Those of you who were reading Cinematical over the weekend probably noticed that we tacked up an item originating from RushPR, declaring that Jessica Simpson had signed to star in a low-budget horror film called The Kentucky Fried Horror Show, from director C.L. Gregory. At first glance it seemed iffy, but once you read past the trumpeting headline, even they conceded that the singer-actress was only in talks, so it didn't seem terribly far-fetched, and we ran with it. We weren't the only ones to grab the story -- Bloody-disgusting.com also ran the piece, and because the whole thing seemed sketchy, we each threw in some kind of editorial hesitation. On our side, we added a "so and so says" tag onto the end of the headline. BD chose to simply leave things with a question mark. Well, Jessica Simpson's publicist just contacted me an hour ago to tell me that the whole story was complete hogwash, which makes me feel like kind of a douche for putting it up. After today's debacle with The Joker and the 'Grey Hulk' episode, that's three strikes for us, and I'm sure some other sites are also wondering how silly they look for publishing stuff that's made up out of thin air.

The problem is that, as I see it, there's very little room for improvement, because lots of sites are just fine with being lowest-common denominator sites and they are always going to pull us down to their level. Just today, I've seen several prominent movie sites linking to a website that claims to know for sure that Jessica Biel has signed to play Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk. I've never even heard of the site that is sourcing this story, and yet their stuff is getting picked up. Is it possible this story is legit and it will pop up in Variety in two days? Of course it's possible, but what are the odds, and why not ignore it in favor of stuff that is well-sourced so as not to take chances with our reputations? The answer, obviously, is that the online movie community has decided there's very little downside to publishing rumors these days. People are more than ready to eat up rumors and asks for thirds and if you're not on the rumor-publishing bandwagon, that's fine -- you can maintain the standards of Variety and have no traffic and no interest. And before you accuse me of getting on my high-horse, let me say again that this is something we are guilty of as well -- I'm ashamed to say we actually used The Star as a source for a story not too long ago, and so did lots of other sites.
categories Cinematical