Kevin Smith vs Good Morning America movie critic Joel Siegel

Kevin-Smith-Joel-SiegelMovie stars should not go off on Film Critics for getting bad reviews. It is a part of the industry. You get good reviews, you get bad reviews. Rob Schneider made that legendary mistake last year of calling out one of Roger Ebert’s critic friends… and Ebert gave him the very best verbal bitch slappings I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was classic… and it was what Rob deserved.

However… there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Such is the case with “Good Morning America” movie critic Joel Siegel and his behaviour at a screening of Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2. Kevin Smith writes about the situation himself, and gives us the following account in an article he entitled “A Dick in a Mustache is Still Just a Dick”:

Check this shit out: roughly forty minutes into the flick, when Randal orders up the third act donkey show, Siegel bellowed to his fellow critics “Time to go!’’ and “This is the first movie I’ve walked out of in 30 fucking years!’’

Now, I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s, gushing over his flick before he’s even seen it; but shit, man – how about a little common fucking courtesy?

Never mind the fact that when you’re paid to watch movies for a living and the only tasks required of you are to a) sit through said movies and b) write your thoughts about them before your deadline, walking out before a movie’s over is pretty unprofessional. Never mind the fact that the scene he was offended by (the ordering of the donkey show), with its (misleading) crude references is only the set-up to a third act pay-off that is a true bait-and-switch from where Joel’s imagination went (and if you’ve already seen the flick, you KNOW what I’m talking about). Never mind that this dude is so straight-laced in his tastes and hyperbolic in his praise that when The Onion took a poke at Joel, I was almost unsure whether it was a joke or not…

You never… NEVER disrupt a movie, simply because you don’t like it.

Cardinal rule of movie-going: shut your fucking mouth while the movie’s playing. They even ask you to do so in the pre-show run-up to every flick (”Cell phones and pagers off, no talking during the show”). This guy went beyond talking, even; he was making a spectacle of himself as he left. I’ve now spoken to three folks in attendance last night, and all have said that Siegel WANTED everyone to know how disgusted he was, and that he was leaving. If you want to share your displeasure with everyone, that’s fine, dude; just do it AFTER the movie, not during. Some folks were enjoying themselves. I don’t come down to your job and slap the taste out of your mouth for coming up with a line like “‘Shark Tale’ Is a Halibut Good Time”; so don’t fuck with my stuff WHILE IT’S STILL SCREENING.

This is total ignorance on Siegel’s part. What a total ass. I totally agree with Smith when he says “look, if you don’t like it… write about it AFTER the movie”.

Both Doug and I have walked out of movies on two occasions. Hey, if I can’t stomach what I’m watching, then I leave… no one is paying me to stay. But when we left, we QUIETLY just got up, tried not to disturb anyone, and silently left the theater.

For this ASSHOLE to get up and proclaim to the world “Hear Ye Hear Ye! I’m Joel Fucking Sielgel, and I doth proclaim to one and all that I’m walking out!!” What a dick.

Siegel had EVERY RIGHT to write that he hated the film… he had every right to write that he hates Kevin Smith. That’s all cool. But man, when you’re a guest at a free screening and you’re a professional film critic, you DON’T have the right to act like that in the screening.

Kevin Smith then went on to write the following about Siegel:

– Apparently, rather than quietly exit, both Joel and his Cum-Catcher (my slang for the fancy kind of mustache he sports) made a big stink about walking out, calling as much attention to himself as possible, and being generally pretty disruptive.

– I don’t need Joel Siegel to suck my dick the way he apparently sucks M. Night’s

– Leave the diva-like behavior and drama-queen antics to the movie stars, not the movie reviewer, ya’ rude-ass prick.

– This is the guy who stole his mustachioed critic shtick from Gene Shalit years ago, and still refuses to give it back.

Smith is 100% right on this one. WHen you’re a PAID critic… someone is paying you to review a film… you DON’T walk out before it’s done. And if for some reasons you MUST walk out, you do so quietly and without drawing attention to yourself as much as possible.

