At 52:53, a morally bankrupt SyFy Wire film critic named Dany Roth openly admits to playing “softball” over movie reviews.
On the podcast linked above, the three hosts (Dany Roth, Adam Swiderski and Karama Horne) admit to writing reviews about films and giving them inflated scores to ensure access to the next big tent pole film from companies they did not name.
I know this may seem like I am making a big deal over nothing. It has long been a theory among film fans that some critics and their positive reviews are bought by major studios trying to increase positive word of mouth for certain films that need to make a bunch of money. But when I heard this podcast yesterday, it honestly made me feel like I got punched in the stomach because all this does is devalue film criticism and movie reviews.
Think of it, what if you found out that a film critic, one that you thought was a professional, gave a positive review to a film he actually didn’t like? Would you ever be able to believe single word he typed about any film ever again? Wound you not wonder if a positive review from him was a way to ensure the next big exclusive from a major film studio? Can you trust any film critic now? How do you know who is legit or just looking for the next exclusive?
All this admission does is slap any film journalist with a shred of integrity in the face. All this does is throw any film criticism under the bus by allowing the slightest bit of doubt to enter the readers mind before they’ve been given the opportunity to see a film and judge for themselves. I’m not saying that you should listen to critics one hundred percent of the time, but you all have to realize that writing about film is a way of life and a way to make rent for many. And the hosts of the syfy wire podcast “Who Won the Week” just jeopardized the integrity of film analysis, criticism and cast a massive shadow of doubt between film critics and their audiences.
Their admission is not admirable, it is wrong and infuriating. Please readers, make your own decisions, but know that there are some writers that won’t cross that line and betray your trust.