Signs of the (pop-cultural) apocalypse: Cosmopolitan edition
- December 16, 2008 12:49 PM |
- By Arts Online
Actor Scarlett Johansson has accused Cosmopolitan magazine's UK edition of publishing fabricated quotes in a feature interview. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Not that we've ever placed much stock in Cosmopolitan magazine as a particularly reliable source -- has any man ever really been driven wild by their much-touted Tips To Drive Him Wild? But their latest gaffe strikes a particular blow to any residual traces of journalistic integrity left in the Cosmo camp. The new UK issue of the ladies' mag features bombshell actress Scarlett Johansson on the cover, with teasers for the exclusive feature interview inside the book. So what's the problem?
Well, it turns out that a couple responses to some of the interview questions -- specifically, comments about her highly romantic relationship with new husband Ryan Reynolds -- weren't actually given by ScarJo. The actress and aspiring singer claims she never, ever said things like, "Ryan and I are in love and we're enjoying our relationship together," or "We're like any other couple – we feel so fortunate to be together," both lines that appear in print.
Johansson's camp is now threatening to sue Cosmo, and we can't really blame her: Even a reigning sex symbol can't feel great about seeing her face beaming from newsstands with the pathetic-sounding tagline "Scarlett: Why I had to get married." The starlet and her reps insist the magazine merely wanted to move more issues, and they're probably right. Considering the current shaky state of print publications, many glossies are resorting to desperate measures.
Massaging quotes is a regular occurrence in magazine journalism, particularly when it comes to the sort of squishy puff profiles one finds in fashion rags. But the really creepy part of this twisted tale is that according to a Cosmopolitan spokesperson, the quotes in question were "bought from Hot Features, an agency based in London whose clients include magazines and newspapers." So there's a clearinghouse for celebrity bons mots? Like, one can purchase tidbits of wit and wisdom from the mouths of the extremely famous from a third party?
Call me crazy, but this seems like an even bigger-picture issue of an intellectual property nature.
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