Olivia Wilde & Florence Pugh had a ‘blowout argument’ in January 2021

The promotion for Don’t Worry Darling was chaotic, but you can’t deny that there was word-of-mouth “buzz” for the film. Was most of the buzz about the behind-the-scenes drama? Yes. But that’s worked for other films too. It does look like all of the dramas between Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine created enough interest to ensure that people came out for DWD’s opening weekend. Box office prognosticators were at their wit’s end trying to figure out what the up-and-down tracking meant, which led to a curious piece on Vulture. Vulture spoke to those industry insiders, executives and prognosticators to figure out what could be learned from the Please Worry Darling promotional debacle, and unnamed sources actually spilled some tea about the on-set tensions between Olivia and Miss Flo herself.

An anonymous executive from a rival studio called early estimates of DWD’s opening-weekend box-office performance “schizophrenic,” and an exec at yet another studio called it “all over the place.”

“I’ve never seen tracking go up and down so much,” said the latter exec. “They went up three points of interest, lost five points of interest. Now they’re, like, nowhere. They’ve got young girls excited because of Harry Styles, and that’s it. Their campaign keeps changing: ‘It’s a thriller!’ No, just kidding. ‘It’s a romantic drama!’ ‘It’s this. It’s that!’ Kim Kardashian liked it on Instagram. The audience is like, What the f–k is going on?”

In one alarming indication of ebbing interest for Don’t Worry Darling, ticket presales have leveled off this week rather than spiking upward as is more typical of a film about to make its multiplex debut, according to tracking data. By contrast, Paramount’s supernatural-horror title Smile — which opens a full week later on September 30 — just pulled ahead of Don’t Worry Darling with a score of 13 in the crucial box-office tracking metric of “unaided awareness” versus DWD’s 12, according to a Thursday report from NRG. Not helping matters: Chris Pine’s “last-minute” cancellation of a promotional appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! earlier this week. (He joined Pugh in skipping DWD’s New York premiere.)

Pugh’s refusal to do more than the barest minimum of media appearances in support of the film has been parsed as confirmation of her animus toward Wilde… and rumors about the true depths of DWD dysfunction have seemingly picked up the promotional slack. According to an anonymous source who spent significant time on the DWD set and spoke to Vulture last week, a blowout argument between star and director did indeed take place in January 2021 — about three-quarters of the way through filming. Pugh, who is a few degrees removed from Wilde’s ex, Jason Sudeikis, had reportedly grown fed up with the director’s frequent unexplained absences. “Olivia and Harry would just disappear,” the source says. But the breaking point came when Pugh, 26, and Wilde, 38, broke into a “screaming match,” this person recalls.

According to our source, the acrimony between Wilde and Pugh allegedly reached all the way to the top of the studio totem pole, with the highest-ranking Warner Bros. executive at the time, Toby Emmerich, forced to play referee in a “long negotiation process” to ensure Pugh would participate in the film’s life cycle “in any way” and not jeopardize the potential box office. (A Warner Bros. spokeswoman said Emmerich was traveling and unavailable to comment. Vulture also reached out for comment to representatives for Wilde and Pugh, who did not respond.)

An anonymous executive with knowledge of the situation told us that top Warner Bros. brass are ultimately unhappy with how Wilde has handled DWD promotional duties — specifically with regard to how she’s discussed LaBeouf’s departure from the film in interviews. (Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.) “Olivia is either a mad genius who figured out a way to make people more aware of the movie in a way that just drives up the box office,” says another source close to the production, “or she doesn’t have any self-awareness that she is f–king up her movie.”

[From Vulture]

This is actually not the first time we’ve heard about a “blowout argument” between Florence and Olivia, nor is it the first time we’ve heard that Florence was upset with Olivia’s unexplained absences, when she was off with Harry. That gossip has been layered into tabloid reporting before now, so it’s interesting to see Vulture’s industry sources backing up those stories. Now, I hadn’t heard about Toby Emmerich coming in to mediate the conflict, but I think it’s worth pointing out that no one from the studio seemed the least bit surprised that Florence refused to do promotion and that she didn’t even do the press conference in Venice. Florence has clearly been backed by Warner Bros for months and the WB has been kept in the loop about Pugh’s issues with Wilde (which is smart for Pugh – go above Olivia’s head, deal with the issues at an executive level). This Vulture piece also confirms something I’ve been half-way assuming this whole time: the studio isn’t happy with Olivia and this whole DWD drama has done serious and lasting damage to Olivia’s career, regardless of the film’s box office.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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105 Responses to “Olivia Wilde & Florence Pugh had a ‘blowout argument’ in January 2021”

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  1. Laalaa says:

    There was an episode of House where her character has to deal with a female sociopath. Every time DWD article comes up, I remember that episode.

