Pardon my French for just a second, but there is an old adage that says “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one.” This was very much the case when NY Times film critic A.O. Scott decided to swim against the rather large and vocal geeky stream and give a negative review of The Avengers. While most, myself included, were scouring our thesauruses for more ways to call the movie fun, he called it empty, bloated and cynical.
Something that BAMF, Samuel L. Jackson, did not take kindly to and so armed with the powers of social networking, he let the world know just how he felt.
The actor, who portrays the head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury, in the current critical and box-office smash, fired off this opening salvo:
“#Avengers fans,NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”
Oh no he di’int! Initially Scott responded merely by retweeting Jackson’s insult, but soon others had picked up on the fracas and weighed in, with support, though divided, leaning more in Scott’s favour. Alex Ross – the music critic for the New Yorker, not the comic book artist – was one that came out backing Scott, who responded to his supportive Tweet with:
“I have to say I feel more flattered than threatened. which may prove the point a different way.”
Which some might call taking the high road, but I’d like to call “Oh snap. I got no comeback!” Scott’s more mature response didn’t stop more Twitter users from speaking out about the whole issue, and Jackson responding in kind. Referring to one Twitter user’s assertion that just because a movie makes a lot of money, doesn’t mean that it’s good, the hot- and bald-headed film star retorted:
“Actually, sometimes IT DOES!”
The Film Nest soon waded in stating how they felt:
“Disappointed to hear @SamuelLJackson respond irrationally to negative review of #Avengers. People aren’t entitled to their own opinion?”
To which Jackson responded with the partially mystifying, partially funny:
“That is My Opinion! @TheFilmNest & what’s irrational about it? They aren’t going to fire his jaundiced ass & You & I Know It!”
The jaundiced part threw me for a loop, but hey you have to give ol’ Jackson some points for livening it up a bit. It was at this point that I was hoping and praying that Scott would respond with an ill-timed “What?” just so that I could see Jackson strike down upon him with great vengeance and furious anger, but alas, he refused to engage in more acid-tongue social network fisticuffs, much to my popcorn-munching dismay, and instead issued a very reasonable and level headed statement (Boo! Hiss!).
“If I’m going to dish out criticism, I should be able to take it. But I must say that I was touched at how many people on Twitter had my back, and more importantly how many were eager to defend the idea that honest and independent criticism has a place, even when the targets are superhero blockbusters and big movie stars. As usual with Twitter, there was a mixture of silliness and insight that made for a fun afternoon.”
Last Updated: May 4, 2012