Joel Sielgel didn’t like Clerks 2. Fine, fair enough. Maybe I won’t like it either… but I sure as hell won’t walk out yelling: “Damnit! John Campea is too good for this movie! I’m leaving!” Although I might do that for 50 Cents next film.


To hear Kevin Smith confront Joel Sielgel you can listen here.

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36 thoughts on “Kevin Smith vs Good Morning America movie critic Joel Siegel

  1. Hi everyone let me tell you my side of the story. I did what I did because I am a stupid ass. And I just hate that Kevin Smith is way cooler than I am. So I acted like an ass at his movie. But I really would just love to suck his dick after it has been in my ass. I love you Kevin Smith in a in a really gay way.

  2. A ten second disruption does not equal a ten second disruption. At least not for me. While the outburst itself may have been brief, I guarantee that more than one person was affected for much longer than that. I cannot stand people who talk, leave their cell phones on, kick the backs of chairs, or are in general disruptive in a theater, period. I paid good money to see it, you paid good money to see it… there is NO leeway in my head. None. Had I been there, my initial urge would have been to get up and go after Mr. Siegel and give him a piece of my mind then and there. Had I resisted the urge, I guarantee I would have been fuming about it until well after the movie was over. It was unprofessional and ill-mannered, not to mention disruptive and egotistical to call attention to himself like that.

    Calling Kevin Smith a baby about it is actually kind of funny. I doubt many people could create something (this is, after all, his art, even though it’s “just a movie” to the rest of us), see this kind of rudeness and disruption, and NOT be angry and upset. Sure, the radio show was a tad bit collegiate (or possible high school), but to me, that’s poetic justice. The guy who disrupted Kevin Smith’s work because he didn’t like Kevin Smith’s style ended up being punked by Kevin Smith… in Kevin Smith style. How can you not find that just a little bit chuckalicious?

    Bunch of savages in this town.

  3. the link didn’t work for me, John…not sure if anyone else has had such a problem.

    I read up on this. Man. Kevin Smith’s DISCOURSE is even entertaning. Is it any wonder he has such a fan following?

  4. Regardless of how much popularity people get (rightly or unjustly), there’s a lack of respect in society these days, and people in Joel Seigle’s shoes should know that they’re opinion is appreciated, but not during the show. That’s just tasteless, and ignorant, but aren’t a lot of people these days?

    Maybe he knew he wouldn’t like the movie, and got shitfaced before going in, and had no control over himself when he wanted to leave? Immature.

  5. Man Nord, Wing Commander was horrible! lol… forgot about that movie.

    I’ve only walked out on one movie… “House of the Dead.” I didn’t know who this choade Uwe Boll was until reading this site. No shock, he directed this hunk of crap.

  6. This can be fun, everyone list the movies they have walked out on:

    1. Wing Commander
    2. National Treasure

    both times I quietly stood up and ducked out the back, no need to yell “Fuck This!” and stomp out, lol


  7. hey John… what were the two movies you’ve walked out on? I’m a new reader (love this site) and was curious.

    Smith has a similar confrontation with a radio DJ named Fred Toucher in Atlanta who bashed his movie. I think its great he defends his work – certainly made for some good radio on my hell like commute!

  8. you dont do that in movies like you dont have your phones on what a dick he shouldnt of done that siegel is a bitch what a loser

  9. As much as I love Kevin Smith I have to admit I was flip flopping on this issue at first.

    But honestly, if Siegle just walked out, it would have been news worthy in itself and Kevin could have blogged about it and what not. But Siegle was completely unprofessional and he deserved to be blasted on the radio show for this, he deserved to have someone actting unprofessional to HIM, so that he more than understands what he did.

    If Smith took the high road then Siegle would have gotten off easy peasy with an unheartfelt appology.

    Im sorry, but he deserved everything he got, people who do that shit need to be called out and get a taste of what they dish-out. Siegle now knows what it feels like, he knows not to pull shit like that again because a simple appology won’t cut it.

    Kevin Smith should be applauded.

