Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
A bad week for film writers at WhatCulture following Sr. Mxy’s reveal of Shaun Munro and TJ Barnard:
“I wasn’t exaggerating when I said Shaun Munro is putting the livelihood of other writers at risk by doing this. He’s not just taking random pitches from the thousands that get posted in the Cracked Workshop: he’s stealing from the relatively small percentage that the Cracked editors are considering buying, which are in a special folder.”
Read the full tumblr post here.
This was followed by Ali Gray, of The Shiznit, writing his own article condemning Shaun’s actions alongside his disgust of a perverted article at JoBlo (written by Droz) sexualising under-18 actors Chloe Grace Moretz and Abigail Breslin. His article is here.
Finally, respectfully and honourably, WhatCulture released a statement apologising for the plagiarism on their site – deleting all articles by Munro and Barnard, and offering $50 compensation to those affected. Read that post here.
In the first instance, credit to Sr Mxy and Ali Gray for highlighting these stories from the outset – not only does it prove their own values and integrity but it also defends online film writing as an art form in itself. Writing on film – indeed, on any art form – is challenging and requires hard work and commitment. From the relentless pursuit of analysing a set of films, to create an article that is exciting and interesting (such as Cracked’s lists) through to the necessary research required to support an informed essay or article; it is always more than furiously typing at a laptop. Further to this, asking advice from others in the field often highlights that the necessity of reading any and every form of film writing is integral to the daily routine of an aspiring film writer. The internet has opened the door to a plethora of writers from across the world that years ago would’ve only been possible via their published books. Now we can compare a review from The New York Times and The Guardian instantaneously – and learn from masters of review writing such as Jonathan Romney, Philip French and Chris Tookey (though opinionated, his writing is always of the highest standard and amongst the very best).