    • ClaireB says:

      I hated OW in House for no real reason that I could explain, but I’m glad to know years later that my intense dislike was apparently justified!

  2. Sean says:

    There’s a review thread for “Don’t Worry Darling” on the r/Movies subreddit.

    If the user reviews are to be believed, this movies is a hilarious mess as in “It’s so bad and so bonkers it’s hilarious”. Harry Styles’ acting is said to be atrocious. Reports of audiences breaking out into laughter at parts that are meant to be serious.

    I kinda really want to see it now because of these reviews.

    • Sinead says:

      Yeah the review of DWD on Pajiba is damming. It’s getting such funny reviews that I now want to see it so no bad publicity I suppose

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah the critics have basically ripped Styles and his acting apart – the only good thing in the entire movie is Flo’s performance.

      Styles is already getting sh!t for comments he made about his upcoming movies about a gay policeman.

      Couldn’t happen to 2 nicer people – Styles has always been a brat.

    • Mer says:

      The Daily Beast had an article that revealed the entire third act of the movie and, without giving anything away, it’s ridiculous and not in a good way. After seeing the first trailer, I wanted to see the movie because I liked the eerie mid-century vibes, but after all this drama and now knowing what’s actually going on in the movie, I’m glad I didn’t waste money on a ticket.

    • mabbles says:

      I read a spoiler filled, “ending explained” review on…digital spy, I think? I was so curious but knew I wasn’t going to see it. The plot and spoilers did indeed sound bonkers, but also very dumb and try hard. But I think in the right hands it may have been interesting? From what I read the styles character could have benefited from more heavy lifting. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to wildes and styles careers after this. I think everyone else is pretty safe.

    • mia girl says:

      My daughter went to 9p showing in LA on Friday night. Said theater was full of young industry types like her and that there was a lot of laughter at (not with) the film. Particularly at Style’s few scenes (and she’s a Harry fan).

      She said Pugh was great and funny enough, she also thought Olivia Wilde did a great job acting in the film. But she said story and much of the dialogue is just BAD and direction is disjointed.

      Her other comment was there wasn’t even much sex in the movie so she was a little confused about Wilde pushing that so much.

      • Cava 24 says:

        Olivia was pushing the sex scenes (which really is not something I have seen make directors so, for those saying everything she has done male directors have also done) because pushing the sex scenes sells tickets. She was pandering to Harry’s fans. And it made Florence uncomfortable which she discussed in an interview (without saying who was talking about it). The sex scenes were super prominent in the first three trailers and apparently they don’t take up much time in the movie and aren’t a massive focus point.

      • LauraH says:

        Just finished watching the movie in the theater. Minutes before the movie started, I read this comment.

        Well, your take on the audience reaction to the film is 100% accurate. I watched the film with a half empty movie theater and the audience, including myself, bursted laughing OUT LOUD to Harrys acting. The movie is not good. The sex in this movie is fairly minimal considering the comments publicized. The dialogue is terrible, the storytelling is choppy and disorganized, and the ONLY thing good in this movie is Miss Flo.

        The cinematographer did an amazing job.

  3. Div says:

    My hot, unpopular take is this whole thing reeks of misogyny. Olivia f*cked up, no doubt about it. It was also clear the Shia thing was out of context (some of those messages were pre Twigs). Yet the media blew this up way more than the David O. Russell issue and some refused to think ‘hm, maybe Shia isn’t giving the entire context of the story.’ It’s giving me Taylor and Kim, where it came out that Taylor hadn’t flat out lied.

    TLDR: She f*cked up. I also think the backlash was disproportionate. And I think the only one who comes out looking good in this entire mess is Gemma Chan. Chris Pine looked high as a kite and was basically rolling his eyes at the press conference. Harry was…a mess. And while people on twitter were like ‘slay’ about Flo, walking out in the middle of a standing ovation and posting tik toks while the rest were at the press conference, despite allegedly having a scheduling conflict, seemed petty asf. None of these people-except Gemma-seem professional, though Olivia was clearly the most unprofessional.

    Also, a bunch of people from the set came out to refute this so as bad as it might have been, the fact that people felt the need to refute it…and Flo posted pics from the movie, also of Olivia, makes me think again this is way overblown.

    • Fernanda says:

      I think several things can be true in the same time. Is there misogyny? Yes. Is Olivia an a**h***? Yes. Is Florence petty? Yes. Is Shia telling the truth? Yes. Is Shia a predator? Yes. And so on…
      My only question personally here is why Olivia exposed herself so much just to get together with some Harry Styles who is ridiculous in my opinion? The man wears onesies ffs 🤣

      • Div says:


        Yeah, I’m just surprised she did all this over….Harry. Even if she acted flawlessly, his stans hate whomever he dates and the media knows it’s obvious clickbait to write gossipy, negative stories on his partners (to get clicks from said stans)…she must really love him because there’s no other explanation.

