Fourteen years is a long time for anyone to survive the entertainment journalism business, especially if they are put in a position of having to invade, violate, and otherwise disrupt the lives of celebrities, as is the case with longtime People magazine writer Sara Hammel, who resigned from her position recently after what she called a “a wildly dysfunctional 14 years” with the publication.
“It’s not me, it’s you,” she wrote in an edited email obtained by Page Six. Her decision to quit, however, didn’t seem to be motivated by celebrity mistreatment (although, there was definitely some of that), as much as it was the lack of acknowledgement and respect she received from the magazine itself.
“I swear half the current staff doesn’t know my name, despite my contribution to something like fifteen hundred stories in your celebrity annals, so here’s a refresher: I worked inside your London, Los Angeles and New York bureaus, covered breaking news in nine countries, and dealt with too many celebrities to remember.
“This is just what the entitled stars and their bat—t crazy publicists put me and many other talented, hard-working reporters through. You people, as it turns out, are worse.”
Don’t feel too sorry for Sara Hammel, though. Her letter was released by Page Six in a way that seemed to coincide with the mini-memoir she wrote, in which she calls out a variety of celebrities, some of whom she called out in her resignation letter. She’s clearly a good self-promoter, something she probably learned from interviewing celebrities and their bat—t crazy publicists for 14 years:
In between, there were memorable encounters galore, including making the gorgeous and empathic Mariska Hargitay ugly-cry (turns out she cries at like every charity-related event, phew), enduring an Oscar winner’s public bullying over an intimate dinner, facing a personal crisis at Tom Cruise’s wedding in Rome, getting basically, kind of spat on by a snotty J. Lo (okay, it was like a very wet pffttt in my general direction, really obnoxious), having fun with endless lower-key celebs like Rosario Dawson and Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Douglas, observing just how stiff and awkward George Clooney is around kids, insulting Sheryl Crow’s baby, and getting groped/harassed by an A-list [omitted] performer in New York and Paris (that’s not to be flip—it was violating as hell. I’m still pissed I didn’t jab him in the balls with my pen).
OK, clearly working as a celebrity reporter has its downsides, and no reporter deserves to groped and harassed by an A-list celebrity who splits his time between New York and Paris or spit on by J. Lo. (And if anyone deserves to be called out by name and publicly shamed, it’s the harasser, whose name probably should not have been redacted, because fuck him).
Hammel has not exactly been kind to some of her subjects, either, suggesting that Kate Middleton’s face is “collapsing” when she is not smiling. “Even at somber events when it’s not right to smile, when she can’t lest she appear soulless, she tucks the corners ever-so-slightly upward.” Of Jennifer Lawrence, she writes that she “deigns to throw you a quote but makes it clear they’re doing you the grandest favor a higher being can bestow.”
She does have high regard for Jack Black, Chrissy Teigen, Hugh Jackman, Joshua Jackson, Jason Bateman, Jenna Fischer, Mischa Barton, Emma Thompson, Tea Leoni, Misty Copeland, Emily Deschanel, Rosario Dawson, David Arquette, Colin Farrell, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, Bryan Cranston, and Ricky Gervais.
However, she also suggests that Richard Gere, Alan Cumming, Jon Bon Jovi, and Lupita Nyong’o are “snappish” while Ryan Reynolds, Matthew McConaughey, Ashton Kutcher, Elizabeth Olsen take themselves too seriously.
In fact, she singled out Reynolds as someone who “wants nothing to do with you before they even meet you,” and that’s probably true. I have spoken with a number of people who are friends or friendly with Ryan Reynolds (it’s as close as I can get what with the restraining order) and no one has ever had anything but the nicest words for him. “A real good dude,” is a common description, but of course, he’s probably highly suspicious of celebrity magazine writers, after having dated Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, and Alanis Morissette, having had photos of his daughter shopped around to celeb magazines, and for being excoriated online for wearing a baby front pack incorrectly. I would be suspicious of celebrity reporters, as well, and very guarded about what I said, which might come off as self-seriousness.
Or maybe he’s just pissed at People because they haven’t named his Sexist Man Alive in six years.