Diablo Cody Hates on the Haters

It’s not always easy being a former stripper turned Oscar-winning screenwriter… just ask Diablo Cody. After the runaway success of Juno last year, the backlash eventually set in, with Cody being forced to shoulder the majority of it. Some would say she’s leading a fairy tale life these days, (and recently, she went on a five-day tour of some theme parks with a group of “rollercoaster enthusiasts”) but when she returned, she decided to finally address some of the insults that have been hurled in her direction. Apparently it was this article in Variety that finally set her off.

Here is an excerpt from the latest post on her MySpace blog:

“I am not Charlie Kaufman or Sofia Coppola (much as I supplicate at their Cannes-weary feet.) I’m not Paul Thomas Anderson. I’m not even Paul W.S. Anderson. I am middle-class trash from the Midwest. I’m a competent nonfiction writer, an admittedly green screenwriter, and a product of Hollywood, USA. I am “Diablo Cody” and if you’re not a fan, go rent Prospero’s Books again and leave me the fuck alone.

I may have won 19 awards that you don’t feel I earned, but it’s neither original nor relevant to slag on Juno. Really. And you’re not some bold, singular voice of dissent, You are exactly like everyone else in your zeitgeisty-demo-lifestyle pod. You are even like me. (I, too, loved Arrested Development! Aren’t we a pretty pair of cultural mavericks? Hey, let’s go bitch about how Black Kids are overrated!)

Listen: I’ve been telling stories my whole life. Even when I was a phone sex operator, I was the Mark Twain of extemporaneous jerk-off fiction. I took every perspiring creep on a fucking journey. I don’t know how to do anything else.

I’m going to make more movies and shows. I doubt they’ll all be good, but that’s the nature of this life. Even though the public only knows me from one book, one movie, and several aborted blogs, I’ve spent the last few years hustling like Iceberg Slim out here to prove myself professionally. The people I currently work for, and with, are more than pleased with my post-Juno output. My pilot was so good (thanks, Toni Colette!) that it got picked up for series. That is rare, children. That is blue-rare.

In summation: you try it.”

I do think that she’s being unfairly criticized in a lot of cases, especially since she’s only really done one movie so far. Her next projects (Jennifer’s Body and The United States of Tara) are going to have to be twice as good to slip by the naysayers unscathed. That said… this is probably one of those situations where she should have just kept her thoughts to herself. A rant like this is only encouraging more backlash. Are you a Diablo Cody hater? If so, why?

  • I have only two problems with Diablo Cody:

    1) I didn’t like Juno very much. It’s not that it wasn’t a decent movie, I just didn’t care for it. The best parts about it certainly weren’t the story/screenplay, it was the performances.

    2) Her entire bad-ass ex-stripper persona, which she is very public about, seems so forced and false to me. Before stripping, she was already a college student and writer with a degree of ambition. She wasn’t a stripper for very long, and used her experiences to springboard into a bigger career in writing (unlike most strippers, who usually reside on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale and stay there. I’m not saying she’s wrong for having done it, just pointing out that she’s not your typical ‘bad-ass’ stripper).

    But she’s very public about being this wild-girl; she’s makes her public persona too visible and entangles it inextricably with her work–with which, so far, I haven’t been impressed.

    So, yeah, basically her big problem is she spends too much time asking people to view her as this wild child before she’s produced anything of real significance (again, that’s my opinion), so it comes off as false and empty. Charlie Kaufman and Paul Thomas Anderson don’t blog incessantly about how they used to be strippers, and they have an air of mystery around them, so that’s probably why they don’t attract “the haters”.

  • Matt

    No, I’m not a Diablo hater, but to be fair I haven’t seen Juno either. I read the variety article and her rant from mySpace, but I gotta say that thus far I have been completely oblivious to any Juno-backlash. I think one movie and one book are not enough to gauge how much talent, or lack there-off a person has. But by responding to the criticisms (and especially in this way) she is doing nothing but shooting herself in the foot. I guess she must have gotten a lot of hate mail to feel the need to get this defensive and confrontational.
    What are some of the complaints that are leveled against her and Juno?

  • Matt

    Thanks Joel. I must have strated writing my comment before you posted yours but, but I posted mine after you posted yours. Anyway, my question is answered.

