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Satirical Article on Sharon Stone as Cannes Heist Robber is Taken Seriously

Photo of Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood June 3, 2013 at 4:18AM

Earlier this weekend, Yahoo's front-page for their entertainment section featured the headline: "Sharon Stone Named Suspected in Cannes Jewel Heist." Below the headline, the credit goes to Variety. As an insanely juicy twist on the Cannes jewels heist, the news item was understandably given high billing in Yahoo's newsfeed scroll.
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Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone

Earlier this weekend, Yahoo's front-page for their entertainment section featured the headline: "Sharon Stone Named Suspected in Cannes Jewel Heist." Below the headline, the credit goes to Variety. As an insanely juicy twist on the Cannes jewels heist, the news item was understandably given high billing in Yahoo's newsfeed scroll. 

While Yahoo gave serious treatment to the story, the article is actually from the satirical Hollywood-based Onion-type site Hollywood & Swine. Variety picked up the article with the tag: "Humor." While Yahoo should have verified the source, it is out of character for Variety to republish this sort of news-item satire.

The Variety version of the story included this sentence: "Satire: This content was not produced by Variety, but we find it very funny." Its humor source is clearer on the back page of the weekly print edition than it is online, especially on Twitter, when a headline is easy to take at face value. (The story is now clearly marked with the words Humor and Satire.)

While Yahoo's news-scanning skills are clearly faulty, Variety's should have foreseen these issues. The venerable 100-year-old trade usually originates stories via its own reporting. This humorless piece seems out of character and it's not surprising that people got confused. The article isn't particularly amusing or smart. It digs on Stone for not starring in movies for the past decade and uses evidence that she "steals scenes" to corroborate the robbery.

Besides highlighting something marked by facile, rude, and dated jokes, the failure to properly and initially note that the story was satire could be considered slanderous. Corrections have been made by Yahoo, which includes the tag "Humor" before the headline.

The full text of the Hollywood & Swine article is below.

This article is related to: Variety , Yahoo!


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.