The quiet censorship of PR firms managing interviews

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

I would have found this very frustrating:

I started to ask about Mad Men’s discussion of the issue of harassment in the workplace, citing a Boston Globe piece from earlier this year titled, “Before #MeToo, there was Mad Men.” Before I could ask about whether it struck Hendricks that Joan’s final storyline was in many ways prescient in terms of how this conversation would come to play out just a few years later, the publicist interrupted:

“I’m so sorry, but we need to move on from this topic,” she said. “Please.”

“Being that Jezebel is a women’s site I have to ask about Kater Gordon,” I responded. Gordon wrote for Mad Men and alleged last year that the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, told her she owed it to him to let him see her naked. Weiner’s rep said he did not remember saying that, nor is it something he’d say. In a recent L.A. Times piece about Hendricks’s new show Good Girls, Hendricks said, “Matt said he didn’t say it, and I trust him, and I respect him.”

I figured it was worth asking Hendricks about this—after her 2014 observation that in Hollywood there’s “sexual harassment at work every single day, all day long,” it was somewhat surprising that she sided with the man in a harassment allegation. Sure, this is a man she’s worked with and is working with again on Amazon’s upcoming The Romanoffs. Maybe she knows something we don’t, maybe she was going to say something about “due process,” maybe she would have told me to butt out. Who knows!

“I wondered if you were conflicted at all about coming to the defense of Weiner, the comment that you made,” I said.

“We’re not going to discuss that either, I’m so sorry,” said the publicist.

“I have to ask that question,” I said. How would I be doing the bare minimum of what’s expected of me if I didn’t talk to this outspoken woman about such issues? Which is to say: If they didn’t want Hendricks to talk about such things, or if Hendricks herself wasn’t interested, they should have denied this interview.

“I’m sorry but this conversation is supposed to be about Christina’s work and the film and whatnot, so thank you so much for your time, but we’re going to have to move on,” said the publicist, who brought to this conversation a conception of this interview that was neither what I nor Jezebel had agreed to—there was no prior discussion of what would be off limits or even within limits for that matter. “Thank you for understanding.”

“Great,” I said, to no response. That was that.