According to Nikki Finke and her invaluable Deadline Hollywood Daily blog for L.A. Weekly, the Fox News Corporation has fired “Fox 411” freelance columnist Roger Friedman for ostensibly promoting piracy via some comments he made in regards to the already-infamous leaking of an early print of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” onto the internet earlier this week.
Per Ms. Finke’s column…
Besides writing a review from watching the purloined print of Wolverine, Friedman posted, “I did find the whole top 10 [movies in theaters], plus TV shows, commercials, videos, everything, all streaming away. It took really less than seconds to start playing it all right onto my computer. I could have downloaded all of it but really, who has the time or the room? Later tonight I may finally catch up with Paul Rudd in ‘I Love You, Man.’ It’s so much easier than going out in the rain!”
I’m told that Fox News’ actions were swift and severe. First, Roger Ailes, who overseas Fox News, deleted the offending post after he was contacted by 20th Century Fox about it. And then Ailes fired Friedman as a freelance Fox News entertainment writer. I hear the move was done with the full support of News Corp. “He promoted piracy. He basically suggested that viewing a stolen film is OK, which is absolutely intolerable. So we fired him,” a source told me Saturday. “Fox News acted promptly on all fronts.”
Are you kidding me? I’m sorry, but this sounds exactly like something *I* would write, in an attempt to be facetious about the ridiculousness of being able to find all of this stuff online. For all I know, Friedman was being completely serious, but given how quickly everyone’s been attempting to bring the perpetrator of the “Wolverine” leakage to justice, I simply can’t imagine that he was.
Nikki’s latest update says, “I did reach Friedman for comment. He emailed back only that he was at the Paul McCartney concert.” So he’s apparently not nearly as concerned about this as I am. But from my perspective, it looks like Fox is just pissed off about one of their internal employees being a dirty rotten scoundrel and is taking it out on anyone they can…which smells like bullshit to me.