The ST Article

I know you have already read this. Or have you? A RL friend of mine just sent me this image of the offensive ST article. Click to enlarge.

Sunday Times 20140706

Crikey. I think the last sentence exposes the article for what it is. My only message to the journalist: Silence is Golden!

Advertisements

91 thoughts on “The ST Article

  1. As I wrote on tumblr, I call this a piece of bad journalism. Just to be polite. Thanks for the scan, Guylty and welcome back :-*

    Like

    • I read Servetus’ piece before I got hold of the article, so I may have been influenced (haha) before I read it. Some of it I found not as bad as I had imagined it to be. Until I came to the last paragraph. Two very nice sentences. And then a last one that was dripping so much of sarcasm that I felt like calling for a bucket. I really don’t think he deserves that. And I also think that that particular conclusion is where the writer shoots herself in the foot.

      Like

  2. I wondered, when I went to bed, if I’d overreacted, but I don’t think I did. Rereading it today I can see things I didn’t even mention that are ridiculously off the mark.

    Like

    • I don’t think you have, especially as you were familiar with the journalist’s previous work and knew her to be a good, witty writer. I grant that we are biased. What I am most annoyed with was the condescension the article is characterised by. Towards Armitage as well as his fans. That always gets my back up. “Don’t underestimate me because I have the ability to express my enthusiasm for someone! It can easily turn into an expression of dismay…”

      Like

  3. You are absolutely right. The article is a sad display of bitterness and prejudice, and the fact RA’s message still got through speaks volumes. Good to see you back!

    Like

  4. why do critics feel like they have to appear unaffected and mean to get their point across? readers will respect you more and what you say will have a better chance of resonating with someone if it’s done with class. as if this reporter needed to set herself apart from RA fans, it wasn’t necessary, none of us would act that way. so I say to her, thank you for so clearly illustrating the difference 😉

    Like

    • I am beginning to get very wary of fan-bashing. Not because I am a fan myself, but because it is simply an unfair way of getting at the actor in question. Most of the time the writers know nothing of the particular fandom, anyway, and regurgitate prejudices such as “fans are fat, sad, lonely girls who want nothing more than a piece of paper that their admired star has touched with his pen”. Well, maybe my expectations are too high – this article was not a review. It is an entertainment portrait of a popular actor, so it’s light in tone and meant to be entertaining. No doubt fans, and even Armitage to some point, are collaterals in the battle for impact…

      Like

  5. I am happy not to be someone who knows nothing about Mr R. Armitage because if I was I don’t know what I could think about him after having reading this ??? A poor man in his dressing room sitting on a too small chair – poor baby (may be an actor a good one who knows ?) who answers to strange questions unable to speak seriously about his past characters, having done movies only for people eating pop corns like stupid animals or signing autographs for naive fans all around the world ! Woah. May be it would be very interesting for her before to write this to read what Mr Peter Jackson and Mrs Fran Walsh are saying about this wonderful actor and human being. Hopefully there will be more intelligent articles about him. Thanks God !

    Like

    • You have no idea how right you are, Katia. I actually had the same thought, but the other way ’round: A RL friend of mine who knows that I am into Armitage, sent me the picture via smartphone, much to my delight. Once I had read the article I did not feel quite so delighted anymore – with its references to silly autograph-hunting, “innocent” fans, Armitage roles as “totty”, hinting at dreamboat qualities of the man because of a role in which he was cast as the love interest of an overweight woman, I felt quite embarrassed. Assuming that my friend read the article, she could easily draw the wrong conclusion and identify me with the writer’s scathing (and wrong) characterisation of Armitage’s fans – fat, unloved, lonely, out of touch with reality. And not to mention the way Armitage comes across… I would hope that people understand the sarcasm and pick out the truth underneath.

      Like

  6. Oh… uhm… ehhh… interesting… “reading”?
    Oh, I see. Pay attention to the part “and he looked at me, very directly”. I dare any one of you to write something sensible after that 😉

    Like

  7. Ah another thing… It seems that being 42 and not having any (known) relationship is a crime against humanity 😦 (I’m realising that the writer has succeeded in gathering in a single article the common places I hate the most)

    Like

    • Do I detect a continuation of the sarcasm that dripped from the article? *ggg* And yes, of course it is. I mean, to marry and to procreate is the meaning of life. Anything else is a waste of genetic material. Ugh.

