What happened to the Jenny Agutter 'Avengers' interview?
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Where's Jenny gone...?
You've come here expecting to see some video of Jenny Agutter talking about 'The Avengers', and instead you're reading this. Perhaps you'd like to know why?
In five years of editing geek sites, ('Den Of Geek' [co-editor] and 'Shadowlocked'), I've frequently come up against the PR department of The Mouse. In fact, since this article became the No. #1 result on Digg, I suspect that Disney's marketing execs were not ever to be my biggest fans. Nor am I myself a fan of the tactics of their PR, marketing and legal department - an opinion based on many run-ins with them over the years.
As regular Shadowlocked readers will know, this site has had a long association with the Doctor Who spin-off 'The Minister Of Chance' - and it was to promote that project that the interview with the very amiable Agutter (an actor both in the 'Avengers' movie and The Minister Of Chance) was arranged, shot and put online, both in brief excerpt form here at Shadowlocked, and in its 47-minute form at the official Minister Of Chance site.
Last night I was told via a proxy that Disney had heard about the interview and contacted Jenny Agutter directly to ask that any reference to the 'Avengers' movie be removed from any video footage of the 47 minute chat or excerpts thereof.
This in itself is disgraceful behaviour, as actors under NDA agreements can become terribly alarmed at such missives, as posing potential threats to their careers and professional associations. The correct form is to contact the publisher of the interview, or their legal department, and begin any proposed take-down notice there.
Secondly, the 'Avengers' content in the interview itself consisted entirely of general praise for Joss Whedon and the production, two anecdotes previously used by Agutter on TV shows and interviews of recent months, and one patently obvious joke about her playing 'Spiderwoman' in the Avengers movies - a humorous reference to the recent Twitter confusion that resulted from another interview with the actress.
Jenny respected her contractual agreements all through our chat, like the professional that she is - the only reason that Disney contacted her about the Avengers references was because the marketing department of The Mouse have strong and cabalistic relationships with specific outlets such as Variety, Empire, et al, and all, with whom 'interview spoilers' are arranged months in advance of junket time, and because no interview even mentioning 'The Avengers' is apparently to be permitted without prior agreement with Disney/Marvel. Even if no spoilers of any kind (as in this case) are presented.
...and because Jenny was the most vulnerable link in the publishing chain that led to the publication of the video interview, and that alarming her seemed to Disney to be the quickest way of scotching an 'unauthorised', spoiler-free mention of the Avengers movie - two minutes of chat in a 47-minute interview!
So if you needed any further evidence that the morality of Disney's marketing/legal department may leave something to be desired, I present to you the events of the last 24 hours. It's consistent with my experience of them since I became involved in 'geek' sites in 2008.
I conclude by noting that I have only met Jenny Agutter for a couple of hours, along with a cameraman and producer for the purpose of an interview about her career, that I do not know her beyond the limits of that particular occasion, and am not aware that she in any way shares my ongoing negative opinion of Disney's legal tactics.
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