    If you smack me in the face, just saying sorry isnt sufficient, Im going to smack YOU in the face, let you taste that sting so you KNOW not to do it again. I’d bet money Siegle NEVER pulls that kind of shit again, but if Kevin just meekly accepted the appology Siegle might think he could turn it into a schtick and do it all the time.

    Fuck him and his cum catcher, I hope he gets fired for that BS. A profanity laced public display of unprofessionalism by a Disney employee, getting fired isn’t that far fetched.


  10. Okay. I wasn’t there in the theater so for all I know it could be blown all out of proportion – if he’d just said it normally and walked out it wouldn’t really be news so there’s a chance that’s happened – but it’s still pretty rude. However, he had the balls to go on the air and talk about it. That’s pretty cool of him. And that radio show was a disgrace. The hosts took every opportunity they could to talk about his “gay moustache” and crack jokes about how old and stupid he was. THAT isn’t exactly professional either. They didn’t let him discuss it, they talked over him the whole time and it seems like they just got him on the show so that they could take the piss out of him. The critic was out of line but Smith and especially those assholes on the radio show were no better. The critic objected to the movie and the radio show guys were saying shit that was personally insulting. The whole thing sucks.

  11. This is just something Kevin Smith does. I remember a while back he was blasting away at a bunch of AICN posters who’d said some things he didn’t like – he even turned up in one of the AICN talkback sections to take them all on mano a mano. If it were anyone else, I’d probably write it off as juvenile and stupid, but Smith has elevated juvenile and stupid to such a high art that I’m happy to sit back and watch him go. The guy is HILARIOUS when he’s got a bug up his ass about something, and I can watch him rant for as long as he likes.

    I’m really looking forward to Clerks II, too (tutu?). That’s the big summer film I’ve really been waiting for. Sod all this CGI nonsense, I want some laughs.

  12. would smith be complaining if siegel had yelled out “this film is fucking great”?

    of course not so he should spare us this “its the principle of the thing”

    so a bunch of critics were distracted during what was probably their third or fourth free film of the day…big deal…

    I like smith but he is sounding like a cry baby

  13. Now, I must admit, more often than not I’ve trusted Joel Siegel’s opinions and made a point of checking his reviews before seeing a movie. To me he has always seemed like an all around good guy, (not that I’ve ever met him, but his on-screen persona is likeable) which is why this caught me so off guard. I just couldn’t fathom a man like that doing something so juvenile and disrespectful. Sure, Kevin Smith’s films aren’t for everyone, in all honestly there are times when the dialogue could turn even a sailors ears red, but that is no reason whatsoever for anyone to act that way.

    This incident brings to mind the only other time I’ve experienced something like this, I was at a midnight screening of “Slither” when a woman who had obviously had far too much to drink stood up, announced “This is so fucking gay!” and promptly left the theatre.

    After mulling over his actions in my mind and listening to Smith and Siegel’s conversation, I too have come to the conclusion that Joel Siegel’s mind is slipping. The audio clip makes it painfully obvious that he no longer has a firm grasp on sanity. (ie. Not knowing that he was actually talking to Kevin Smith, standing behind his actions, denying his own published reviews etc.). It’s time for Siegel’s retirement. This type of behaviour just should not be tolerated, the man is a professional critic for Christ’s sake, it’s his job to sit and watch a film in its entirety and yet his behaviour is on par with a drunk at a midnight horror flick. It’s completely unacceptable and I for one will never again turn to Joel Siegel for movie advice.

  14. Sealer here.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking: Sealer is not Kevin Smith’s #1 fan, let alone #2, #3 or even #4. I am going to trash talk Smith until hell freezes over and ask him that he put a cork in his cakehole.

    I was thinking about it, then I thought about something: in a darkened theatre, how would Smith notice the person leaving is Joel Siegel? Siegel would have to leave near the EXIT sign, not to get more overpriced candy or a 72 ounce soda, not for a bathroom break. Hell, not even a craving for nicotine.

