Fox condemns early review of leaked 'Wolverine'
Will Fox take further action against Fox News employee Roger Friedman?
The following statement just arrived in our mailbox direct from 20th Century Fox:
"We've just been made aware that Roger Friedman, a freelance columnist who writes Fox 411 on Foxnews.com - an entirely separate company from 20th Century Fox -- watched on the internet and reviewed a stolen and unfinished version of X-Men Orgins: Wolverine. This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically -- whether the review is good or bad."
Okay. That's a start. The big question that I've been discussing with other webmasters all afternoon is just how far Fox is going to follow this. I know that Fox News and 20th Century Fox are technically separate companies, but they're both under the News Corp. banner, meaning everyone eventually answers to Rupert Murdoch.
It is my sincere belief that there is only one course of action for Fox News and 20th Century Fox to take here. It's clear. It's simple. And it puts the matter to bed.
Fire Roger Friedman.
[more after the jump]
Don't punish him. Don't sanction him. Fire him. Cut all corporate ties to him. Permanently. He may have taken the article down, but you can still easily read it via Google caching.
I believe that if any webmaster at any fansite had reviewed it, the results would have involved legal action. I think Fox was very clear about that, and they've certainly been litigious about their materials in the past in much less extreme circumstances. But since we not only refused to review it but also to publish any reactions to it from anyone else, and since the same thing happened at Ain't It Cool and CHUD and at most of the other major geek sites, Fox is in an awkward position here. We all respected the law. We all chose to do the right thing.
And your own employee screwed you. And more than that... he practically cackled about doing it. He not only talked about downloading "Wolverine," he went on to advise people how to download the top ten films at the box-office this week, and mentioned that he planned to watch "I Love You, Man" at home tonight to avoid the rain.
This is criminal. It's blatantly criminal, and it's the sort of behavior that would be punished if it was anyone else.
Fire Roger Friedman.
Fox's statement suggests that they had no part in Friedman's decision to publish, which refutes the theory that this was spin control. And you know what? I believe that. I think if Fox really had wanted to use Friedman for spin control, they would have flown him to LA and shown him the finished film with all the reshoots in place and the FX finished. And that would have been fine. It's their film. They can show it to whoever they want. No one could have said a word.
But Friedman crossed a line, a LEGAL line, and he bragged about doing it after Fox had said earlier this week that they will prosecute anyone who downloads or distributes the movie.
Fire Roger Friedman.
We'll be watching.
UPDATE - 10:00 PM PST:
NewsCorp has also issued a statement now.
Statement regarding Roger Friedman's column on FoxNews.com promoting a pirated version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Los Angeles, Calif., April 3, 2009 -- "Roger Friedman's views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation. We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. Once we learned of Roger Friedman's post we asked Fox News to remove it, which they did immediately."
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
News From Our Partners
- What to Watch This Weekend: The Season Finales of Nikita, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, and Family Guy What to Watch Tonight: The Office's Big Farewell and the Season Finales of TVD, Elementary, and Five More Supernatural Season 8 Finale Review: It's Raining Angels
- The Telefile - Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night The Telefile - Fall TV 2013: What's On When The Telefile - TNT & TBS Upfront 2013: Reaping What Other Networks Sowed
- 'Pacific Rim' Trailer Surfaces: Watch Now! 'Star Trek Into Darkness': The Reviews Are In! Emma Watson In 'The Bling Ring': The Early Reviews Are In!
- Critics Consensus: Star Trek Into Darkness is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Roundup: Star Trek Into Darkness Edition Video Interviews with Katie Aselton & Lake Bell of Black Rock
- 'The Office' Series Finale Review: "Finale" 'Anger Management' Review: "Charlie and the Break-Up Coach" 'Hannibal' Review: "Fromage"
- Mariah Carey Medleys, Jennifer Lopez Lives It Up With Pitbull on 'American Idol' Finale [Videos] Candice Glover Wins 'American Idol' Season 12 Beyonce Gets Emotional Onstage in Belgium [Video]
- Crosstalk: A fan and a newbie catch up on the first season of The Venture Bros. AVQ&A: What are your favorite and least favorite cultural baits and switches? Podmass: The Dice Man infiltrates podcasting, Casey Wilson chokes up on The JV Club, and Kumail vs. Maron
- Who Won 'American Idol' 2013? 'The Office' Finale: Michael Scott's Surprise Appearance And Your New 'American Idol' Is ...
This is one you'll want to watch as soon as you've seen the movieFriday, May 17, 2013
Plus we look back at a more spirited encounter with the comic actorThursday, May 16, 2013
The Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis science-fiction action movie is shooting nowThursday, May 16, 2013
Hollywood's busiest alien spends a little more time with StarfleetThursday, May 16, 2013