Is A Rival Studio Behind the “Green Book" Smear Campaign?

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First thing's first, whatever backlash "Green Book" has gotten must be owned up by the culprits at hand; Viggo Mortensen, Peter Farrely,  Nick Vallelonga and company all have to, if they haven't already, admit to their past mistakes. This isn't a think-piece where I will make the case for their innocence; No, whatever sins that may have been dug up from their pasts need to be owned up to by the accused.  However ... there comes a point in time when someone needs to look at the events that have transpired against this little-film-that-could and wonder, gee, are Harvey Weinstein's smear campaigning tactics being used again in 2018 but, only this time,  by other players that have learned from the Weinstein 101 book of Oscar-playing? I think they have, brilliantly might I add.

Take for example, today's events which, by all accounts, have further damaged the reputation of "Green Book." 

With Oscar momentum now back on its side, after the Golden Globes shocker of a win on Sunday night, The Cut'Anna Silman posted a hit piece about FarrellySilman unearthed info from the mid to late ’90s about Farrelly jokingly whipping out his privates in front of then-20th Century Fox boss Tom Rothman and then another incident in which he, again, flashed Cameron Diaz in the same way, right before casting her in "There’s Something About Mary." Unsurprising behavior coming from the director that all but invented the gross-out comedy in the '90s. Rothman jokingly said “it wasn’t a pretty sight…in fact, I’m still recovering.”

The descriptions of said behavior was unearthed, dug up if you will, from two 1998 articles (Newsweek and The Observer). Newsweek had this to say about their archival find: “In these stories, it’s notable how Farrelly’s behavior is treated like a cute running prank instead of egregious sexual misconduct, illustrating just how much things have changed in the past two decades — indeed, much of it in the past year."

Oh and it gets better (or worse depending on whose side of the story you're on), Green Book” writer and producer Nick Vallelonga the son of Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, the character played by Viggo Mortensen, is now fighting his own bout of controversy because of a recently resurfaced tweet he made back in November 2015, in which he replied to Donald Trump on Twitter agreeing with his theory that Muslims were indeed cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey on September 11, 2001 as they watched the attacks on the Twin Towers. Trump said at a rally (The Washington Post), “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” Vallelonga replied to Trump, “100% correct. Muslims in Jersey City cheering when towers went down. I saw it, as you did, possibly on local CBS news.
Trump’s story was and is still the stuff of debate, disputed by major publications, even with a Washington Post story reporting that Jersey City cops had “detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.” Trump's detractors claim the report made no mention that thousands of Muslims and/or Arabs were celebrating the attacks, which is what Trump said, but we all know how the man can exaggerate. Regardless, Valellonga's make the case for possible Islamophobic tendencies.

This only adds up to months of controversy for the film, which had "Green Book" star Viggo Mortensen daring to utter the 'n-word' at a post-screening Q&A, where he was trying to give example of how far we've come over the years in terms of racism, but journalists wanted to hear none of it -- it wasn't the context of why he said but just the fact that he had uttered the word.
And then a slew of "Green Book is racist"-esque writeups suddenly hit the web. NBC News's Jenni Miller's titlehead read 'Green Book' is a movie about racism, made by white people for white people. See the problem? Whereas VICE's Noel Ransome tried to make the case that the film was another unneeded white people's guide to racism. 

The writeups piled up soon after, with IndieWire's Tambay Obenson claiming 'Green Book' has a 'Magical Negro' problemThe most scathing of these hitjobs was an 11.15 piece from Shadow and Act writer Brooke Orbie which went by the headline "Green Book' Is A Poorly Titled White Savior Film.
It got worse when family members of pianist Dr. Donald W. Shirley, played in the film by Mahershala Ali, criticized the "lies" in the film's narrative. In an interview with, again, Shadow And Act, Dr. Shirley’s nephew, Edwin Shirley III, and brother, Maurice Shirley, claimed that the friendship between Dr. Shirley and chauffeur Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen, was falsely shown. They made the claim that the “inspired by a true friendship” between Shirley and Vallelonga, well, it never existed. “It was an employer-employee relationship,” Patricia Shirley said, claiming Dr. Shirley never called Tony a “friend,” and called the relationship “the only kind of relationship that [Dr. Shirley] ever had with any of the people he worked with.

Viggo Mortensen had to immediately send out a rebuttal, telling Variety the Shirley family's criticisms were "unfair" and that “there is evidence that there was not the connection that [the family members] claimed there was with him, and perhaps there’s some resentment.”
Farrelly one-upped him by warning us not to trust the Shirleys because they did not get a single cent from the doctor's final will, and it all went to his friends: "we looked into the heirs of Don Shirley, and unfortunately it wasn’t the family. The heirs were friends. When we found out about the family, we tried to embrace them, and they’re not having it right now, and it’s very disappointing,” said the filmmaker.

If you're still reading this you must be wondering, what in the living hell is going on?! A deliberate smear job, that's what's going on, it can't be anything else. Of course, whatever ills that have happened to "Green Book" must also be fully accepted as its creatives own faults, they have the un-pure pasts that are being divulged for public consumption, they are the ones that have to own to whatever they may have done wrong -- However, how else can you explain the amount of vitriol and pushback the film has gotten ever since its release back in November? You can't. Yes, the days of Harvey Weinstein managing to find dirt on his Oscar competitors are long gone, for obvious reasons, and yet, someone is carrying his torch. But who? It's all mostly heresay from there, but it's impossible to think that this otherwise simply-delivered film, which audiences have taken a real liking to, is being tossed around like a ragdoll every which way to Sunday. Something is going on. 

"Green Book" came out of last September's Toronto International Film Festival as the main competition for "A Star Is Born" in the Best Picture race, having bested Bradley Cooper's movie for the coveted Oscar-buzzed People's Choice Award Prize and about to be launched to a mainstream in desperate need of a well-made, feel-good adult-oriented movie at the multiplexes. The shunning of "Green Book" is one that is being felt in the industry, it's the movie that many like but don't care to admit it, for fear of negative appraisal, I even personally know a few film critics that had shining words to say about the film back in September that have now, all but, joined the mob to take this film down.

The fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had the audacity to award "Green Book" with their top prize at the Golden Globes this past Sunday surely had people wondering if the smear campaign had worked, because despite running the risk of being called every name in the book in reprieve, the HFPA had just re-entered Farrely's film into the Oscar race as a major frontrunner. The sudden emergence of more smears stinks of calculation. Somebody must surely be behind this, but who?