Armond White Responds to Lisa Schwarzbaum's NYFCC Complaints by Calling Her Racist
(Deep long sigh) I know, I know: This is exactly what Armond White wants. When someone writes a column as inflammatory as the one he wrote this week, it's done for one purpose: To get attention. And, yes, we are playing into the game by giving him the attention that he wants. It's just, wow. It's hard to ignore this one: White -- who you may have heard is a bit of a contrarian -- unleashed a 1,700-word rant in which he accused Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum -- and the Village Voice's Jim Hoberman, with whom White has had a longstanding feud -- of racism.
This all started at the New York Film Critics' Circle awards, an awards presentation that, as chairman of the group, White hosted last week. You'll recall that he wasn't shy about sharing his displeasure with a lot of the winners -- Black Swan, The Social Network, Blue Valentine and The Kids Are All Right, among them -- and refashioned his spot at at the head of the table as a bully pulpit.
Following the hubbub, Schwarzbaum -- a former NYFCC chair -- wrote a response to the awards banquet in which she voiced her embarrassment with the proceedings:
We all left -- okay, I left -- feeling sour and lectured to and embarrassed. Represented by an ungracious spokesman, all critics were made to look as sour and bitter and ungenerous as caricature (and Ratatouille) would have us. Judged by snark from one irritated director, everyone in that business was made to look ungracious.
While that description seems consistent with what most of the attendees took away from the proceedings, White disagreed -- vehemently:
Hiding behind the façade of publications with larger circulations, they assume professional integrity that doesn't exist. Oddly, they welcome being pissed on by movie people, then display the obnoxiousness of middleclass cowards who resent less-empowered people not like themselves.
Yes, racism motivates Schwarzbaum and Hoberman. They pretend to be hip and ladylike, but they're simply the type of class oppressors unique to the bourgeoisie. Blue-collar people would likely be straightforward and more honest, but these pseuds harbor unexamined ethnic prejudices, political partisanship, intellectual pretenses and jealousy.
Fact is, they're shills: uninterested in free expression or different points of view."
It gets worse:
Schwarzbaum's the sort who comes to your party, brings her rude friends, eats your food, drinks your liquor, walks out in a huff without saying "Thank you," then complains in public that the host is ungracious.
EW, a publication that brainwashes its readers into consumerist idiocy, is home to Schwarzbaum's lifelong mantra "The Oscars matter!" It's the mentality of autograph hounds, which is how Schwarzbaum and the Hobermice, in their post-awards-dinner tantrum, want to reduce the NYFCC.
If you're wondering where Schwarzbaum's racism comes in, you're not alone. And for what it's worth, she isn't the one showing a picture of herself posing with Annette Bening on the side panel of her article. Anyway, this all happened. Thankfully for the NYFCC, this is White's final year as chairman, and thus, he won't host the ceremonies in 2012. Controversy over?
· Indecent Exposure [NY Press]