        And yeah, I agree, there are multiple things going on at once and multiple things can be true or ‘partially’ true. I do suspect-outside of twitter/media which ate this up-that no one is going to come out of this completely unscathed…though Olivia will clearly get the brunt of it. All and all though, the studios care about money, so I don’t think this will ruin her.

      • Liz in A says:

        Yes, I totally agree with this. It is very possible for OW to be a bitch, Miss Flo petty, AND the whole situation also be driven by an underlying misogyny. OW’s call to Shia for example is the kind of glad handling I think every director has to do. Which isn’t to say there weren’t messy elements to this whole situation, but there is a lot of other stuff too. We will keep learning more for a while I think.

    • toomanykims says:

      This ^^^

    • EllenOlenska says:

      Yes, Olivia f*cked up big time. But my old lady self absolutely thinks Florence’s attempts to go over her head and up the Exec ladder would have been received very differently if Olivia was a man….

      • Kirsten says:

        Not necessarily? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but when Gal Gadot went to execs about Joss Whedon’t behavior on set, they stepped in.

      • jbones says:

        @EllenOlenska I was thinking the same thing. Maybe Florence is so used to being the muse, that having the director’s attention on Harry was off putting and unacceptable. No way Pugh would go over a male director’s head to the execs. Also, how many times have the roles been reversed in the making of a (male directed) film? I think of Betty Davis and Joan Crawford duking it out over the affections of the director on Baby Jane, same story different characters?

    • Jais says:

      What part did the crew refute? The screaming? Or OW being MIA sometimes? If OW did go missing at times and crew was literally waiting on her to come to set so they could get started, that’s not great. It wouldn’t be great for any director of any gender to do that. Filming long hours is not a joke. If that’s how it went down. A male director shouldn’t do this either but would producers react the same? Probably not.

    • 4pibs says:

      Hard disagree. OW is responsible for the vibe in the set as director. If there’s tension with her cast, it IS her responsibility to alleviate that, NOT make it worse..

      I find the misogyny argument for this situation so disingenuous. Feminism should mean that we expect men to behave better, not giving women a pass to behave as sh*tty as men do now.

      • AuntRara says:

        Yeah, I feel like OW’s behavior has been reinforcing harmful stereotypes about women in leadership – they cause drama, they talk behind people’s backs instead of being professional, they’re led by emotion, etc etc. I worry that it will be even harder for other female directors to get a chance now.

      • tolly says:

        This right here. The main argument in Wilde’s defense is that men have done the same and worse, which is true but not a valid excuse for unprofessional behavior. She’s taking a lot of heat because she courts the press more than most male directors ever do, with all the magazine covers and talk show appearances.

      • Kirsten says:

        1000% this.

      • Cava 24 says:

        @AUNTRARA – I don’t think this will affect other female directors because so much of this is related to Olivia and her personal life – her commenting about Jason in interviews, her relationship with Harry, her choices in wanting to make herself out to be a paragon of good leadership. Nobody else does this stuff in interviews.

      • Pilar says:

        Yeah it’s not helpful that people want to feminism as a way to explain the push back Olivia Wilde is experiencing, when all Wilde does is praise the men in the movie. She spent a disproportionate time complimenting Harry compared to every other actor in the film, and in the last interview I read she only talk’s about Harry and pines performances.
        And she almost cut the only black woman out of the film ( see Kiki laynes post). What this press tour revealed is that Wilde seems to be the epitome of self serving skin deep white feminism.

    • Thinking says:

      I think Pugh’s dislike of Wilde disappearing with Styles seems reasonable. It honestly doesn’t strange to me. If you are the director, why are you disappearing off somewhere to make out?

      I also think it might be in some ways easier to stand up to yourself against another woman without fear. It’s likely someone might want to express their frustration at a man for the same indiscretion, but because of his physicality (assuming he’s not really puny) one might back away.

      When a woman is annoying me with her behavior, I’m probably less fearful in expressing my frustration.

      That said, we have heard reports of women getting into arguments with male directors. But it’s always the woman in a subordinate position who gets branded as crazy.

      I don’t think anyone is saying Wilde is crazy. Everyone thinks she was being inappropriate and possibly dishonest in some interviews, which sounds fair.

    • Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

      Then wasn’t Gemma pushed as the actor to promote the film? Or Gemma and Nick Kroll? Kiki Layne???

      This film has a stacked cast, and it’s very odd that since the female lead is not able to do publicity it falls to…the director almost entirely, and her boyfriend the male lead for a few scraps.

