Earlier today, we gave you the blow-by-blow of disastrously sexist question that marred Tribeca Film Festival’s Scarface Q&A last night. Now, we’ve got updates from the moderator who confoundedly decided to ask Michelle Pfeiffer about her weight, and the would-be moderator he’d replaced.
Those who follow the Tribeca Film Festival were shocked to hear the tone-deaf query from Jesse Kornbluth, in part because he wasn’t the interviewer originally promoted for the event. That honor went to Billions co-creator/showrunner Brian Koppelman. The reason for the substitution was unknown, but certainly made on short notice. It was so last minute in fact that some sources (cough cough The Daily Mail cough cough) wrongly attributed Koppelman with Kornbluth’s blundering question once it sparked outrage online:
(If the NY Daily News also made this error, it has since been revised with no mention of the change.)
So, Koppelman took to Twitter to set the record straight with a series of tweets that explains it was Scarface director Brian De Palma that got him pulled from the Q&A duties the day of the event.
Hey @DailyMail— I wasn't the moderator at the Scarface panel. I didn't ask that question. I wasn't even in the room. I was, originally, going to be the moderator, but it was changed the morning of.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) April 20, 2018
I have interviewed hundreds of people on my podcast. There is zero chance I would have asked Michelle Pfeiffer that question. If you've ever listened to my pod, you know that.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) April 20, 2018
2) I had said, 10 years ago, that he didn't deserve to be thought of in the same way Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg are. And when I was first asked to do the gig, I warned the people to get DePalma's approval. They did. And then, at the last minute, he booted me.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) April 20, 2018
Here comes the Kermit sipping tea bit:
3) Well, I hope he's happy with the result. For the record, I think Scarface is a masterpiece. And that Pfeiffer's performance captured the mood of that place and moment in time better than almost anything or anyone ever. END.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) April 20, 2018
Saltiness aside, Koppleman ended by noting he regretted the decade-old criticism of De Palma’s work, and wished he’d had his shot to make it up to him at the Q&A.
btw, I never should have publicly said anything against DePalma's work 10 years back. I was tired at the end of a junket. It's wrong for any filmmaker to do that about another. I was looking forward to really making this night special for him, the cast and the audience.— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) April 20, 2018
Now, how about Jesse Kornbluth, who actually did ask Michelle Pfeiffer how much she weighed when shooting Scarface? Indiewire reached out for comment. And the one he gave them is a special brand of not fucking getting it.
It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question. It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in Raging Bull but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in Scarface.
See, the real problem is not that Kornbluth reduced the only woman onstage down to her waistline. It’s we’re all too damn sensitive. Political correctness now means a man can’t just ask a lady about her weight without people pointing out that’s not his job because he wasn’t working at a Weight Watchers, he was moderating a Q&A on a revered film in which she played a major and iconic role. Just what kind of world are we even living in?