one crewmember on Satanic Panic says. “When you hire someone who has been accused of sexually assaulting someone, and you put them in charge of writing checks for everyone in your entire company, are you not giving that person power to abuse further—whether sexually or through forced labor?”


In addition to signing the checks, which gave him a great deal of power over crew members, a number of people who’ve worked with Donaghey tell The Daily Beast that he was known to threaten people’s careers if they didn’t give in to his demands. “Adam was the kind of guy that threatened people,” filmmaker Jeff Walker says. “He’d make threats like, ‘You’ll never fuckin’ work in this town again.’ It was like he wanted to be Harvey Weinstein.”


Two crew members on Satanic Panic also allege that the actress Ruby Modine (daughter of Matthew) was pressured by Donaghey into performing a sex scene with an obsessed fanboy.


And after Cinestate cut ties with Donaghey, and "announced a series of measures to ensure on-set safety":



Those who’ve worked with Cinestate in the past aren’t entirely convinced that the new measures will be enough.


“As for the way that Cinestate is supporting women in film, three out of four of us from my costume department on VFW have decided to never work in film again. It’s been disgusting,” a crewmember tells The Daily Beast. “I truly hope speaking about this leads to a more open conversation so that the film industry can actually be nurturing of its creatives instead of being so regularly exploitative and dehumanizing.”


Haynes is skeptical as well. In February of this year, while working as a second assistant director on the Cinestate film Till Death, she says she was groped by another line producer while several crew members were casually lounging in a hot tub. (Two crew members corroborated her version of events to The Daily Beast.)





Publications owned by Cinestate (Fangoria magazine, podcasts under the Fangoria banner, and the website Birth Movies Death) have since severed ties with them:





(Birth Movies Death had only been sold to Cinestate just over a month ago. At the time, I thought this was a good thing, because it meant that Meredith Borders and Phil Nobile Jr would be writing for BMD again.)



Rob Galluzzo, Fangoria's  Director of Acquisitions and Distribution, resigned. Vulture's Jordan Crucchiola then tweeted that Galluzzo is also a harrasser:


(That Twitter thread continues beyond there.)



These were the announcement tweets from the brands severing ties with Fangoria:






Remember that Birth Movies Death (formerly Badass Digest) has had to cut ties with a sexual assaulter before: editor-in-chief Devin Faraci resigned in 2016:



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  • 1 month later...

The Hollywood Reporter has published an article about Bryan Singer's behaviour during production of the first two X-Men movies. It starts off with a story of how Michael Jackson visited Bryan Singer to discuss playing a certain, very surprising, role in the movie...




The tale of how David Hayter ended up with the screenwriting credit is a saga in its own right:



Several sources say the story meetings were unprofessional, even by eccentric auteur standards. "Bryan would bring people to story meetings who weren't involved in the movies. Young guys. A different person every time," says one source who was present.


Despite a lineup of A-list writers, David Hayter, who served as Singer's assistant and was answering phones in the production offices for $500 a week, received sole credit.


Hayter had recently produced and starred in the Slamdance feature Burn and was an avid X-Men fan. Singer began to rely on Hayter for his comic book knowledge, and eventually, had him writing new scenes.


“[Singer] started taking me to script meetings with Peter Rice and Tom Rothman, and he would say, ‘Just sit there, take notes, don't say anything and don't tell anyone you are writing the script,’” says Hayter. “Ralph Winter knew and he asked me to highlight everything I'd done in the script at that point, and it was about 55 percent of the script. Ralph went to Peter Rice and said, ‘Look, here's the deal. David, the phone guy, has been writing the script. You have to make a deal with him or we are in serious legal jeopardy. Peter called me into his office and offered me $35,000 and said, 'That's all you'll ever get. Be happy with that.’”


But other project insiders say Solomon and McQuarrie wrote the majority of what wound up onscreen, with contributions from Hayter. Sources say McQuarrie was so angry at the studio for the tortuous process that he persuaded Solomon to remove his name, along with his own, from the film. McQuarrie declined to comment. A WGA arbitration ensued, and Solomon and McQuarrie agreed that they wouldn't publicly take their names off the movie if the WGA wouldn't force their names on it. (After a ruling is made, writers are barred from speaking about the arbitration process.)


The lawsuit filed by the actor who played Pyro in the first film:



But a number of young men, including some who were minors at the time, have claimed in published interviews that Singer dangled X-Men auditions and roles in exchange for sex. One on-set source disputed the idea the Robitel casting was anything but professional, noting that the two had been dating for three years at that point.


