Aaron Sorkin, the Hollywood screenwriter and producer, is being hammered by a variety of people for alleged misogyny, with a particular reference to a seeming obsession he has with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Sorkin is best known for the TV show he created, “The West Wing,” which depicted the triumphs and travails of a fictional, liberal presidency starring Martin Sheen. Sorkin has also written the screenplays for such movies as “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “The Social Network,” the latter for which he had been nominated for an Academy Award.
It is the depiction of women in “The Social Network” that troubles Sarah Lacy, herself a computer business entrepreneur who knew the subject of the movie, Mark Zuckerberg.
“When called out for not being an accurate representation of the facts, it’s all ‘Oh this is Hollywood! What did you expect?’ But when people raise objections about the portrayal of women in the film? Suddenly, you’re just the messenger, faithfully documenting a world where women routinely take their tops off for men, leave the room when men want to talk about business and a new modern super-nerd hates the women who spurned him, using his power to tear them down.
“Let me spoil the ending for you, Sorkin: You don’t know a damn thing about either the men or women who build tech companies. The inherent exaggerations and misguided depictions in the movie have already been written about to death, so let’s assume we all agree on that one. No one who has met Mark Zuckerberg would recognize the fast-talking, thin-skinned depiction of him in your film- even with the flipflops.”
Andrea Tantaros, a Fox News contributor and a syndicated columnist, takes aim at what she sees as a Sarah Palin obsession on the part of Aaron Sorkin.
“One obscenity laden column he penned for The Huffington Post in December called her a ‘phony’, ‘Cruella’ and a ‘witless bully.’ He also dubbed anyone who followers her as part of her ‘Army of Arrogant ***holes.’ (Mind you in that same piece, Sorkin used the word ‘visceral’ and snidely ordered that readers ‘look it up.’)
“Sorkin has also lashed out at Palin over Twitter. A post on October 4th reads: ‘Sarah Palin’s an idiot. This is a remarkably, stunningly, jawdroppingly incompetent and mean woman.'”
“For a man who has been lauded for his ‘rapid fire’ dialogue on paper, these words against Palin is not his best work.
“Sorkin couldn’t even get through a recent interview about his latest film without taking a shot at her: He told CBS: ‘I think that we have big problems right now, and Sarah Palin? She needs a therapist, okay? We need the smartest guys, the best Ph.D.s around to be solving these problems. I don’t have any patience for the glamorization of dumbness.'”
In the same Huffington Post article, Sorkin compared Palin’s shooting of a moose to Michael Vick’s torture of dogs, displaying an ignorance about what happens with animals when they are turned from living creatures into food.
Big Hollywood’s John Nolte, perhaps a little tongue in cheek, put up an Internet poll asking his readers what the root of Sorkin’s obsession is. The first two questions are “He loves her and wants to marry her” and “He hates her and wants to marry her.” Marry. As Charles Laughton said in the film “Spartacus, “-to put it delicately.”
The strange thing is that Sorkin’s Palin Derangement Syndrome will likely enhance and not detract from his chances of taking away an Oscar for “The Social Network.” The one danger he has is if Sarah Lacey’s theory that Aaron Sorkin hates all women takes hold. There are certain things that tend to go beyond the pale, even in Tinseltown.
Sources: Memo to Aaron Sorkin: You Invented this Angry Nerd Misogyny Too, Sarah Lacey, Tech Crunch, October 11th, 2010
Tantaros: Sorkin Should Seek Treatment for ‘Palin Derangement Syndrome’, Andrea Tantaros, Fox Nation, February 9th, 2011
Sarah Palin Gets More Snark from Maureen Dowd, Aaron Sorkin on the Hunting Trip, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, December 8th, 2010
Reader Poll: Why is Aaron Sorkin Obsessed With Hating Sarah Palin?, John Nolte, Big Hollywood, February 8th, 2011