    There is only one possible answer.
    Someone created a scene, and folks could ID the person through ‘stache AND VOICE,

    Then I had to confess: I despise those who cannot turn off thier ringtones on cells for a hour and a half to two hours. As far as I’m concerned, if someone really needs to know where you are at all times, your buddy or your girl/boy friend should be in the seat next to you. I don’t care for hecklers [and there are a few] who make outbursts in theatres.

    Most people would leave quietly as possible. When (if) critics compare thoughts/notes with other critics or the audience, they wait until after the film. And…did I read that post right, John? The studio WAS NOT going to have a critics screening of Clerks 2 but Smith arranged one?

    Despite the fact that Smith tends to exaggerate or bend the truth to make him look like an innocent victim or the hero of the day, despite that he is given projects by studios that would benifiet from his comics and pop culture love only to wash his hands of them shortly after, despite my own personal tastes…I have to cowboy up.

    Damn that was a hard thing to say. Tough as nails.

    As for Siegel? He is, in my mind, soon to be like Leonard Maltin : once upon a time, good reviwer, fair, and pulled no punches. In the last twenty years both have sold out to be fluffy and “kind”. I think Siegel should have stayed for the entire film. What would have happened if he fell in love with the last twenty minutes? Or liked a performance? Or something else he would despise and give him more ammo to tear up the film on GMA?

    I guess he had more pressing things to do. Maybe he forgot to bathe and/or wash his face.
    Or get his bowels in an uproar.

    – Skewing Sealer

  15. I think they were both over the top in their reactions. One seems like a drama queen (pun only intended if you think JS is a cum-catcher) and I think the other isn’t taking the high road on this. So what if he didn’t like the film?! Kevin should have mocked the shit out of him on his blog. That would have been great. And the spectacle would still been told in the media by those in attendance. Kevin should have waited for the media to come to him so he doesn’t have to appear so defensive. And I happen to think that, bad manners aside, that if the movie stands on its own, Kevin would have been more willing to let it roll off his back. But, more importantly, does anyone know if this is the first time JS has done this, or done this to KS before with his other movies? That to me is the better story. A little bias? Awesome! That’s newsworthy and something I would be interested in reading about, not how KS feels the need to bitchslap JS with a white glove whilst demanding a pistol duel over this bullshit. Fuck JS (not literally, of course) if he wants to be a bitch in public like that. It just shows him in the worst possible light among his own peers, not Kevin’s, but them, too. I agree that shit shouldn’t go unchecked, but Kevin could have done it privately to JS face-to-face, like… oh, I don’t know, a grown up?! This is a new low for Kevin, and I loves me some Kevin Smith. Sorry, dude. You can’t claim the moral high ground on this one. You done fucked it all up.

  16. I have not even thought or heard about Joel in years till this incident. I just wish that it was Ebert because if 2 people can make an entertaining argument it would be Ebert and Smith.

    More importantly, the way it’s got the internet talking and debating the issue is cheap publicity for Clerks 2 that is working better than a 30 commercial on spike tv will ever do. Now I really wanna see what this scene is that make a critic walked out when he saw sat through classics like “Little Man”, “Basic Instinct 2” and “The Benchwarmers” this year alone

  17. If some asshole sat up in ANY movie I’m watching and starts shouting to get peoples attention to leave I would piss in my drink at throw it at them.

    If Siegel didn’t like the movie, thats great, good for him. But why shout out that he dislikes the movie, thats not his job. His job is to write about it and not to stand up like an ass clown saying shit.

  18. I understand both sides. I’m siding with Smith. He put all his effort in this film, whether any of you guys like this film or not, and Seigel dumped on it..but thats not the issue.

    It’s the fact that Siegel disrupted the film for an audience. Now, I hate it, Hate It, HATE IT when people talk, joke, circus around, and talk on their cell phones during the movie, and what Siegel did was no different from that.

    I disagree with Opie and Anothony being called “childish.” I see where you are getting at. But to me, it seems like their humor is lightening up the situation, like humor should.