      Like

  8. I read this article twice and I couldn’t help myself but scratching my head. My fangirling experience has significantly changed during the last half year. Not that it had worn off completely but it is very different to how it started in the beginning of last year. I see things clearly very different today as I did in the early days of Armitagemania. Still I spend (far too much) time on catching up the latest news – but they do not affect me as much as they used to do. It rarely comes to the point that I see new pics or articles and they smack the air out of me. Last year around this time I would have been offended to the bone by this article.
    The venom of this article is clearly seeping through – whatever the reasons for the conclusions of this journalist might be. But some of the remarks I tend to agree on today. The Vicar always stroke me as weird. Never liked it, not my kind of humour, probably too English to be understood by me Middle-European. I kind of liked Cold Feet – but Mr. A.s part was exactly what he mentioned. Being a random dancer in musicals would have always been a waste of his enormous talent. Good for him he changed into acting. Probably he now has arrived at a point in his career (and deservedly so!!) where he is more confident to offer an opinion that is not as diplomatic as we are used to. It is clear he took up some of the roles during his career to make ends meet – and not because of the artistic challenge. And now he dares to speak his mind – no matter the consequences. I kind of like the idea that he shifts from people pleaser to being an artist who offers a strict point of view. I don’t think that my high opinion on him as an artist and as a very nice human being would wane.
    But still this is print media – very manipulative. How can I take it for face value? I have not attended the interview. And maybe the journalist just misinterpreted his statements? But I do think he is entitled to express his opinion – no matter if I like it or not.
    And btw – I think Barry Manilow made some very good music. I do not find it intimidating to be thrown in the same pot as his fans. 🙂

    Like

    • Fangirling changes over time, and I certainly fangirl differently nowadays than I did two years ago. And in many ways I feel the same as you – I am slightly less affected by what I read than I used to be. However, in this case, it was not anything that Armitage said that really annoyed me. He came across the same way he always does – thoughtful, serious, self-critical, analytical, well-measured. I didn’t actually find him overstating his opinion at all – or being more opinionated than before. If anything I find him slightly too tame with his opinion. I take issue with the condescension that this article was written with. The writer is extremely patronising – towards fans in general (comparison with Barry Manilow), Armitage’s fans particularly (“innocent”, most important topic is how to get an autograph), Armitage himself (reference to his early career, particularly the very last paragraph). But well, as I said above in a comment – “That’s entertainment” (cue The Jam)…

      Like

  9. This article gets worse with multiple readings. Is there a follow up question to “I know what I’m selling?” Is it popcorn, sex, schlock, used cars, what? To be fair, she probably had no part of choosing the headline, but the whole article set a new level in snarky condescension. And his fans – innocent (read stupid and delusional), fat – WTF? By putting down his fans, she is devaluing his stature as an artist. His fans don’t know anything, they are less than discriminating.I feel we (who want him to succeed) are somehow being used against him. That is what bothers me the most. I am getting over this by having multiple pina coladas in the Copacabana with Barry.

    Like

    • Just read it again and have to agree with you – the article hurts more the second time ’round. For me it is still the very last sentence that I see as a stab into the heart. The things before that – ok, some witty writing with some snarky sarcasm. That’s fine. But the two compliments (serious, sensitive) are taken back by the last sentence. The more I think about the more I do not understand what the writer really wanted to express with her article? I think I’ll join you on a sunlounger at the Copa with a pina colada. I might also bring a portable DVD player and we can watch his turn as Lee in Cold Feet – just out of spite and speedo-love.

      Like

      • After feeling touchy on behalf of myself, fans and Richard himself, I was a little more forgiving of her with her “serious, sensitive” compliment – yes, I was thinking, she’s got that right. The Cats reference didn’t sink in at first, but upon reading a second time, I don’t know how I missed her condescension in that final sentence, especially when the rest of the article was full of it.
        He has never given me the impression he is embarrassed about anything he has done in the past.

