Poet Jorie Graham Calls On Hollywood To Resist Censorship And Distribute ‘The Apprentice’ Film

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham, called one of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation, has posted a reply today to a New York Times opinion piece by Michelle Goldberg that ran Friday.

The Times story lamented that the rights to The Apprentice, a powerful film with Jeremy Strong and Sebastian Stan that chronicles the Roy Cohn/Donald Trump relationship, has not been picked up yet for U.S. distribution in theaters or streaming, and thus, may not be seen.

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The film was well-received last month when it premiered at Cannes.

“Unfortunately, you may not get a chance to (see it) anytime soon, at least in the United States,” Goldberg wrote. “Distributors have bought the rights to The Apprentice in Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and many other countries. But the filmmakers have yet to secure a deal to release it here, either in theaters or on streaming services.”

Fear of the political consequences of distributing the film seem to be holding back any deal, as some pundits noted in the Times piece. Trump has also threatened litigation.

Today, an appalled Jorie Graham condemned the lack of support for the film and for artistic vision in general in these times, calling it “terrifying, actually” in an X post.

“Beyond the article, the extraordinary Jeremy Strong re Hollywood’s fear—& its apparent refusal to distribute “The Apprentice”— which otherwise has worldwide distribution,” Graham posted. “Is the censoring of artistic expression already beginning—as if a pre-internalization of the autocratic world threatening us? Is Hollywood giving up without even so much as a fight, as much of Silicon Valley has done?

“Art is by definition resistance—as much as it is celebration & initiation. Listen to this wise man & his wise choice of words: “I would say that Hollywood needs to be reminded of Shakespeare’s words – that as storytellers our job is to hold the mirror up to nature… and to show the very age and body of the time its form and pressure.

“If we become afraid to hold the mirror up to nature and afraid to show the form and pressure of the age and body of our time, then it is the beginning of the end of film as a worthwhile piece of culture and we have fully entered an age of Decadence in our culture, which history shows us to be the last stage before collapse.”

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