Vanity Fair nolonger 'surprised' Jessica Chastain 'hailed' Zero Dark Thirty

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


Home » Unpublishing»

(Credit: YouTube, "Hollywood Reporter," screenshot)

Vanity Fair unpublished a blogpost critical of actress Jessica Chastain because “it ran counter to what a number of people at the magazine believed,” Vanity Fair spokesperson Beth Kseniak told  While Sony Pictures and Chastain’s representatives denied the article was unpublished, Vanity Fair‘s spokesperson ended up admitting it, according to Deadline.

The Jan. 25 story by Bruce Handy dished out negatives about Chastain’s performance in the movie Zero Dark Thirty versus Mama.  Oddly, as Deadline pointed out, Handy isn’t “some freelancer” whose opinions clashed with “what a number of people at the magazine believed.”  He is “the magazine’s #2 who dared to express mild criticism” of Chastain.

Handy dissed her role in Zero Dark Thirty, saying “I’m surprised it’s being hailed as one of the year’s great performances, and that it has earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress.”

What? The No. 2 guy at the magazine’s commentary can be deleted after publication by an ad hoc internal committee (e.g. “people at the magazine”) and their beliefs? Good to know.

According to his post, which was re-published on, he asked of Chastain, a Best Actress Nominee at this year’s Oscars:

“Why is she so excellent in the one movie and so not excellent in the other?”

He went on to damn Chastain with faint praise as “elusive as she is ubiquitous, one of the most curious stars ever anointed by Hollywood,” “a recessive presence,” and “obviously beautiful, but there’s something about Chastain’s features that doesn’t quite hold your eye.”  Ouch.

In response to Vanity Fair’s explanation that the post was deleted because it “ran counter to” the general opinion of Vanity Fair staff, Deadline asked “ran counter to what?”

Go to Deadline to read the unpublished Vanity Fair article in full.

Hat Tip: Media Bistro’s Morning Newsletter

Submit a tip / Report a problem

Vanity Fair no longer ‘surprised’ Jessica Chastain ‘hailed’ for Zero Dark Thirty acting, unpublishes critique

Share this article:

Comments Terms and Conditions

  • We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which harass, libel, use coarse language and profanity.
  • We moderate comments especially when there is conflict or negativity among commenters.
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *