Diablo Cody goes off on her detractors

I rented Juno and couldn’t watch the whole thing. The dialogue sounded so fake and contrived and the characters weren’t that endearing or real. In fact I wanted to smack Juno she was so snotty and full of throwaway witticisms. She talked like a disaffected 30-something, not like a 16 year old girl. And almost everyone talked like that, not just the one character. A lot of people loved the film and found it endearing, though – the little pregnant teen with a salty tongue that could. Maybe if I went to the movies to see it I would have sat through it and liked it despite my skepticism. It even won the Oscar for best screenplay and many thought it was one of the most original and funny movies last year.

We haven’t heard much from Juno screenwriter and former stripper Diablo Cody, and after the glow of winning her Oscar has worn off she has decided to set the people who don’t like her little gem of a film straight. She blogged that no matter what you say about her, her life’s pretty good. It’s pretty obvious that it profoundly bothers her that she’s not universally loved.

A while back, there was a thoughtful article in the above-mentioned publication [Variety] about Ellen Page and myself. The article was mostly about how passionately some people hate me. As I explained to my therapist the following day (ha) it’s kind of weird to read something like that about yourself. On one hand, you feel defensive. On the other hand, you feel puzzled. You feel compelled to identify what it is about you that might inspire such vitriol. (I personally suspect the hate isn’t that widespread; it’s just loud.)

I thought about it. For months. I even wrote a screenplay on the theme. And then, finally, I figured it out.

I have a response to those who are still boring enough to lob insults in my direction. (Those of you who are friends, fans, enablers, or dislike my writing for legitimate, rational, nonpersonal reasons can tune out now if you like. This isn’t for you.)

Anyone else? Bend thine ear:

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 f*%$ 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!)

I’m sorry that while you were shooting your failed opus at Tisch, I was jamming toxic silicon toys up my ass for money. I get why you’re bitter. I took exactly one film class in college and– with the curious exception of the Douglas Sirk unit—it bored the shit out of me. I also once got busted for loudly crinkling a bag of Jujubes during a classroom screening of Vivre Sa Vie. I don’t deserve to be here. We’ve established that. But I’m here. Five million 12-year-olds think I’m Buck Henry. Accept it.

(Incidentally, if you were me for one day you’d crumble like f’ing Stilton. I am better at this than you. You’re not strong enough, Film_Fan78. Trust me.)

I’m sorry to all those violent, semi-literate fanboys who hate me for befriending their heroes. I can’t help it if your favorite writer, actor, director, or talk show host likes me. Maybe you would too, if we actually met.

I know my name is fake and that it annoys you. What, do you hate Queen Latifah and Rip Torn, too? Writers and entertainers have been using pseudonyms for years. Chances are, you’re spewing bile under an assumed screen name yourself. I’m sorry if you think I’m like some inked-up quasi-Suicide Girl derby cunt from 2002, but I like my fake name. It’s engraved on an Oscar. Yours isn’t.

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 f’ing 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.

This is the last I have to say on the subject, unless I’m provoked by a journalist in which case I’ll gladly reload. With relish, as Betty Rizzo might say. That said, I’m a 30-year-old woman with a dwindling interest in blog culture, and I don’t have time to address this bullshit every time one of my projects comes out. I’m in love, I just bought a house, and my boss made E.T. I kind of have to focus on reality.

And drinking. I have to focus on drinking.

[From Diablo Cody's Blog]

So she’s saying she knows she’s not worthy, but she’s rich, bitch, she works hard and she’ll keep at it. I guess that’s all she can do. When someone or something bugs the shit out of you, the best thing to do is ignore them. By going off about it you’re just kind of showing that it gets to you. You’re also making it seem like the people who were criticizing you must have been right on some level. No one was listening to them at this point, but now they are.

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29 Responses to “Diablo Cody goes off on her detractors”

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  1. Baholicious says:

    Oh God, everybody from Gloria Stivic to my Gran had those shoes in the 70′s. Speaking of grans, the dress gives her granny boobs. At least her hair is better than at the Oscars but overall, she’s got shiteous taste in dresses.