        PS Welcome back, you’ve been missed! *hugs*

        Like

        • Spot on, Mezz – RA has never expressed any embarrassment about his roles. Sure, there is self-criticism (the “early student film”), but that is perfectly alright. I really do not understand why people’s past is always held against them. Surely if we have committed mistakes in the past, we have had opportunity to learn. Armitage’s career trajectory certainly proves that he did something *right*, not wrong.
          And thanks for the welcome back 🙂

          Like

  10. Glad, you´re back, Guylty 🙂
    After reading Servetus´ post first, I was a bit puzzled, but this “article” made it all clear… As I commented there I`ll stick to my own wilful ignorance and naivity as a “Fan” of Mr. A.
    “The Vicar of Dibley”, interesting that Miss Gold mentions it, is there some kind of projection in it? Linda60 draw my attention on her and I had a good laugh looking at her pic, “wer im Glashaus sitzt, soll nicht mit Steinen werfen”.
    Poor piece of journalism, I would have expected it in the Daily Mail or the German “Bild”-Zeitung, but not in the Sunday Times.
    Though I´ve to admit, it was a very entertaining lazy Sunday reading all these ambitious posts and comments and discussing the article on the phone…
    BTW, I don´t worry for Mr. A “being f****** angry at people for disturbing him when doing his work” 🙂

    Like

    • I thought that quote from him was interesting too, given the whole tone of this article…. I think he could sense she wouldn’t be giving him much of a chance, so he didn’t give her much of one.

      Like

  11. I feel sorry for all the people who are not fans that just got a awful look at this great actor and now have the wrong picture.

    Like

  12. Anyway, we have to focus in what really matters: let’s make a foundraising for a comfortable and big chair. Are there Ikeas in London, aren’t they? Oh, but then he would have to nail the Ashfargaard piece of wood with the Ingulstrum bolt…. 😀

    Like

    • Great idea. Remember – he is a DIY enthusiast. He’d love the challenge 😀 – and it would help him fight his inherent laziness.
      Aw, with fans like us, the man is fortified against all evil 🙂

      Like

  13. LOL!

    Re VOD and Harry, she doesn’t seem to have realised that it was light comedy with one of the best loved comedians in the UK. I seem to remember reading that RA loved doing it and said they never stopped laughing while making it. To suggest that he was in agonies trying to make the character deeper is just ludicrous.

    I think she rubbed him up the wrong way from the start (especially if he was in Proctor mode) and never really recovered the situation. I actually feel I know less about him from this interview, not more. She failed.

    Like

    • I didn’t really have the impression that he was irritated by her. Well, or if he was then she certainly did not let on to that in her write-up of the interview. I found him frank and funny – it’s her interpretation of his past roles that result in offensive judgments and run danger of leaving a skewed impression. Well, that is IMHO.
      As for VOD – not my favourite role, favourite show, favourite chaRActer, but certainly a feel-good story that could not have been as convincingly acted if RA had had to overcome some physical repulsion or embarrassment. This is probably far too personal to say, but I suspect the writer was projecting some of her own body issues on the storyline. I sympathise with her, because I can totally see her criticism re. “if the Vicar gets a Harry, so can we” – but then I remember: Isn’t that the point of *all* romantic drama? The fact that we identify with a character and take courage from their story against all odds??? I think she is drawing the wrong conclusion re. Armitage being embarrassed. You are right, he’s always said he really enjoyed the shoot. There is no reason to believe that *any* professional actor is embarrassed by the actions of a *character* he/she is playing! To mix up the two is actually a rookie mistake that a seasoned journalist should be way above!

      Like

  14. I agree with all of the above. What an entertaining read, haha. I couldn’t get myself to read this article more than once, but I keep seeing this photo on the web. Am I the only one who doesn’t like the photo? The expression on his face and the crossing of his arms make me wonder if that was his mood during the interview with the journalist, haha. (Perhaps he was just in Proctor-mode and/or he was asked to pose that way.) I mean RA is gorgeous as usual, but the background….i just can’t get over it! Will you be doing an analysis of this photo? 😀

    Like

  15. Did anyone else think it was odd that she quoted him as saying f*** and later f******? Remember the interview about the cumberb****** and he whispered the word b******? Does that seem like the type of guy who would swear in an interview?

    Like

    • Only if he was in a pretty bad mood – right??
      (Which might have been, since this article also put ME in a bit of a bad mood 🙂

      Like

    • I have to say that that didn’t really stand out to me at all, probably because European English speakers tend to be quite liberal with the F-word (particularly the Irish, so I am almost immune to the word at this stage). But I suppose you are right; in previous interviews the F-word hardly ever pops up. However, we don’t necessarily know whether that is because the writer censored or because RA actually didn’t swear. Maybe he is also more confident these days, and doesn’t self-censor his language? Or it is part of the Proctor-mode, a fiercer, stronger emphasis?