    Also, Smith didn’t go right from MAD to ADVERTISING. The situation lightened up first. And it took some time. It really didn’t seem like he was selling his movie. It was more like he was pointing it out to Seigel in a very “did you know this” kinda way.

    To all these “he’s a baby” comments. I seriously believe that from half to most of those who have and will post them, both already hate Smith and are just bitching about him, and would also do the exact same thing if they were in his shoes.

    Look at it from both sides. Smith is an unhappy filmmaker who is kinda pushing this a little further (because he is angry). Seigel is an unhappy film critic who went a little far.

    I think what really pushes this is the fact that if one were to think of Joel Siegel, one should think “old time, respectful, and professional critic”, like Ebert.

  19. Well that’s refreshing, not sure how you see a baby in smith for this, but there we go.
    But to put it in context, this is the kind of shit that shouldn’t, scratch that mustn’t happen.
    A kid spends six months writing a presentation for his tutor and he’s pretty nervous when he has to do it, and in less than a few word he fucks it up.
    The tutor cannot call himself professional if he stands up in the middle of it and shouts at the kid:
    “I’m sorry your fucking boring me with this shit, I’d much rather go home and fill my mouth with my own penis juice.”
    And that’s not a far off comparison.
    One of the purposes of critics and i genuinely think this is true, they are there to tell directors what their doing wrong, obv amongst other thigns.
    The reason they write it down and prepare for it is so they can back up why they thought it was shit, and advise, PROFESSIONALY, the director, and the would be audience.
    If this cunt is going to stand up in the middle of a free screening and proclaim to everyone around him that he’s off cos he thinks its shit, then this so called professional has absolutely no right to call himself a crit.
    So Kev, your absolutely right, and this dude and his cum-catcher, should have a nut removed for the cheek of it.

  20. Yeah, I sent that link to John a little bit ago…

    Personally, I think they all sound stupid. Those radio show hosts are unbelievably childish themselves, and Smith just seems to want to plug his new movie. He goes right from “It’s okay you didn’t like it, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea” to “You know we got an eight minute standing ovation at Cannes, right”?

  21. Kevin Smith could have responded a little less brashly but is in the right to complain about the antics of Siegel…even to national news media…just without using the phrase “cum-catcher”

  22. i think it was totally 100% the right and totally justifiable response from Smith.

    If you want to talk about your thoughts on Smith for other issues, that’s cool. But in this situation, in my opinon, he was 100% right.



  23. All things considered, Kevin Smith replied on his website. He didn’t go to the media and complain, he didn’t interupt his movie to complain, he didn’t call Joel Siegel out when he got up and left. He did what he and all of us agree Sielgel should have done and wrote about it AFTER the incident. I think Kevin Smith is a good guy and knows his place, and on his own website has the right to vent when he gets offended like that. A pretty appropriate outlet if you ask me. After all, isn’t that what we’re all doing?

  24. If it were any other filmmaker, i would agree with everyone that Joel Siegel was totally out of line. But then again, if it were any other filmmaker, there would be no radio appearance, blog attack, public outcry, and so on and so on.

    Sure this was a special screening, but I would like to think that a movie is built to hold up to a 10 second outburst from an audience member. Distractions come with the territory when screenign a film in a public forum. We all know how annoying it is when someone is chomping on popcorn behind you, but if the movie is strong enough, it should hold up.

    Even beyond this incident, Kevin Smith is a baby. He spends the majority of his time bashing other filmmakers (Tim Burton, P.T. Anderson, John Favreau) seemingly out of competition rather then from the angle of a fellow film lover. He spends the majority of his time playing the self-deprication card, but the second someone has something to say about him he jumps on the internet and rallies up his fanboys. It’s pretty lame. I will admit he tells some good stories about the industry, but i’m not sure that anyone he talks about actually cares about what he has to say.

    Anyone who thinks that Kevin Smith isn’t competitive, just watch any episode of John Favreau’s ‘Dinner For Five’ that Smith has been on.


    Jay C.