  • Rachel

    The ex-sex worker thing got her where she is, and now she needs to let it go. Unless, of course, Spielberg has a pole in his office. She’s also not that amazing–Juno probably had a lot of rewrites on set, and I’m sure that the ShowTime series will go through the same process. There’s lots of bad series on TV, so I don’t know why she’s so thrilled with hers. Time will tell.

  • Rick Iaeger

    juno was good but i fuckin hate her for some reason. ugh.

  • Greg

    I don’t understand why anyone gives a rat’s ass either way. I laughed my ass off during Juno, but I couldn’t care less if she continues to get work or not because I judge by each individual piece. She could never do anything good again but she’s a part of pop culture history and I’m fine with it. There are many, many people who only strike gold once, but no one is talking about them. For some reason Juno is still on people’s minds. Spielberg has made some shit movies, but that doesn’t change my opinion of Jaws or Raiders.

    Doesn’t matter how long you work in a strip club, you do it once and you’ll always be reminded that you did it. It doesn’t go away and you can’t just ‘let it go.’ Remember when Courtney Love cleaned herself up in The People Vs. Larry Flint? All anyone ever did was talk about how this great performance came from a drug whore that broke in the music industry because her husband had a little pull. Sure she kind of went back to that lifestyle, but it wasn’t fair for the media to do that.

  • Rick Iaeger

    Yeah… I liked Juno and I don’t care if she works for another 40+ years. All the same – People can hate other people as they are presented. She’s not very likable to me. Who cares. Why does SHE even care?

  • Matt

    I wonder if The United States of Tara is a reference to my aunt (a.k.a. Wing Chun of televisionwithoutpity.com fame). It was her who gave Diablo her first paid gig; writing for my aunt’s former site hissyfit.com.

    Only 2 degrees of separation to fame for me, wooooo!

  • Mike

    I think she’s great…

    does anyone else read everything she writes in Ellen Paige’s voice??

  • Rick Iaeger

    As long as her thesaurus is working…

    “…You are exactly like everyone else in your zeitgeisty-demo-lifestyle pod. You are even like me. (I, too, loved Arrested Development! Aren’t we a pretty pair of cultural mavericks? Hey, let’s go bitch about how Black Kids are overrated!)…”

    How clever! I’m surprised the word “random” didnt pop up a couple of times. Go Diablo Go!

  • Greg–Yeah, I kind of ranted about her earlier but in truth I really shouldn’t care either way. I just didn’t care for Juno. She’s obviously talented and probably has a big career ahead of her, so she shouldn’t worry about people on the Internet hating on her. The quote above seems to be referencing some stuff I don’t really know about, so maybe she gets a bunch of hate mail, which would suck. I do think she needs to let the ex-sex worker thing go.

    Alls I know is, if I paid to get in the V.I.P. at a strip club and Diablo Cody was my stripper, I’d ask for my money back. ULTIMATE LOLZ

  • Goon

    I’m a Cody hater, but out of sight equals out of mind. But if her next movie is equally annoying, and equally praised, I’ll probably be twice the hater as before.

  • Goon

    btw, a lot of people have said she’s hot before, and I have disagreed. The photo in the post is the first I’d have to say ‘not too shabby’

  • I’m still waiting to hear what Adam thinks of Diablo Cody’s writing.

    People always hate people with big egos. But, dammit, it’s hard to be humble when you know you’re hot sh*t. It’s also more fun to be outspoken. Most people think it’s better to keep quiet, endure the insults, and hold back feelings of retribution. But it makes for a boring life!

    I’m on Diablo’s side, and in her corner.

  • Liz

    I don’t care if you love her or hate her, “I was the Mark Twain of extemporaneous jerk-off fiction” is one of the greatest things I’ve read in a while.

  • theman

    I want to bang her…. nuff said.

  • I am not a Diablo hater. I hope that will remain clear.

    A lot of people are though…and the reason is one I find so easy to understand I ALMOST cannot blame them. I think this post may reach a record length for a Film Junkie but bear with me.

    How does someone become a successful filmmaker?

    I asked John Waters and Morgan Spurlock a similar question when I went to their Q&A events and their answers were mildly different but the idea behind what they said was exactly the same: You have to knock on Hollywood’s door and kick it down; because they are never going to knock on yours. This is the most obvious reason I feel that people hate Diablo Cody so unabashedly: Mr. Hollywood rapped on her door bearing housewarming gifts…and she wasn’t even in his neighborhood.

    It’s simple human nature: People hate it when others get lucky; especially when from that luck they springboard gracefully into success. Thus people hate Cody because she may be the luckiest person who ever entered the “behind the scenes” part of the industry.