    “Trash” from the midwest? Well, at least she agrees you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  2. jessiee says:

    I think her response is a riot.

    Go Diablo, Go.

  3. Diva says:

    Actually, she said it DOES bother her, and has since it started. I can respect anyone who stands up and defends themselves. And she was funny as hell doing it, which is even better.

    But I like her, so I guess I would see it differently. I loved Juno. Do I know kids who talk like that? No, but movies don’t have to be realistic to be worthwhile.

  4. Allie says:

    I enjoyed Juno and I enjoyed that rant.

  5. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    Haha – I love it! I loved Juno (CB, I usually agree with you, but not here… that movie was so good) and I love her response. Why it’s so late, I’m not quite sure.. but anyways – I like that she admits who and what she is. There’s no “reason” for her success. Everyone’s always looking to prove they “deserve” it and she’s saying that getting it is deserving enough. You go with your fake name, DC!

  6. Spike says:

    I despise her fake pretentious cleverness. Her ego and self-adulation has brought some criticism. So effing what? She used to write pieces for Entertainment Weekly that sounded like they were written by someone in junior high, not an accomplished writer. They were unreadable dreck.

    If she finds a way to get over herself she might not have such a backlash. And btw, one Oscar does not make a writing career. She can’t tie David Foster Wallace’s laces (dead or not).

  7. JaundiceMachine says:

    I first stumbled onto Cody’s blog in 2004. At the time she was still stripping, but her witty, tongue-in-cheek social commentary and eloquent short stories were amazingly poignant. She had such a vibrant, vivacious voice, that it didn’t take long for me to bookmark her page and share my “find” with girlfriends. A few of us even toyed with the idea of a roadie to St. Paul to see her in action, a plan that sadly never really materialized (to close to home, by some estimates, to really be considered a “vacation”).

    After my laptop died, I’ve stopped tuning into her blog as frequently (I didn’t have the heart to read about a stripper in the computer lab, when I was two hours away from a 10 page deadline), but I was really excited to hear that she finally sold a screenplay.

    I was moderately impressed with Juno. I enjoyed the dialogue and snarky interplay (who wasn’t self-righteous at 16?) because it very much smacks of Diablo and her narration style. A little too clever for kids in high school, but I understand the subtext of a pretentious know-it-all getting in over her head. I just found certain things to be absolutely unbelievable, though. Like when Juno said that her all time favorite band is Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and the entire soundtrack is indy-pop? Please! What a poseur!

  8. silentA says:

    I heart her.
    And I heart her rant.

    She worked hard. And it seems like she’s paid some life-dues, “I was jamming toxic silicon toys up my ass for money”

    And I think working in a cubicle is bad…

  9. elisha says:

    What a snobby b1tch. That little diabtribe totally made me think so much less of her. What the hell does someone so full of herself need therapy for? Bleecch.

    It’s funny that her little rant was meant to really stick it to the “Violent fanboys”, but actaully just turned me (and perhaps a few others) into brand new Diablo Cody haters!! (Before I was just indiferent towards her).

    We get it, woman, we get it. We know you won some awards, used to be a stripper, phone sex operator, put plastic toys in your butt, etc. Quit bringing it up. Unless that’s all you have to cling to.

    And to aaaaaaaaa: her response is so late because she just can’t. let. it. goooooo that she wrote some overhyped movie and won some statues for it.

  10. The Cat says:

    You have to give it to her, though (and I didn’t like Juno, either; your assessment of the characters was dead-on. Rainn Wilson cracks me up, but the “homeskillet” line was overburdened) — that diatribe was pretty well written. So props to her for that, at least.

  11. Kaiser says:

    I enjoyed her hissy fit, though I did skip through some parts – she’s a good writer, but *somebody* needs an editor!

    Team Diablo. :D

    Oh, and I liked Juno. I did think the character of Juno was a little snotty, but hey, so was I. I mean, so am I. The best parts were played by Allison Janney and Michael Cera! Love them both, and they were robbed of best supporting actor/-tress noms.