      Like

      • He has been quoted as swearing before in print interviews. My take would be that he is very conscious, when doing Hobbit press, of two things: 1.) being recorded on film, as himself, saying the words that come out of his mouth and those videos then being accessible forever all over the internet, and how that is a different thing from having his words relayed secondhand in print, and 2.) that The Hobbit is ostensibly a children’s story and the movies have a PG-13 rating, and therefore younger viewers are likely to be watching these interviews.

        Now bearing in mind that it was during Hobbit press that the “Cumberbitches” moment occurred, I believe he was in this self-censoring mode, but also that he might have wanted to make certain he was hearing correctly before repeating something potentially racy in connection with a fellow actor. These are obviously just my impressions and completely unverifiable, but I never for once believed that (rather adorable) moment came about because he is somehow too precious for the swears.

        Like

        • Both those ideas make sense to me. I know I’ve seen him swear and/or say “naughty” things in some videos from the Hobbit set.

          Like

        • I think you make excellent points and I’m sure he was very conscious of The Hobbit attracting younger viewers. The “Cumberbitches” moment was adorable, who could forget it? I feel like he said something about swearing in an interview but I can’t remember enough to find it. Something to the effect of he does swear but he tries to be mindful and not overdo it.

          The other reason it stood out for me is that this was an interview/spread in the Sunday Times which I feel is a big deal. Does anyone know if he has had anything like this done before? Am I correct that an article like this is a big deal?

          Like

            • Yup, I concur with Alyssa. I think he’s well able to swear – and occasionally enjoying it. Some of the Hobbit BTS was delightfully cheeky (more Mr A, more! I’d rather not think you are demi-God with pure thoughts 24/7 ;-))

              Like

              • I don’t think of him as a demi-God. Maybe this is more of a cultural thing. I think you said Guylty that “European English speakers tend to be quite liberal with the F-word.” I don’t think it is as common here especially in a well respected magazine. And for the record I can swear with the best of them.

                Like

                • Oh Tree, I did not mean to sound dismissive of your initial comment – or to insinuate that you believe him to be a “pure-tongued” demi-God. I would agree that the whole attitude towards swearing is very much a cultural thing. (And secretly I suspect that RA’s profanity threshold has been worn down by being in the company of Martin Freeman for two and a half years… ;-))

                  Like

                  • Not just cultural, but highly regional. There may be parts of the US (like where you are, richardtreehouse) where f-bombs are rarely used, but I can also report that there are places where they are considered the basic glue of normal conversation. I confess I personally struggle to get through a single sentence f-bomb-free when I’m speaking aloud. It’s just the way people communicate around here. (And I suspect may be a deliberate social marker indicating dissociation from the particular prominent conservative religious communities of the region.)

                    Certain communities are notoriously salty as well, actors being among them. Martin Freeman may swear more in public than other actors, but they all swear like sailors when they’re with each other. It’s the grand theatre tradition. 😉

                    Like

                    • Lol, grand tradition!
                      Even though I am surrounded by “prolific profanity practitioners” in Ireland, I am quite tame with swear words. It’s probably also a non-native speaker thing. Having said that, I usually interpret an f-bomb only as a rhetorical figure of emphasis. RA to me seems like someone who uses the f-word with measurement.

                      Like

              • Chuckling a little thinking about a “measured f-bomb”, but somehow it does make sense, and I also think you’re right about that, G.

                Like

  16. Ich finde es immer besser, Interviews auch als solche zu lesen. Das erspart eine Menge Aufregung. Aber auch Spaß, denn bei allem Wirbel um den nicht gerade preisverdächtigenText: haben wir uns nicht großartig dabei unterhalten? Und btw : “Was kratzt es eine deutsche Eiche, wenn eine Wildsau sich an ihr reibt?” 😀 Das wird beileibe nicht der letzte Artikel dieser Art sein. Und wenn er sich keinen Buckel zulegt, wird es immer leicht sein, das Äußerliche in den Vordergrund zu stellen. Totschlagargument halt. Es bleibt also weiter spannend an der Front 🙂

    Like

    • LOL – du hast natürlich voll und ganz Recht – eigentlich kann einem das alles egal sein, denn *wir* sind ja schließlich im Vollbesitz der erleuchteten Wahrheit :-D. Und ja, das wird von jetzt an mehr werden… Packen wirs an, nech?