    It kills people’s souls that the discovery of her talent and subsequent media saturation is all centered around the cheapest and easiest way to attract attention to one’s self: SEX. I trust this expands upon every other hater’s irritation that she was discovered through a blogspot (wtf!) called the Pussy Ranch. She hadn’t even written a book yet! She got a book deal through Mason Novick after his lust had subsided. It didn’t stop after the publishing and she was coaxed into writing a screenplay (as the story is told). Other writers weren’t hired to write an adaptation of that memoir nor was she assigned to it: She just got a chance to write a script about whatever the fuck she wanted. HER FIRST ATTEMPT AT A SCREENPLAY (according to an interview of her I saw) EVER! And it got made! Adding insult to injury we can only assume all of this opportunity was incited by an executive’s blood engorged cock. I can only imagine that this is Sparta.

    The fact that she wasn’t in Hollywood trying to sell scripts or writing books of her own impetus only adds to the madness. A countless number of people (some small amount with actual proven talent in some area of the film industry) are busting their balls and stretching their vaginas over a ruthless and competitive profession while for all we know Diablo Cody only merely dreamed of trying. This kills me above all other things. This is the thing that almost turned me into a hater.

    I have YouTube page. While the stuff there lacks professional production value (shot on MiniDV in 30p with only the shit on-board mic) I don’t think it shows anything about my work more than that my vision I have a vision (and no money to see it through to it’s fullest). I’ve done local commercials and placed on or near the top in a variety of contests. I’ve wanted to make films since I was twelve and have actually made them since before that. The biggest agencies in the business have granted other youtubers representation over mildly competent covers of Justin Timberlake songs with new humorous lyrics that don’t even show that they can even conceive of more original content…but at least it was in the realm of filmmaking. Jay Cheel has work of a professional sheen (and promising talent) in The Goblin Man of Norway (and if he plays his cards right will be a feature filmmaker) and he is just one of many whose work is on a pro level of a pro quality that can’t kick down Mr. Hollywood’s steel door. Meanwhile, Diablo Cody has a blog about vagina with practically no relation to the industry and the Mr. Hollywood not only knocks down her door but he buys her a house in their neighborhood a million light years away. Around the world a million wannabe, amateur, and professional filmmakers moan.

    The thing that keeps me from being a Diablo Cody hater is simple…she has TALENT. Some agree some don’t (and I believe some don’t because they can’t get over all of the stuff I said before and project all that frustration onto her work). Sure she was given an unprecedented opportunity but she didn’t shit on it. Her work so far (and I have only seen Juno and not read a word from the memoir) is original and entertaining. More so than a lot of other things. Did she deserve all the awards it brought her? Maybe and maybe not. The point is that she is not Paul W.S. Anderson constantly getting work after only repetitively saturating the industry with forgettable shit and ruining beloved franchises. She only did one movie we’ve seen so far and for all I see the dialogue is the strongest aspect in bringing it to the critical success it has gained. The concept for Jennifer’s Body is sounds like something I would come up with! Even what she just wrote in her blog was a nice little piece with far more of the oh so important brevity and illustrated a point with far more relevance and attention to style than this one (keep in mind I’m best as a director though.) Any filmmaker who makes good work is helping the industry so theoretically we all benefit from her massive success.

    So sure people can hate on Diablo Cody all they want…but they need to understand that the real target of their hatred should be the persistently unfair nature of human life. They need to take it up with God or whatever the fuck they believe in.

    I’m going to modify and clarify this passage on my blog for the fun of it when I get the chance (and with some ridiculous fantasy that it only expands my chances of unparalleled “luck”). The internet haters (who probably lack the talent part of the Luck Equation of the Industry) can go stew in their “Writer’s Block” (read: void of creativity and skill) while I save my “rants” for those that I feel actually deserve it.

  • Matt

    Wow. The comment to end all comments. Well done, Ryan.

  • Bob the Slob

    Ryan…nice comment. I too can sympathize with the youtube account, a minidv camera, onboard mic and no money or time to see anything through…but ideas abound.

    I dont hate cody either…I didnt care for juno, didnt hate it or anything, but I thought it was a crime that Juno was in running for best picture when 3:10 to YUMA easily deserved its place.

    Diablo Cody’s film fest at the New Beverly cinema had an awsome line up…if anything she has great taste.