  12. lola lola says:

    Loved her before. Love her now. Nothing new ’bout that. Hope crap stops bothering her cause it’s not worth her time. Fake names rule.

  13. KDRockstar says:

    I think her name was out of the papers for too long. If she is that busy writing/creating/winning, then why is she reading blog crap anyway?

    Still loved “Juno.” Not a big DC fan, though. She’s learning to play the Hell-Ay game.

  14. pissoff says:

    “I rented Juno and couldn’t watch the whole thing. The dialogue sounded so fake and contrived and the characters weren’t that endearing or real.”

    –Yeah, unlike other teen movies that do such a good job on dialogue and character development.

  15. Shannon says:

    Her book Candy Girl the stripper memoir was excellent, especially because I’ve been to two of the establishments she worked at a few times (long story, my friend decided to audition as a stripper. She was offered a job on the spot because she was so good, but decided to go to college instead).
    Her writing is witty, spot-on, and humorous in that book. So while Juno has its forced moments, I wouldn’t write Diablo Cody off. She’s incredibly talented.

  16. breederina says:

    Loved Juno, and heart Ms. Cody big time. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Gal’s got a way with words that can not be denied. If it makes her feel better to publicly stick up for her self and she can do it so entertainingly then by all means go D.C.

  17. MB Travis says:

    Please go away now, stripper-lady. Methinks I’m bored of you.

  18. Syko says:

    I loved Juno – funny, touching, sweet. Yeah, Juno was a smart-ass, most kids that age are. But it was a good movie. And that was a fine rant.

  19. anony says:

    She’s so radical (*rolls eyes*) YEAH!

    Smart way to stay in the public eye though. Rants always get lots of play.

  20. Trillion says:

    Once in a blue moon I wonder if I should try once a again to make it all the way through Juno, but now I think my decision to turn it off after 15 minutes was a good one. I was in a room full of people excited to see it and when finally someone suggested it was shite, every single person expressed relief. Her response is sort of entertaining here, but I don’t “get” her. Oh well.

  21. Codzilla says:

    I’m with you, Diablo. Can’t wait for your next project.

  22. whatevs says:

    My boyfriend and I both looked at each other about 15 minutes into Juno, like, “Are you into this right now? Should we continue?”. I’m glad we did cause after awhile the movie kind of grew on me. I still cry every time I hear “Sea of Love” by CatPower.

    She’s a pretty talented writer, although somewhat annoying. Good for her for sticking up for herself, however long it took her.

  23. vdantev says:

    I refuse to take anyone with a stripper name seriously.

  24. Bryan says:

    As much as I think that Juno and Diablo are overrated, her “I was jamming toxic silicon toys up my ass for money” line was classic.

  25. kate says:

    she quoted rizzo! i think she is my new girl-crush.

  26. Cletus says:

    Ohhhhh, I’d totally drink beer with her. Any time.

  27. what says:

    i don’t know if it was ellen page herself that was so annoying or her lines. either way she drove me nuts during that movie.
    i wanted to think highly of cody but her entertainment weekly articles were in fact unreadable.

  28. Rick says:

    The first 15-20 minutes of Juno were annoying, I admit. It improved immeasurably after that (once she told her father and stepmother that she was knocked up). I don’t know if it was helpful or not to respond to the haters, but the rant was well-written and entertaining, so I have to say, “You go, girl!”

  29. Richie Wright says:

    1. Really, try to do what she does. For 1 hour.
    2. Imagine doing what she does coming from where she came from.
    3. She has been gifted with being in the top 1% of any creative, intellectual, world. It’s called talent.
    4. Rent Amadeus and see this story and how it has played out for hundreds of years.
    5. Admit it, she has talent and balls to go out there and get what she has dreamed of while facing down the biggest block of all. Self worth.
    6. This isn’t something she could be taught, nor was she shown how. She did it all herself.
    7. She is a power of example and leads us to the permission to follow our own dreams.
    8. Now we have to come up with the drive and work ethic… and hope to God we can back it up with talent.
    She has every right to say what she wants. They had the right and said what they wanted about her.
    Ms. Cody, thank you for your spirit.