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GQ: Sorry About That Whole 'Olivia Wilde's Ass' Thing

Photo of Sam Adams By Sam Adams | Criticwire June 26, 2014 at 10:06AM

The men's magazine apologies for a review of Paul Haggis' "Third Person" which implied that women can't be both beautiful and smart.
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Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in "Third Person"
Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in "Third Person"

GQ's Tom Carson is a great movie critic who won two National Magazine Awards during his tenure at Esquire, but even he might admit that his review of Paul Haggis' "Third Person" was not his finest hour. As Jezebel pointed out in a blistering post called "Olivia Wilde's Ass Is Too Nice for Her to Play a Writer," he used Wilde's movie-star physique to attack the sex-romp clichés of writer-director Paul Haggis' movie, in the process implying that women can't, or at least needn't, be both beautiful and smart.

She's supposed to be a writer too, but your belief in that won't outlast Wilde scampering naked through hotel corridors once Neeson playfully locks her out of his room. With that tush, who'd need to be literate? Who'd want to?


As Jezebel's Kara Brown puts it:

Not to be picky here, but even a woman as beautiful as Olivia Wilde with a bottom-half worthy of Tom Carson's amusement might still want to be literate for reasons that include being a confident, active member of society. I'm sure she would enjoy literacy if for no other reason than to understand her butt modeling contracts and the stipulations in her yoga pants endorsements.

Also, if Tom Carson, a person who writes, is saying that writers can't have nice asses, then I say: "SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, DUDE."


Carson evidently agrees, as he retweed GQ's apology this morning:

Morning

If you read the offending passage in context, it plays a little bit better, since it follows a paragraph where he calls Liam Neeson's "virile, cosmopolitan literary man... a crock—a conception of The Novelist that's been obsolete even to adolescents for half a century or more." But he manages to do it without bringing Liam Neeson's posterior, which is probably pretty nice for a 62-year-old's, into the discussion, and should have shown Wilde the same courtesy. (While we're at it, posting the review under the headline "The Redeeming Part of Paul Haggis' 'Third Person': Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde's Sex Scene" doesn't do anyone any favors.) Movie stars, as a class, tend to be more attractive, and better-assed, than normal people, but attacking that fundamental unreality by singling out a part of a woman's body is not the best way to make the argument, especially when it puts you on Olivia Wilde's shit list.


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