In hindsight, some project insiders say one piece of casting should have prompted a red flag, at least subsequently: that of Alex Burton, an 18-year-old who played the bit part of Pyro. No one remembers how Burton, who had no previous credits, was cast. One source says Burton told him, "Marc [Collins-Rector] and Bryan [Singer] created that role for me." Another source says Burton was flown up to the Toronto set from Los Angeles, an unheard-of move given the size of his role (studios typically cast locals for talent with one or no lines). Eight days after X-Men's Ellis Island premiere on July 12, 2000, Burton filed a civil suit against three of Singer's friends and business associates in the Digital Entertainment Network venture, a youth-skewing multimedia dot-com and precursor to YouTube — Collins-Rector, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce (Pierce was later dropped as a defendant) — claiming that he had been plied with drugs, sexually assaulted by the trio at the DEN outpost in Encino, held against his will and threatened with physical harm between July 1999 and May 2000, a period that encompasses X-Men's six-month production. According to the suit, Burton also was an employee of DEN during that time frame. The suit, which did not name Singer, also declares that Collins-Rector "threatened to use his power and influence in the entertainment industry to prevent Burton from gaining employment in the field of entertainment."


Although the suit generated press at the time, there was little discussion about why Burton did not return for the sequel, X2: X Men United, in which Pyro's character was expanded and played by actor Aaron Stanford. (Burton, who has changed his name, has never appeared in another Hollywood project.)


According to one project insider, the only recollection was, "He wasn't very good." A rep for Singer says: "Alex Burton was a terrific day player as young Pyro. But when it came to doing the sequel, Bryan needed the character of Pyro to appear older and go through a darker transition where he ultimately becomes a villain. Since 'movie time' had elapsed since the first X-Men, Aaron Stanford was the right choice." Another source says Collins-Rector and Shackley visited the set at least once. (Months earlier, the former had been hit with a civil suit claiming that he sexually abused a 13-year-old.)


Burton, who was joined by two others in the DEN suit, was awarded $6 million. The amount was never paid, and, in November 2019, Burton's lawyer filed a renewal of judgment against Collins-Rector and Shackley, citing an additional $4.8 million in accrued interest.


"Why have we accepted that the exploitation of women is outrageous and fair game to confront but are not willing to when it's gay men exploiting young men or boys?" says attorney Daniel Cheren, who has represented Burton since the suit was first filed in 2000. "The ability to exploit is exactly the same. Who is more manipulatable than a teenager?"


What did raise hackles was Singer's tempestuous nature. In interviews at the time, he conceded that he was taking pain medication for a bad back. Others on set characterized his drug use as problematic, leading to late arrivals to the set, mood swings and explosive tantrums. Some of the characters, like Romijn's Mystique, required hours of body painting before filming. On a whim, Singer would decide not to use her in a scene. Marvel chief Kevin Feige, then a young executive working for Shuler Donner, was dispatched to ensure that someone was keeping Singer in line.


During production of the sequel:



Singer's behavior grew erratic and destructive, culminating in a fight between the director and DeSanto that shut down production. Sources who were present say DeSanto attempted to halt shooting when he learned that Singer was incapacitated after taking a narcotic. Some crewmembers had taken the same drug, and DeSanto became fearful that someone on set could be injured. All of the main cast, with the exception of McKellen, were in the scene that day, which takes place in the X Jet and comes near the end of the movie. But Singer was defiant and continued shooting, leading to a botched stunt that left Jackman bleeding on camera (no stunt coordinator was present because the scene was supposed to be shot the following day). Winter, the X-Men producer who had the authority to stop production, did so. But the next day, the studio appeared to side with Singer and told DeSanto to return to Los Angeles. That prompted the main castmembers, minus McKellen and Romijn — all dressed in their full X-Men costumes — to converge in Singer's trailer and confront him, threatening to quit if DeSanto left. That's when Berry famously said to Singer, "You can kiss my Black ass," a line that has been oft-reported in the years since but never with the correct backstory. DeSanto declined to comment about the fight. A rep for Singer says that "nothing like that ever happened."



Some of Singer's defenders suggest that the media's fixation on him stems from homophobia. But another Fox executive says Singer instead enjoyed a lack of scrutiny. "Everyone was afraid to say anything because the feeling was, 'Would we say this to a straight director who was a womanizer?' "


Over the years, at least two pieces that delved into Singer abuse claims were killed: a 2001 Details piece by John Connolly and a 2018 Esquire story by Alex French and Maximillian Potter. (The latter was later published by The Atlantic.)


Lauren Shuler Donner and an unnamed executive on how the movie industry indulges unprofessional behaviour from people who are perceived as genius auteurs:



"It's a weird business, the film business," says Shuler Donner. "We honor creativity and talent and we forgive the brilliant ones. Unconsciously, we probably do enable them by turning a blind eye to whatever they're doing and taking their product and putting it out to the world."


Or, as another exec involved with the film notes, "His behavior was poor on the movie. We accommodated him on the first movie, and therefore we can accommodate him on the second movie. And on and on. And it created a monster."



Ultimately, for many involved with X-Men, Singer's eventual implosion began on that set — a casualty of his unprofessionalism.


"He was very nervous and he would act out when he was insecure, as many people do. But his way of acting out would be to yell and scream at everybody on the set. Or walk off the set or shut down production," says Shuler Donner, who declined to attend the X-Men premiere out of frustration. "You have to understand, the guy was brilliant, and that was why we all tolerated him and cajoled him. And if he wasn't so fucked up, he would be a really great director."


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