      If it was typical for directors to be the centerpiece of their film’s PR campaigns, I would agree with that the OW backlash is misogynist, but she’s putting herself front and center of the promotion. What else are we supposed to respond to when OW gives us only her mess?

    • MissMarirose says:

      I absolutely agree with this take. The continued media backlash over Wilde’s actions is far disproportionate to other problematic directors. There are so many other male directors who act far worse on set than OW did (and have the YouTube and criminal case receipts to prove it), but is anyone saying it has done serious and lasting damage to their careers? This has gotten out of hand.

      • tolly says:

        Name another director, male or female, who landed three magazine cover stories, complete with multi-page fashion shoots. She’s getting more attention because she has sought more attention than most directors do when promoting a film, which is why her mistakes have been magnified.

      • Sudie says:

        @tolly – you absolutely nailed it. She’s possibly destroyed her career, and only has herself to blame.

    • Juju says:

      I agree, it sounds like the issue is that she was occasionally absent from the set, which is unprofessional and annoying. But the repercussions seem to be far worse for Olivia than what male directors receive for very serious abusive behavior. I wonder if Flo would have behaved this way with a male director.

      I also want to read reviews from female reviewers. I know it can make a big difference and in general female focused movies tend to have worse reviews because bros don’t get it.

      • Sudie says:

        Just about the only female reviewers to see the film are Harry Styles fans and they’re likely to love the movie and won’t be able to see past HS sex scenes.

    • Tan says:

      Director is not at work – boss is not at work – that is not ok and Olivia should be held responsible and for lying in public how she was a girlboss saviour. David ORussell is an abusive boss who is also a sexual assaulter. One is a pr nightmare and shitty boss the other is a criminal and a predator. David’s behavior should not be used to excuse Olivia’s bad workplace behavior and she shouldn’t be compared to a sexual predator.

    • Eleonor says:

      Do I think there is a misoginy element ?
      Of course.
      At the same time I believe OW has been acting unprofessional through all the processus, c’mon she sent a video to Shia to convince him to come back: how old is she ? 15een ?
      And I also think that she created all this drama, because she LOVES drama.
      Good luck with the next project.

    • Twin Falls says:


    • Orianne says:

      I totally agree with you, thanks for telling it so much better than I could have ( french B over here ;D)
      People will always S & V ( simplify & vilify) and I hate that…

  4. D says:

    40 crew members of every level (below and above line) put out a joint release saying this didn’t happen. That’s a strong case that it didn’t, but it’s interesting that Vulture, which is really New York Magazine would put something so gossipy in an article and not vet it.

    Regardless, I still feel Olivia Wilde brought much of this on herself during promotion when she just couldn’t stop talking.

    That said, her career is most definitely on the line. Let’s all remember that Catherine Hardwick directed the first (and best of that terrible franchise) Twilight movie which was a huge success, but because there were reports that she briefly cried once on that set she wasn’t asked back to direct any more Twilight films and really hasn’t done many features since. David O Russell can traumatize his cast and crew on every single one of his movies and that’s just fine. A woman cries once on set or does anything else that isn’t perfect and she never gets hired again.

    • Steph says:

      She was also labeled difficult bc Stephenie Meyer is hella racist. They seriously butt heads bc Catherine wanted to diversify the cast but SM wouldn’t let her. That’s why only minor characters are not white (Laughter is fully white).

    • Noo says:

      +1 @D re Hardwick.

      Also re variety why are they using language like “studio totem pole” in 2022? Offensive and sloppy work

    • Emmi says:

      I hated what happened to Catherine after the first Twilight, even though the film was awful. The tone was so wrong.

      I honestly don’t believe OW kept disappearing from set, that makes no sense at all and frankly sounds like jealous fanfic with a slice of slutshaming. I do believe something went down between the two of them and since OW has shown to be a manipulative and egocentric person, I‘m just going to assume she had at least a big part in it.

      What I find interesting is the fact that the cast seems to have taken Florence‘s side.

  5. Pamela says:

    Ok. So now I think Florence Pugh has so much dirt on OW. Why else would the studio let her get away with so little promotion? And why else does OW keep sucking up to her? There’s something rotten in Denmark.

    • Fortuona says:

      The star of the movie is immunocompromised but the director decides to fly 7000 miles for a wedding with a co-star during filming after they had been shut down twice for Covid breaches

      And no I do not think she was sneaking off with Harry during filming as her daughter was in the cast

      • Summer says:

        @Fortuona, Florence is immunocompromised? What is her health issue? I’d never read that about her.

