Producers of Hot New Film Rip ‘NYT’ In An Ad — in the ‘NYT’

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By: E&P Staff

The producers of the hot new film ?Babel,? starring Brad Pitt, took out an ad in the arts section of The New York Times today, slamming the paper for an article about the director and writer of the film this past Monday. At least the Times got some much-needed ad revenue out of it.

The ad also hit the Los Angeles Times for an earlier article and revealed a letter to that paper that it failed to publish, the producers said.

?Babel,? to be released tomorrow, is the latest effort of the team of director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and writer Guillermo Arriaga, who earlier created the widely-hailed ?21 Grams? and ?Amores Perros.? The New York Times article on Oct. 22, by Terrence Rafferty, chronicled a falling out between the director and writer largely over the issue of the director allegedly claiming he was the ?auteur? of the three movies, causing a deep rift with the screenwriter.

In fact, it was called ?Auteur vs. Auteur.? It also suggested that shaky or overlong parts of the film suggested that the pair were no longer working together smoothly.

The prominent ad in the Times today, signed by ?Babel? producers Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, charges that the paper based its article ?upon a gossip piece? published in the L.A. Times on Oct. 4, and they say they want to ?set the record straight.? They hail Inarritu?s ?collaborative? moviemaking and list the top people on his films who have worked on all his recent movies. Far from claiming he is the ?auteur,? he often speaks of ?we,? they write.

True, they admit, the director and writer have decided to go their separate ways now, but this is purely due to ?philosophical differences,? not the question of who should get more credit. They say the two men ?are saddened that their long and successful relationship has been reduced to salacious gossip.?

Then they print a letter sent to the LA. Times in response to its Oct. 4 story, in which Inarritu and Arriaga write that they were ?saddened? by that article and found it ?disappointing? that the paper did not conclude that their relationship had simply ?run its course.?

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