Ebert holds his thumbs hostage
However, with the news that film critic Roger Ebert plans on withholding his famous thumb movie rating scale, I have grown tired of the thumb. I really wouldn't mind if you just lop it off (his, not mine).
It seems that Ebert is not making enough money with At the Movies (his weekly film review show, currently hosted by Richard Roeper and a cycling special guest as Ebert recovers from health problems). During his latest round of contract negotiations, the former Oprah boyfriend -- I just had to share that with you -- has demanded that the Walt Disney company pay up or it is bye bye to the thumbs up.
Ebert's trademark thumbs (also owned by the family of the late Gene Siskel) have become an irreplaceable piece of American pop culture history and for him to use them as personal leverage is wrong on a number of levels. Mainly because the thumbs are much bigger than just one man. They are something that everyone can identify with and should not be used for greed.
According to Ebert, however, it was Disney that in fact removed the thumbs from the air and not the other way around. The multimillionaire film critic said that Disney pulled the famous phalanges after he refused an "offensively" low offer to continue the show.
Either way, we can only hope that the two sides can remember that the bickering needs to stop for the sake of thumbs everywhere. How else will we be able to reduce two hours of meticulously scripted dialog and painfully planned camera work to a simple, dismissive hand gesture?