I love "Uncle Harlan" both as a writer and as a person filled with commentary and insight. He's the drunk, asshole relative that you're scared of as a kid but you grow up to idolize and understand when you're in your 20s.
Despite the fact he's one of the best writers in the world, he often does or says things I disagree with. Groping Connie Willis on stage, in public is very far removed from anything close to acceptable and that act alone really put me off from him for a year or two. Ditto some of his "bridge burning antics" with other writers; I got an earful this year from an old colleague of his about Harlan's ego - and he was right that the man has a Napoleon complex when it comes to his writing boosting his ego.
That doesn't mean the man is wrong here, though.
Harlan is a lot like George Carlin, in that he sees truths and states them to make them real. And where Carlin was afflicted with drug problems, Harlan is simply affected with Harlan. It would be most unwise to ignore him outright, in any case.
Well, he may have found a new target, but this is basically just the same old rant on how the writer's work should be sacred but she/he always gets screwed over by directors, producers, etc. Apparently after all these years good old Harlan still hasn't realized that film and television are collaborative media and the author is just one of many contributors to the creative process that produces a finished product. I'm sure Travers hated the Disney version of her beloved characters and Ellison is still probably grumbling about the film made from his story A Boy and His Dog, but I doubt very much if either of them felt the need to uphold their convictions strongly enough to refuse that nice chunk of change they got for selling their work to the movies (a spoonful of cash really does help the bad medicine go down). They probably were cursing all the way to the Banks.
@ Doc Loch- Very true. I hear the Tolkien estate HATES the Jackson's films. But it sure made them a sh@t full of money didn't it? If you believe your work is too sacred for the cinema, then don't accept the big fat pay checks.
We were once at a CBS gala function when He-Known-as-Archie-Bunker engaged in the same offensive behavior you cite, Le, towards a well-endowed actress on another night-tyme CBS show (whilst those who saw it impolitely pretended they didn't). Such disrespectful antics only accentuate one's Gifts aren't always honorably aligned with one's actions.
There's nothing new re Mr. Ellison being exactly what he is (and, after all these decades, we truly wonder if the collaborative aspect of mo'om pitchers still sticks in his craw as if he was a neophyte with no idea of what the bizness demands, does and will continue to do to EVERYONE, not just wordsmiths) ...
Lets face it _ HE can not stand the fact that Philip Dick, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury continue to have their work adapted for Hollywood and television. No one is banging down Harlan's door with offers. It MUST really stick in Harlan's craw/claw that PKD (or his estate) has reaped millions of dollars from sales of his stories. Even Richard Matherson - RIP - sold a decades old story that was turned into "Real Steel"
Harlan can be fun and Harlan can be tiresome and Harlan can certainly be self-serving, which he is in this tired video rant.
Richard Sherman loves the film, and he knows precisely why they did what they did in the sections where things were manipulated. And he agrees with what they did because he knows that to have stuck strictly to the actual happenings and how Mrs. Travers actually was would have resulted in a one-note, strident movie that no one on the planet would ever want to see.