  25. I don’t know man. I’m not saying Siegel’s actions were at all cool, but I can’t change how it looks to me. Smith’s a big boy, it’s not like this is his first movie. Let’s face it, people walk out of movies all the time.

    I’m sure it was obvious to everyone in there that Siegel was a pretentious asshole for his outburst. Smith could have mentioned the incident on his blog, laughed about it, poked a little fun and left it at that. But no, he clearly took offense and had to ambush Siegel on a radio show, making himself look cooler and turning it into a way bigger deal than it is. (Incidentally, great publicity I’m sure.)

    But this clearly isn’t about Siegel disrupting the viewing experience for everyone else as I’m sure it didn’t bother them for more than 10 seconds.

  26. I just listened to the interview with JS from Kevin Smiths site…JS is a complete jackass and doesn’t listen to criticism…ironic?

    JS isn’t just a douche bag…he is a whole set of douche luggage and he is completely in the wrong with this situation…

    entitled to his opinion, of course, entitled to disturb others to their right to view a movie in peace, absolutley not!

  27. I don’t comment as frequently as others on this website, but this post inspired me to drop a line or two.

    Let say we did’t know either of the 2 guys mentioned in this post and started with a clean slate. What we see is one man putting his hard work together for others to come and see. During this one man’s presentation, another man rudely comments on the work, loud enough for everyone else to hear, and then leaves. Disrupting the atmosphere set by the movie in the process.

    That’s just bad manners no matter how you look at it.

  28. And that is why I love Kevin Smith. I’m so-so on his movies, but as a guy, he just RULES.

    If Siegel had pulled that crap at another screening, I guarantee the director would have just shut up and let it happen. Im glad to see Smith standing up for himself. Whether or not his films are good has nothing to do with the fact that if you’re a professional critic, you should NEVER, EVER walk out of a film. And on top of that, you should NEVER, EVER, EVER make a spectacle of yourself whilst doing so. I’m sure his antics ruined quite a bit of the experience for the rest of the critics and filmgoers who were screening the film with him.

    And to think I have to watch that jack-off review movies whenever I watch the news at night, and he seems pompous and arrogant just on screen. The arrogance must be so palpable that one can TASTE it within 5 feet of his person, Especially to pull off a stunt like this.

    Screw You Joel Siegel. Whether or you liked Clerks 2 gives you no justification for what you did. Even if you stood up in the middle of the film and screamed, “This movie rules so much that I dont need to even see any more!” I would hope that Smith would still be pissed at you. Dumbass.

  29. “Kevin Smith is fucking baby”..I disagree. Seigal humilates Smith’s film and questions Smith’s reputation. Smith does the same thing back.

  30. Hey Sean,

    I have to totally disagree with you.

    This wasn’t just a regualr showing of the film. This was a special event, the screening for the media. The theatre is filled with critics and media there to do their jobs.

    Smith puts a year of his life into the project, bucks the other studios trend of refusing to show the film to the media in advance, Siegel gets in for free… and at this special event attended by people who will be reviewing the film, Siegel disrupts the viewing for everyone, bitches outloud for all the other critics to hear and break the attention on the movie and walks out.

    Dare I suggest that if he did that at my screening… or yours… we wouldn’t just call him out on a website… you and I would be wating for the asshole in the parking lot with some Rose City Justice (I got that line from Doug).

  31. I’m in total agreeance. Joel Seigal not only made a fool of himself, but he interrupted for an entire audience, many of which, most likely, were into the film and enjoying it.

    It’s like when you and your friends rent a movie. You don’t like the movie, but everyone else does, and you are outvoted. You stay and watch the movie. But with manors, you discuss why hated the film after or before, but you do not bitch about it while watching the film.

    That is completely disrespectful, and you know, if both SMith and Seigal walked up to me and Seigal said “Snakes on a Plane”, a movie I’m not really planning on seeing or at least not jumping up and down for, completely sucked and Smith said “Well, I liked it. I thought it fuckin’ ruled”..I’m going to listen Smith

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