Film embargos are the bane of any film critic’s existence. I very much dislike not being able to share my thoughts on movies immediately, but I play by the rules, since it’s really the only way to do things. Breaking an embargo is a real no-no in the industry, and can carry some stiff penalties. That hasn’t stopped one notable colleague of mine from deciding to post his review of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ very shortly (it may even be up by the time you read this)…ahead of the date Sony Pictures has requested for review publication, which most people would never even consider doing, so I wonder why this particular person is choosing to do this (as have pretty much everyone else in the industry). This letter went out late Saturday night reminding everyone to not break the embargo and shunning the critic:
All who attended screenings of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo agreed in writing to withhold reviews until closer to the date of the film’s worldwide release date. Regrettably, one of your colleagues, David Denby of The New Yorker, has decided to break his agreement and will run his review on Monday, December 5th. This embargo violation is completely unacceptable.
By allowing critics to see films early, at different times, embargo dates level the playing field and enable reviews to run within the films’ primary release window, when audiences are most interested. As a matter of principle, the New Yorker’s breach violates a trust and undermines a system designed to help journalists do their job and serve their readers. We have been speaking directly with The New Yorker about this matter and expect to take measures to ensure this kind of violation does not occur again.
In the meantime, we have every intention of maintaining the embargo in place and we want to remind you that reviews may not be published prior to December 13th.
We urge all who have been given the opportunity to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to honor the commitments agreed to as a condition of having early access to the film.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Andre Caraco, Executive Vice President, Motion Picture Publicity
Sony Pictures Entertainment
I’d love to not have the embargo issue out there, but it is, so I deal with it. I wish studios would be more flexible on this, but Denby seems to have broken a cardinal rule. I can’t imagine this will end well for either side.
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Tags: controversy, film critic, Oscar hopeful, reviews, sony pictures, the girl with the dragon tattoo