Los Angeles-based Hollywood reporter Sharon Waxman is featured today on the New York Times website, answering reader questions in the "Forums" section about the Oscars and the movie business. So far only two questions are up, and one of them generated a correction.
Her story in the paper today on the possible harm to Mel Gbson's career done by Passion of the Christ has some people in Hollywood asking their own questions. Waxman quotes an unidentified studio chairman saying, not for attribution, that he won't hire Mel Gibson ever again, and she mentions another chairman not by name who feels similarly. David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks are mentioned by name, but the source who says they have "privately expressed anger over the film" is an unidentified studio executive. You have to go eleven paragraphs into the story before anyone criticizes Gibson by name, and it is Haim Saban, who sent an email to friends last week complaining about Gibson and his father's Holocaust-denier views.
(This is the first time I've used the online "New York Times link generator," which promises to create hyperlinks that will endure longer than one week. It created the second link above; let me know if it doesn't work for anyone.)
Update: Rumors swirled much of Thursday that the NYT would run an editor's note about the story -- and the rumors proved accurate. In Friday's paper, the Times says:
An article in The Arts yesterday about Hollywood's reaction to Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" cited an executive close to David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, principals of DreamWorks, saying that the two men had privately expressed anger over the film.
The Times should have checked directly with both men and given them an opportunity to comment on the executive's statement.
Mr. Geffen said yesterday: "Neither Jeffrey or I have seen the movie or have formed an opinion about it."