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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



I have long been a fan of Katherine Heigl for, honestly, superficial reasons. I see no reason for that not to continue. I liked her in Roswell, however, as an astute observer may notice from its absence of mention on this website, I'm not a fan of Grey's Anatomy, despite several attempts to watch it. I just don't like it.

I do like Allan Heinberg though. He of Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Young Avengers and Wonder Woman. It was a few weeks back at the Breaking Into The Box event at the Writer's Guild Foundation that he spoke candidly about some of the behind-the scenes actor/writer struggles on the show. He mentioned, for instance, how ridiculously close Meredith was to actually dying in that episode where she should have died. There was another Grey on hand at the time, so the title would still be fine.

He also expressed frustration with Patrick Dempsey's recent expression of frustration with the writers. I, in my uncalled-for opinion, find that such actorial whinging is unprofessional, especially when you're on a top rated series that has served as a springboard to relaunch your previously unremarkable film career.

Thus, I find Heigl's recent statement to be -- I don't even know what.

"I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination, and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention."
Is there anyone she didn't insult in making this statement. Obviously, it's meant as a swipe at the writers, though I think that releasing the statement was just form. I think it would have been classier and the same message would have gotten out just by not putting forth her name. It would have been noticed and questioned and speculated about in the entertainment press and on the blogs and you know damn well that the same reasoning would have had out.

However, in her statement, she also, intentionally or unintentionally, slammed the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This bothers me less. In suggesting that she has to "maintain the integrity" of the Academy by withdrawing from contention, she's basically saying that there is a real danger that she could win, despite the lackluster material she'd be FYC'ing. She's essentially saying that the award she already won once is worthless because it's a popularity contest and has nothing to do with talent.

That as may be. I'm happy when someone I like wins something, but for the most part I see the whole process as broken on the conceptual level. It basically asks everyone to compare apples and firetrucks and assumes that they have the knowledge to do so.

Not so much. And for this reason, these are the members of the Academy, people who are ostensibly involved in the making of TV shows and, as Joss Whedon once said to me* "you can either watch TV or you can make TV." Really, do these people have the time to be aware and have watched everything worth watching?

Also, she didn't withdraw anything. You have to put your name into contention. So...there's that.

So, given that the writers have diminished her part in the last season and she's got a good movie career underway (no small thanks to the show she just dissed), I wouldn't think the writer's would have any problem continuing to not give her good material until her contract runs out or she quits. Additionally, even if she reversed herself and put something forward and had no competition to speak of (which she does), she's ensured she won't win anyway (because she's right, it is a political thing).

So what has she achieved, other than insulting a bunch of people for no good reason?

*No, he really did . I love a good name-drop.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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