      • Fortuona says:

        She has Tracheomalacia which is reason she was not rushing to do the extra rehersals in the UK . That was the reason she was living with ZB so early as her parents wanted her out of the UK for Covid and the reason they moved to Spain while she was little

  6. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I didn’t really care about any part of this story when people were keeping their mouths shut. Sudeikis served her on stage at an industry event. When both parties kept their mouths shut, the furor started to die down. Pugh was not liking any DWD instagram posts. Who cares? But then Olivia kept talking about her and Miss Flo kept keeping her mouth shut. Then Wilde-at-Heart is doing magazine interviews and saying things she should have kept her mouth shut about, and Shia comes in with receipts. Mode: Interest Piqued! Then she keeps talking and backpedaling and talking and blaming sexism and she just dug her own hole over and over again. She is bad at PR and should lay off trying to gain glory for herself and maybe people will quiet down about it too. Bottom line: she did some unprofessional sh*t on set and upset her lead(s) and heads of the studio. If she knew how not to center herself in all the drama, no one would be talking about all the drama.

    • Thinking says:

      I agree. I think Wilde may have other strengths, but PR does not seem to be one of them.

    • Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

      Olivia also did this weird post about her boyfriend, overly praising him for his work on the film and choosing to be in a woman-directed movie with a strong woman lead. The post essentially positioned him as the star of the movie and some critics were like—“Wait, the boy band guy can compete with an Oscar-nominated actor?”

  7. Eurydice says:

    At the end of the day, all that will matter is if the film makes money.

    • Lens says:

      True and it’s opening numbers which seem to be good. Believe me, that’s all anyone really cares about $$$.

      • Becks1 says:

        I feel like it will totally crash after this weekend, because the reviews aren’t great and people who want to see it bc of the drama will have seen this weekend, and the others will watch it on streaming.

  8. B says:

    This whole scandal will 100% derail Olivia’s career, both as an actress and as a director. I’ll be shocked if she gets another high profile gig again.

    • Thinking says:

      If her movie makes money, I think she’ll get another shot.

      I just wonder if she’ll learn how to do PR better.

      • Red says:

        The film will make money because of Harry’s fans. I think the studio knows why the tickets were sold, and it’s not because the movie was good. So unless Olivia just plans on hiring Harry every film, I’m curious if she will see a career backlash.

      • SnoodleDumpling says:

        Yeah, if it makes money she’ll get another shot…probably with a studio-assigned babysitter to handle the PR. Ya know, script her statements or coach her for interviews, stand just off-camera with a teleprompter and a muzzle, that sort of thing.

        Maybe a remote-controlled shock collar for when she heads into drama territory…

  9. Intheloop says:

    Saw the movie with friends last night and it is genuinely awful. The pacing is terrible, the plot is nonsense, and in my opinion it does a real disservice to every POC actor with lines (such as Kiki Layne and Gemma Chan). Florence Pugh and Chris Pine do their best but they can’t salvage it. There were points in the film where my friend was literally snorting with laughter, and those moments were not meant to be funny!

    • Miss Owlsyn says:

      I have no plans to see it but I hopped to Wikipedia to read the summary and find out what this erotic thriller full of female pleasure was about…… and was gob smacked that the basic plot was so unoriginal. I’ve seen it so many times. The execution would have to be really novel or revolutionary for it to not seem derivative.

      I was like, “All these months of gossip and controversy, wrecked relationships, Instagram shade and spit, for *this*? THIS is the payoff?”

      • Deering24 says:

        It’s a shame Wilde didn’t put her energy into improving the script. This could have worked, but it is fatally low on characterization and deals with some heavy themes in the shallowest way imaginable.

  10. VonBarron says:

    This seems very clear to me. It was such egregious behavior by the director that the very top of the studio gave the lead actress whatever she wanted to get through. And the other major established actor in the film was in solidarity.

    And after all that, the director continued to tell big big lies in magazines. OW knew that her lead disliked her thus wouldn’t promote it. And no one else stepped up to promote it, or OW was happy to be on magazine covers to promote it herself. Neither is good, and then when given opportunities to maybe repair the situation or just promote the work, she went completely off script and lied about casting. She centered herself instead of the work.

    Frankly I don’t think OW is very talented, but that aside, I think she got this opportunity after Booksmart, acted really unprofessionally all throughout this process from start to finish, and just kept absolutely making it worse.

    I’d say the fault of all of this is squarely on her.

  11. Sean says:

    Something else I noticed, the body language in the header photo is interesting, IMO.

    Olivia and the cast are posing on the red carpet with their arms around each other EXCEPT for Harry Styles. He kept his arms down by his side. Does that say something?

    Am I reading too much into it? Did he forget to join the pose in the moment? His facial expression reads as “too cool for school” to me.

    Florence and Olivia were clearly kept apart. Maybe it’s nothing but there’s been so much drama with this production I feel like everything can be examined.

    • cer says:

      I wouldn’t read anything into it. I think it’s just trying to avoid pulling even more focus from the movie, which if they were all couply on the red carpet would happen.

