Full-time film critic jobs are hard to come by under optimal circumstances -- and the state of print media these days makes these significantly less than optimal circumstances. So it's always sort of surprising to hear when a working film critic resigns. When a film critic leaves a job it's almost never their choice; it's typically a layoff or a buyout or a forced retirement. You get one of these positions, you hold on to it for dear life. Or maybe even harder than that.
But last week not one but two film critics for the Associated Press, David Germain and Christy Lemire, both resigned their jobs within days of one another. Both had been with the organization for well over a decade. Deadline has the story, and the reasons for the very unusual turn of events:
"A former colleague says Germain just had enough. He took a 5-week vacation after the Oscars and started thinking how he wasn’t enjoying his job anymore. Managers had taken away things he really enjoyed doing, like his summer movie preview. He resigned on Monday. After that, the managers starting putting pressure on Lemire to take over more of Germain’s responsibilities, including weekend junkets and Sunday box office, and she didn’t want to do it."
I worked with Lemire on two different versions of "At the Movies." We both participated in the "Critics Roundup" on the syndicated version with Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz, and then I became a contributor to PBS' "Ebert Presents at the Movies," which she co-hosted with Ignatiy Vishnevetsky. Throughout, she remained one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure to meet in the film world -- not to mention a great writer and critic. If she'd been given the boot, I'd be pretty upset for her, but by all account (including her Twitter feed) this was her decision and she's happy about it. She notes you'll still be able to watch her reviewing films on the YouTube movie review series What the Flick?!
The AP tells Deadline they're planning to fill both Germain and Lemire's positions. Prepare to assume holding-on-for-dear-life positions.
Read more of "Reason For 2 AP Film Critics' Resignations."