UPDATE: As of Monday January 13, 2013 the New York Film Critics Circle Voted to kick Armond White out of the Critics Circle. Agree with their decision? Disagree with their decision? Want them to debate Armond? Let the chairman know. @joshrothkopf.
Armond White put out a challenge to debate anyone and everyone who has been spreading lies in the media about him (he calls some of them, the mean girls, more on that below). He stopped by the SiriusXM studios this week to talk with Ron Bennington about what he refers to as the libelous mis-reportings that are being spread about him.
Armond made headlines this week when Variety reported that he had heckled Harry Belafonte and director Steve McQueen during the annual New York Film Critics Circle Dinner. In the interview with Bennington, White made it clear that he would “never ever ever ever heckle or say f*ck you to Harry Belafonte” and added that Harry Belafonte is a “hero” and “a great talent” who he respects immensely. Nor did he heckle Steve McQueen. The film circle, it seems, does not believe him. After the alleged incident, New York Film Critics Circle Chairman Joshua Rothkopf quickly wrote a letter of apology to Fox Searchlight Film Company, in which he said that he would pursue disciplinary action against White. Rothkopf has scheduled a meeting on Monday January 13, to decide what further action to take regarding the incident.
These actions have put Rothkopf at the top of Armond’s list of people he calls his enemies. According to White, Rothkopf “never knew what he was doing in the first place and so he’s allowed this recent controversy to get all out of hand.” He calls Rothkopf deceitful, and is disappointed that “instead of coming to me as the chairman, and trying to get in front of the situation and assess all that happened, he simply believed the libelous misreporting of Variety. “ White also referred to Rothkopf’s letter of apology to Fox Searchlight “shameful and embarrassing.”
“From my perspective, being a journalist is a career and a profession of integrity and a certain amount of fortitude that a journalist needs to have. And in film journalism, you don’t kowtow to the publicist. And this guy—without assessing the facts, he simply went ahead and wrote a letter of apology to the publicist which I think is unheard of. But also I think it damages the profession of film critics and film journalists because it simply says, we are here to shill for you. We are here to please the publicist. And for the critic, for a journalist to do anything that’s done to appease or kowtow or apologize to the publicist—apologize for things that don’t need an apology—shameful.”