      • Sean says:

        Harry’s not standing next to Olivia though. He’s standing between Gemma Chan and KiKi Layne. How would putting his arms around Gemma and KiKi to be in line with the rest of the cast been “couply”?

  12. Whit says:

    I do wonder if more went down than we think, the fact WB seemed to let Florence back out of press makes me think she may have quite the story.

    Could you imagine your boss disappearing to make out with your coworker then having to film a make out scene the same day? I can’t imagine the shit Olivia and Harry must have pulled. Super unprofessional.

    • TIFFANY says:

      It makes me wonder if Olivia pushed hard for Harry after Shia quit because she wanted to hook up with him..

  13. Jaded says:

    Florence Pugh is a much-in-demand actor right now so the fact that Olivia kept f*cking off with Harry to have sxy time or whatever means that filming gets slowed down and her schedule gets screwed up. It was also an insult to Florence who has a medical condition that could have caused a huge problem had she caught covid. I think Olivia just acted like the big kingpin and did whatever she wanted no matter what problems it caused or could cause. I can understand Florence’s discomfort with having Shia LB as male lead. He’s notorious in the industry as a freak method actor to the point where he’ll kill dogs, stay drunk for weeks on end and not bathe to *become* the character he’s portraying. He’s also violent and tempermental so who wants to work with someone like that?! This was a perfect storm and Olivia was never about keeping the atmosphere on set happy and cooperative as she has stated, it was always all about her.

  14. LTavlas says:

    It’s worth noting that since the Vulture story came out with the reports of the screaming match, that allegation has been refuted in statements to People by crew members in a joint statement and Miri Yoon, a producer on the film. Also, Warner Bros. execs gave a statement to Page Six saying Vulture’s claims of conflicts between Olivia and the studio are completely false.

    I do think it’s interesting that now that the movie is finally in theaters and is posting good numbers, people are coming out of the woodwork to dispel gossip and support Olivia. Maybe they didn’t want to add to the drama and discourse pre-release because they didn’t want to risk further alienating audiences. But now that they see the $$ situation is solid, they have nothing to lose in finally weighing in.

    I mean this is sure to be a very unpopular hot take, but…maayyybbeee Flo’s behavior during this whole fiasco has been less “slay, Miss Flo!” and more…petulant and petty with a bone to pick? I mean at the very least I think we can all agree that her walking out of a STANDING OVATION FOR HER FILM was really not great. This film isn’t just about her, that applause was also for the many, MANY behind the scenes people who really did work tirelessly on this project. They earned that applause and she decided to stomp on their moment for a some “you go girl!” tweets.

    • Fran says:

      She walked out on the standing ovation? Geez, if that’s true, sad to here. Especially for all the others who worked so hard on this film.

      • Cava 24 says:

        It didn’t look like “walking out on it” in the videos I saw, it went on for awhile and then when it started to die down she made a motion to leave, it wasn’t that abrupt and it was normal given that they were in the audience and not onstage, it was a weird setup.

    • AnneL says:

      I agree with you about that. Olivia certainly seems to have acted unprofessionally, and her promo has been messy, self-serving and downright dishonest. I feel like Florence has a genuine beef with Olivia, but at the same time it is possible that both are in the wrong.

      As you said, a lot of people worked hard on this film and did nothing wrong. Actors do have some obligation to help promote films, within reason. She doesn’t have to be at all the events, but she didn’t have to walk out of a standing ovation and she could be less obvious in her shunning of the project. No, she hasn’t said anything, but there is meaning in her silence and absence, and certainly in the public act of walking out like that.

      Like you said, it’s not all about her.

      I am not in the “Slay, Flo!” camp. I think it comes across as immature and a little selfish. Flo is a very good actress and her career is going gangbusters. She’s talented and hard-working, sure, but she’s also been lucky. It always take a little luck. It wouldn’t hurt her to be more magnanimous while still protecting herself and her interests.

    • tolly says:

      The question for next week is: does Wilde have the good sense to keep her head down and let the box office speak for itself?

      • mia girl says:

        @ Tolly -If I was a betting person, I’d say Wilde takes opening weekend success exactly how she’s managed her PR – full of herself and spinning it as validation of her work as an artist.

        But IMO this first weekend success is about Styles fans plus those who were likely going to see the movie anyway, and the gossip drove them to see it opening weekend. Next weekend won’t be so great. It will have a good first week when it hits streaming for the rest of the curious.

        For her sake, she needs crisis PR people to tell her to keep her head down to at least signal to the industry that she’ll adjust her approach in the future. Agree with the comment above that the industry only cares about $$, but the $19M opening it not a rousing enough box office number to erase all the promotional messiness.

