Roger Ebert Retracts Defense of ‘Troll’ Armond White

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Photo: Nigel Barker

As of this morning, Spielberg-defending, Up-panning New York Press contrarian Armond White is one of only a handful of critics holding District 9 back from a perfect 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — a hilarious fact that has so far inspired 542 irate comments and a campaign to have White removed from RT's listings. So last night, on his excellent blog, Roger Ebert, who liked District 9, chimed in with a typically thoughtful defense of White:

Yes, White disagrees with most people most of the time, and some people all of the time. Why is this a fault? He's an intelligent critic and a passionate writer, and he knows a very great deal about movies, dance, and many other things. His opinion is often valuable because it is outside the mainstream. He works for the New York Press, an alternative paper, and why should such a paper offer a conventional critic?


Then, presumably, he saw White's thumbs-up review of G.I. Joe.

This morning, Ebert added this to the top of his post:

On Thursday night I posted in [sic] entry in defense of Armond White's review of District 9. Overnight I received reader comments causing me to rethink that entry, in particular this eye-popping link supplied by Wes Lawson. I realized I had to withdraw my overall defense of White. I was not familiar enough with his work. It is baffling to me that a critic could praise Transformers 2 but not Synecdoche, NY. Or Death Race but not There Will Be Blood. I am forced to conclude that White is, as charged, a troll. A smart and knowing one, but a troll. My defense of his specific review of District 9 still stands.


See, Armond? Anyone can change their mind! Maybe give Wall-E another shot on DVD?

Not in defense of Armond White [Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times]
Related: No Kiss Kiss, All Bang Bang [NYM]