Hearty Enough

Have you read about the little incident of which Roger Ebert was hit by another fellow critic during a film festival?

For the uninitiated, Roger Ebert is a prominent Pulitzer-winning film critic in the Hollywood circle. However, Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, which inhibited his ability to speak.

Ebert couldn’t read the subtitles for “Slumlord Millionaire” which was screened during the recent Toronto Film Festival because the man in front of him was blocking his view. So he lightly tapped the spectator and gestured him to move a little (due to his inability to speak), but was snubbed rudely and ignored instead. At his third attempt, the man jumped up and hit him at the knee. Ebert continued to tap him again and the man later moved to another seat.

As quoted in AP, Ebert said that the whole matter was embarassing because it invited attention and pity, which “made him cringe”.

“He had no idea who was behind him when he smacked me,” Ebert wrote. “Now it looked like he was picking on poor me. I have had my problems, but I promise you I am plenty hearty enough to withstand a smack, and quite happy, after the smack, to tap him again.”

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