    • Cava 24 says:

      Or maybe Warner Brothers freaked out and organized the statement to People to shut all of it down. It’s not like those people can say no comfortably if they are asked to say something. I am sure some of them support her but once a few people sign on, it looks really bad and can hurt the career of anyone who was a more complicated take on things to not sign the letter.

  15. Fran says:

    The crew members of the film recently released a statement refuting this. I used to enjoy this site, but I feel like a while back it took a darker turn with tearing people down in a mean spirited away. I realize it’s a gossip site, but these feel more like Reddit comments lately.

    • cherry says:

      i agree

    • Pointillist says:

      Agree and the royal Armageddon stuff.

    • Estee N says:

      Same here. I lived in Atlanta and was closely tied (thru my late husband) to the Richard Jewel film. Everything negative reported about Wilde surrounding her role in that film is 100% false. So I’ve seen this before. And it’s obvious what drives it. Also her ex is a notorious asshole but everyone here continues to take his side. I’m so glad she dumped him. He is a miserable person who I assure you all was getting text updates directly from the process server. At minimum his PA was in the loop.

      • Cava 24 says:

        What do you mean that the negative things published about Wilde’s portrayal of Kathy Scruggs were false? The only thing I have seen is criticism for portraying a female journalist who was an actual person as sleeping with with her sources to get leads. Are you saying that isn’t true?

  16. tolly says:

    There’s another star-studded historical thriller coming out in a couple of weeks: Amsterdam, directed by none other than David O. Russell. Why aren’t we discussing his problematic history both on and off set right now? Because, so far, he has managed not to give reporters any new material to restart those stories. There have been a couple of think pieces about his track record, but the writers don’t have anything new to work with so it isn’t really NEWS. Wilde kept making NEWS with her interviews and appearances, which is why the story snowballed on social media and gossip sites. It also gave reporters an incentive to seek out sources for more clickbait.

    • Cava 24 says:

      Olivia provided much of the clickbait – “there’s a reason I left that relationship”, talking about her “no assholes policy” (which she got plenty of positive headlines for was in early 2021 when she first started talking about it) etc and then tried to claim she was being victimized by the press when Shia came with (partial) receipts and the press actually reported the story out instead of doing puff pieces repeating her talking points.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Tons of misogyny, but problematic male directors tend to stay out of the media. Part of the reason for the huge blowup was the months of non stop story drips, largely fed by Olivia. Then the Venice weirdness happened and on social media. you could see the folks who’d been following all along updating friends. There was plenty of kindling when the spark hit.

      Also relevant that Olivia comes from a family of British writers known for being flamboyant flame throwers when it comes to the media. Olivia was probably doing what came naturally, due to her upbringing, but didn’t realize that left wing London literary spats play out differently than mainstream Hollywood releases when you have a rockstar boyfriend and an ongoing custody battle with a beloved comedy icon.

  17. Stef says:

    Is anyone else bothered by how Olivia is being torn apart for doing things on set that male directors do daily, yet no one mentions it?

    • Thinking says:

      I don’t usually see male directors doing this much press for anyone to scrutinize them. I wondered why we were hearing so much from her. My original assumption was they were having her do the press because she’s considered beautiful.

      • Cava 24 says:

        Male directors do shitty things on set but they don’t usually do multiple magazine covers in glam shots (some of which are risque which is fine but again, not something you see other directors doing and it certainly pulls the focus back to her and her looks, not her work), talk about their custody issues and slam their ex and lie to journalists about firing a cast member and then discuss their “ethos” and get caught out being two faced and condescending about a cast member they claimed they were protecting. There is no one to compare this behavior to. This is not misogyny, this is Olivia being a arrogant asshole at every turn while promoting this film.

      • Cava 24 says:

        Her entire brand is “I want extra credit for directing while pretty”.

    • Kirsten says:


      No directors should behave this way, regardless of their gender.

      • Stef says:

        I appreciate the input.

        It must be interesting to be an actress turned director. Her publicity for this film is how actresses would promote a project, not directors, with the specific focus on how she’s a rare female director.

        I’m not condoning her behaviour and warranted criticisms, I agree, it’s just interesting to consider how she’s being treated today compared to how many male directors have been treated after being terrible people on set. The difference seems to be in her PR and how she’s presented herself as both the director and cast member of this film.

        Of course no director should act this way, ever. Yet some of the most famous male directors have behaved far worse than Olivia, with little risk to their careers. She may be problematic and selfish, and she’s also a good actress and trying to break into the man’s world of directing.

      • tolly says:

        @Stef: Gina Prince-Bythewood had the #1 movie last week, with nearly identical box office returns. No mess, no fuss, and only a 40% drop in the second week. These days, there a quite a few female directors getting it done.

