Shame on the New York Film Critics
They've kicked the most interesting critic out of their club: Armond White. This is gross on many levels.
1. Undoubtedly, White's controversial and out-of-lockstep criticism is a factor in his dismissal.
2. Has anyone come forward and publicly stated what was said? Every account I've read of the incident is heresy. If his "hateful" comments were so hateful and he disputes how the information is received, why is no one coming forward and publicly saying what he said?
3. This is the triumph of group-think over the individual. What's worse, this is corporatized group-think. These critics want to stay in the good graces of the industry money-people who they mistakenly believe they depend on.
4. Why are critics only allowed to applaud? These mealy-mouthed employees of ministries of information say they stand for "freedom of speech and expression" and don't allow this man to boo and jeer? If you hate a film, you must stay silent, but if you love a film, you can applaud? Who made this rule? Why can't one boo? I think the audience has a right to boo just as they have a right to laugh and clap.
5. If White was as rude as advertised, the proper way to deal with it is for Steve McQueen to punch him in the nose (Richard Ford did it to a critic). The summoning of a committee to kick Armond White out of the group is a terrifying symbol: dare not disagree with us, dare not have an opinion out of lock-step, dare not speak you mind, for we will do everything in our power to ruin your career and reputation. These are not liberals as in a John Stuart Mill, Voltaire tradition. These people act more like McCarthy-ite thugs.