New York Post
It’s time to stop firing people for bad jokes
By Post Editorial Board
November 28, 2018 | 7:57pm
Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando in “Last Tango In Paris.”
Here’s hoping New York magazine doesn’t fire film critic David Edelstein over an ill-chosen joke on Facebook, but it’s a real risk in these days of public crucifixions.
NPR has already axed Edelstein as a contributor to “Fresh Air” over his post after the death of Bernardo Bertolucci — an image from the most infamous sex scene in the director’s “Last Tango in Paris,” with the caption: “Even grief is better with butter.”
Problem is, the 1972 scene is now often seen not as a sex scene, but as rape.
And actress Maria Schneider said in 2007 that she felt bullied by Bertolucci and had gotten no warning of what the unscripted scene would entail.
Edelstein quickly apologized and deleted the post, saying: “I didn’t remember [the scene] as a rape, and I didn’t know the real-life story about Maria Schneider.
“The line was callous and wrong even if it had been consensual, but given that it wasn’t I’m sick at the thought of how it read and what people logically conclude about me. I have never and would never make light of rape, in fiction or in reality.”
It’s a sincere apology. We hope New York’s editors accept it, rather than bowing to this heads-must-roll culture, where no one is allowed to make a mistake and learn from it — they must also pay.