    • Stef says:


      Thanks for the insight, love to hear it. It’s also only one example of a current successful female director who isn’t nearly as well known as Olivia. The comparison doesn’t quite match up. Happy to hear it though.

      • tolly says:

        Prince-Bythewood is a more accomplished director who is less “well-known” in the sense that she has avoided messy negative press about her personal and professional conduct. Wilde could learn a few things from women like her (also Sarah Polley, Chloe Zhao, Jane Campion, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elizabeth Banks…)

      • Thinking says:

        I think other female directors are likely as well-known as Wilde, but don’t do as much press.

        I only know Olivia Wilde IS a director because she’s always on the cover of a magazine. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I’d have a clue.

    • kif says:

      Compared to Angelina Jolie, then to Elizabeth Banks, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Olivia Wilde is a B-List actress who got a good review in her directorial debut. I’m not sure if her popularity as an actress is the same as Greta Gerwig (I think OW is still less popular than GG). All these actresses turned directors did not face this same backlash as OW because they were not caught in a lie. They were not proven to be hyprocrites in promoting feminism yet acting otherwise. The other actresses let their work speak for themselves. OW centered the whole thing around her ethos, her being a girl boss and added being a victim of Jason Sudeikis. She should have let her work speak for itself.

  18. Steph says:

    Only time will tell whether or not it really hurts Olivia’s career. At the end of the day, this is Hollywood and if the movie makes a lot of money, that’s really all the execs will care about.

    • Cava 24 says:

      It’s Harry’s fans saving her opening weekend, no studio is going to see this as a sign that her next film will perform unless he is in it. It’s likely the numbers are going to crater after this weekend.

  19. Meee says:

    @Sean that’s not Kiki Layne in the picture. Kiki is black.

  20. Thinking says:

    It says in the article that Chris Pine skipped out on an interview as well.

  21. Display Only says:

    Anyone pay attention to exactly which cast and crew members signed on to that joint statement? The dp and costumer who are previous Oscar winners- both who are likely still hoping WB will promote their work for awards season (being that the costumes and the cinematography are the only good aspects to this otherwise garbage film), the screenwriter- who was friends with Olivia before and basically owes her meager career to Booksmart, and Olivia’s personal assistant.

    Meanwhile, Flo is actively filming Dune for WB, is shortlisted for an Oscar for The Wonder, has Oppenheimer in the can, and will be filming another Marvel feature next.

    I don’t think it takes a lot of analysis to see that certain people are indebted to backing Wilde, and certain people are able to let their silence speak volumes. The people “supporting” Olivia have other motives.

    • Fortuona says:

      And Florence had to miss The Wonder screening at TIFF and has done no promo for it either ,and her being named the lead in Thunderbolts as she had to skip D23 as well

  22. TIFFANY says:

    Olivia’s mistake is thinking she is in the same circles as Angelina Jolie and Sarah Polley, two beautiful women who stared in critical acclaim films and transition to director. She is neither of them. Just saying.

  23. MsGnomer says:

    I really enjoy this site. In the time of #metoo, if there is a truth that needs to come out from cast or crew regarding this shambolic movie, I hope the press will air it.

  24. Aly says:

    In case anyone is wondering what’s next in DWD drama saga, Kiki Layne just posted about being mostly cut from the movie on her IG. She plays Margaret and her character was pivotal to the plot and Florence’s character so idk why her role was cut. Olivia is just so unlikable. I don’t know how can anyone make excuses for her.

  25. Dena says:

    I would just like to say that the phrase “top of the totem pole” or any expression that projects a white, colonialist mindset up on the order of animals on the totem pole is deeply racist and under misunderstands them. Every time I see someone use that phrase – and I cannot believe that they printed it in the magazine – I wince. The order of appearance on a totem pole was solely just to tell a story – it had and has nothing to do with hierarchy. /rant

  26. HeatherC says:

    If *any* of this has any truth to it, then I hope OW and HS have a happily ever after that never ends.

    Because otherwise OW torched her own career for some guy.

  27. Sara says:

    Anybody else just delighted by the little blip about Chris Pine canceling on Jimmy Kimmel last minute?

  28. La Dolce Vita says:

    Wow. People on this site really take unfounded gossip and rumours at face value.

    Especially when it comes to women. Reminds me of that time the crew members on Transformers banded together to attempt to smear Megan Fox in an anonymous letter. People were like “Well, if the crew said it!” i.e. “If men said it!”

    These allegations are from “anonymous sources” from RIVAL studios. Probably men. Now why would execs from rival studios try to tank their competitor’s film? Is the penny dropping yet?

    And then we have another anonymous source who claims to have been on the set. Sounds like a man who fancied Olivia Wilde and was jealous that she was with Harry Styles. Probably disapproved of the age gap too – because women in Hollywood must be between ten and thirty years younger than their boyfriends.