  • Goon

    “Thus people hate Cody because she may be the luckiest person who ever entered the “behind the scenes” part of the industry.”

    Troy Duffy was way luckier. Mind you, he threw it all away, but his circumstance was luckier if you ask me.

    Listen, I don’t care that she was a stripper and in fact I don’t really know much about her background at all. I’ve never really read her blog or any interviews, at least that I can remember. All I know is that Juno was hyped up to be the best thing ever, and I found it to be incredibly phony and unfunny. It goes beyond Cody, too. I felt Ellen Page as well was overrated, unfunny and has a stock overly smart character she plays that I just can’t get into. She has the ‘ironic detachment’ thing going on that I find a lot of Canadian actors suffer from.

    As for what Cody wrote here, well going out of her way to namedrop say, the Black Kids backlash, kind of fits in a lot with what I see as a desperate attempt to level with the cool kids table, an “I’m one of you” populism that personally strikes me as just as phony as her beloved screenplay. if Cody has any talent, based on what I’ve read and seen its in convincing others she’s a gal of the people. Kevin Smith pulls a similar schtick with mixed results for me, but with Cody at this point in time I’m not buying it at all.

    I couldn’t care less that she’s been lucky. As much as I like seeing people who I don’t like getting taken down a peg or two, yes, she’s no Paul W.S. Anderson or Uwe Boll, there’s a whole lot worse than her out there making a living they don’t really deserve. But I don’t think that excuses her from anything either. If I don’t like whatever new action movie comes out the movie doesn’t get a free pass simply because its not as bad as “The Core”.

  • Goon

    …and the constant “Iceberg Slim”, “what the blog” type witticisms don’t do anything for me either, in the same way I got sick of them from Dennis Miller a long time ago

  • Goon–Couldn’t have said it better about the phony (or maybe not phony, but just trying too hard) attempt to sound cool. I would also like to point out that I don’t hate Diablo Cody–like I said earlier, I think she has some talent and as she develops she could possibly do some great work. I’m just giving my own critique of her. I’m just ridin’ the straight talk express, folks.

    Also, Liz–the “Mark Twain of extemporaneous jerk-off fiction” line doesn’t do anything for me, like most of the humor in Juno. It’s an easy joke that’s pretty much a cliché–“I was the (some well-known figure) of (some area of expertise/subject/profession that, when contrasted with the well-known figure, sounds amusing, ironic and/or hyperbolic)!!” It’s not a terrible joke, again, shows some promise, but it’s nothing I haven’t heard before.

    The line also reinforces what I (and I think Mr. Goon will agree with me) see as her overreaching attempts to highlight her former career as a sex worker, which, as I pointed out earlier, are overplayed at this point. Girl needs to just stick to writing. She does, perhaps unfairly, have a lot to prove, and I’m not on either side of the fence on whether she can do it. But she needs to just write and not keep throwing this stripper/sex worker thing in our face.

  • Joseph

    I hate the word “hater” actually, because it is used to trivialize anyone’s problems with anyone else’s anything.
    I’m not a religious person or a prude, but I don’t enjoy watching someone promoting commercial sexual exploitation for young women to attract the attention of Hollywood for her own gain. As someone who has actually been there to pick up the pieces of the broken lives of actual strippers. I am angered to see someone who dangled a toe in it and used it as a literary project telling people it was not so bad stuffing silicone toys up her ass for the gratification of paying men compared to working as a copy editor or something. No one becomes hooked on coke trying to mask the pain and shame of being a copy editor, and no one at the ad agency has a pimp that got you to take your job and takes all your money. you didn;lt get thrown out by your parents and walk in to a strip club out of desperation. You had a chance in life a stable relationship and a real job BEFORE you aver stripped, and you went right back to it afterward. No abusive boyfriends, no addictions, no sociopathic dishonesty ( well, maybe) no bastard kids, no legal problems, no DUI’s. as is typical when real strippers leave. DIABLO WAS NOT A REAL STRIPPER. She was some inked up Suicide girl with a degree and a job who approached it like a Pollyanna on a school field trip to Sex World. She gave us all the porno company line about how the men are the ones exploited in the clubs, and her book focused like they do on the 5% of girls that get into it for exra money and manage to do something to further themselves with it. ( Just like Multi=level marketing, it happens occasionally). I don’t care if this bitch wins 10 Oscars, she is still a soulless, opportunistic piece of crap, not an “unlikely stripper” as she states in her book