CATEGORIES Celebrities and Controversy, 20th Century Fox, Newsstand, Columns, Movie News, Columns, CinematicalJust when we thought we had seen the last of gossip columnist and part-time movie pirate Roger Friedman, it looks like the guy has found a new home at The Hollywood Reporter. The trade paper announced that they've hired the infamous writer to head up their new celebrity news feature. According to THR editor Elizabeth Guider, Friedman was joining the team because, "For some time, THR has wanted to beef up its coverage of the celebrity world and how it intersects with and influences the business of show business. Bringing Roger on board gives us a great leg up in that effort and will help extend our audience reach."
In case the name isn't ringing any bells, Friedman infamously covered the OJ Simpson trial back in 1995, and was also considered one of the 'leading authorities' on Michael Jackson after covering the pop star's 2005 child-molestation trial. Friedman always had a taste for the tawdry, and over the years, broke some equally seedy stories about Anna Nicole Smith and the collapse of Rudolph Giuliani's marriage. But after Friedman published a review of Wolverine using an unfinished print that had surfaced online, he was quickly (and publicly) fired. Granted, it didn't come as a big shock, but you almost felt sorry for the guy ... almost. Even if you didn't want to argue about the morality of Friedman's actions, you have to wonder: just what did he think was going to happen when he admitted to downloading an illegal copy of one of the summer's big releases?
Friedman already has a reputation for fighting dirty, but as periodicals jostle for position among a growing pool of online competition, I guess even THR isn't above playing fast and loose for a scoop -- and it looks like nobody is willing to bend the rules like Friedman.