      Like

      • Naja, vollerleuchtet *grins*
        Eher alt genug (und das ist an der Stelle mal ganz vorteilhaft), um entspannt zu unseren Vorlieben und Macken zu stehen und uns eigene Meinungen zu bilden. Wir müssen glücklicherweise keinem mehr was beweisen, oder? Eigentlich 🙂
        Und überhaupt : Trikot schon an?

        Like

  17. Pingback: Colliding Identities | RAFrenzy

  18. Don’t you think that the photo is ridiculous as well as the header…it seems to me that not only Mr.Armitage’s fans was ridiculed…( and I’m not talking about the critic here) Ufff..thank the Lord that he is now serious actor and yet still he must take off his shirt 😉

    Like

    • I think it is the combination of photo and headline, plus tone and implied message of the article that makes the photo look ridiculous. (Really must pull myself together and write an *ooof* :-D)

      Like

  19. Full disclosure — sleep deprived, probably a bit loopy. I forced my hubs to the doctor Tuesday morning because he cut his thumb and it was not healing. On my way back to work, he asked if we could stop for lunch. I brought up this article to him and we discussed. He is a tiny bit put off by my RA interest, but he still kind when we talk about RA related stuff. Like this article. (I should mention, my hubs is 6’3″ and 48″ chest, meaning really wide shoulders, he makes any chair he sits in look too small for him.) Hubs agreed with some of my opinions, however, pointed out that my being offended at some of the things said by the writer were not that big a deal in big picture because Hollywood, is shallow and fleeting. I didn’t like it thought. He then said, the only people that will remember the good and bad of the article are us. RA enthusiasts, not my hubs. heh And that more than likely, RA wouldn’t be offended, maybe not even read the article because he probably does so many interviews he doesn’t have time/interest? Guys generally don’t feel the same about stuff that we (women) do. So I should not let it bother me for RA either. One man’s opinion, but it made me a little (very little) less put off by it all after talking about it with him.

    Also, I love Dawn French in everything I’ve ever seen her do. It wasn’t until I saw Handsome Stranger that I knew I was in trouble over RA. Her weight has never been a ‘thing’ for me as her talent is always what I see. I had really come to like RA as Guy, and of course Thronton in N&S, but it wasn’t until VOD that I realised…well we’ve all had our eureka moment with this man, have we not? Is it weird to be talking about RA with my husband? I don’t talk about everything though. He would not appreciate the notice I take of things that I will not go into here either. I don’t know if it is odd to share RA interest with hubs, but there it is, we do. I thought his viewpoint on this particular article might be of interest to others, particularly since my hubs doesn’t see anything sexy or handsome about RA. In fact, he tells me he must be the ugliest man on the planet because my taste in men is shit. Clint Eastwood, Clive Owen, RA? They are all ugly men in his opinion. Sacrilege, I know.

    He knows I want to go to the UK to see The Crucible, but I cannot leave him to run off with RA. Wow, what a silly man I married.

    Like

    • I really enjoyed reading this, Mimi! Your husband’s opinion was interesting, and he sounds pretty patient 🙂 My DH works opposite shift, and the weekends are precious to discuss things more pressing for his attention! So have not made a thing of it with him….. But I’ve brought up Hugh Jackman with him re: “we are watching the Tony Awards program because we like Hugh Jackman.” (Seriously, I pulled out the “royal we” 🙂 He stood for it, and also took me to the X-Men movie. So I’ve prepped him to hear “we like Richard Armitage” when ITS comes out.

      But your husband IS wrong about your taste in men- Clint and Clive are great too! He’s not as good a judge of that as we are…. and maybe just kidding you a little about your taste, since also includes himself 🙂

      Like

    • It was really interesting reading your hubs’s perspective on this. And I suspect he is completely right. We, as fans, are just oversensitive to *anything* critical that is being said about him. Because we take any criticism of him as an affront to ourselves :-D. Your hubs could also be right about RA not reading any of the stuff that is written about him – at least I wish him that kind of insight. Not good to get all the crap and snark…
      As for discussing your “boyfriend” with your husband… *tuttuttut*… Haha, no, I am just joking :-D. I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with that. I increasingly talk with my own other half about RA, too – at least I have this infatuation out in the open, and I get a different perspective on things, too.

      Like

  20. Pingback: Emergency *ooof*: Full Frontal Arsitage | GUYLTY PLEASURE

  21. Pingback: Diary of an RA Fan — Part 808 The Wayward Lover | RAFrenzy

Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s