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9/12/08 10:39:14AM
I really appreciate the way Ebert handled the situation and his comments afterwards. Note, I also posting this because the wording of the article was a little funny (see bold). Thre are other similar writings throughout the article, but I bolded the first and most obvious.

By The Associated Press


CHICAGO - Film critic Roger Ebert on Thursday confirmed that a fellow critic yelled at him and whacked him on the knee with a program during a movie screening at the Toronto Film Festival last weekend, but said the incident was "blown out of proportion."

"It has been blown out of proportion. It is of little interest," Ebert said in a column posted Thursday on the website of the Chicago Sun-Times, where he has been a critic since 1967.

Ebert, who has battled cancer in recent years and was left unable to speak, did not name the other critic involved in the incident. But he said an account published in the New York Daily News that named the other man as rival New York Post movie critic Lou Lumenick was "truthful."

Lumenick did not return an e-mail from The Associated Press after business hours on Thursday.

Saturday's incident began, Ebert said, when he could not see subtitles for the film "Slumlord Millionaire" because the man sitting in front of him was leaning into the aisle.

"In my medical condition I cannot speak, I tapped him lightly on the shoulder, and gestured him to move over a little. He said, 'Don't touch me!' and remained in position. I tapped him lightly again. 'I said - don't touch me!' He leaned further into the aisle, as if making a point of it. I tapped him a third time, and he jumped up and whacked me on the knee with whatever it was," Ebert said.

Ebert wrote that he tapped the man a fourth time, "just to show I wasn't intimidated." The man was later moved to another seat.

"This whole matter was embarrassing, because it drew attention to me and invited pity, which makes me cringe," said Ebert, former host of the syndicated show "At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper."

While Ebert said he thought the man was wrong for blocking his sight line, the Pulitzer Prize winner said he felt sorry for him.

"He had no idea who was behind him when he smacked me," Ebert wrote. "Now it looked like he was picking on poor me. I have had my problems, but I promise you I am plenty hearty enough to withstand a smack, and quite happy, after the smack, to tap him again."

Ebert ended the column with, "I had to see those subtitles. There was no pain. The incident is over. Peace."

9/12/08 11:14:36AM
I wouldn't mess with Ebert... i once saw him tap a guy on the shoulder so hard his whole arm burst through his skin and slammed to the ground... it was pretty savage.
9/12/08 12:03:51PM

Posted by bullettdodger

I wouldn't mess with Ebert... i once saw him tap a guy on the shoulder so hard his whole arm burst through his skin and slammed to the ground... it was pretty savage.

lol Ebert once tapped a guy so hard his finger broke through the space time continuim and poked amelia earhart in the eye causing her to crash.

Scientist theorize that the force of the big bang is equal to 1 REMTP (roger ebert movie theatre poke)

Ebert doesn't shave. He just pokes himself in the face. the only thing tough enough to cut Ebert is an Ebert poke.

Ebert poked someone an infinty number of times...twice.

A Roger Ebert poke is the prefered execution in 16 states.

Ebert only has two modes. Poke and Kill. The second mode is useless. because his poke always results in death.
9/12/08 1:58:13PM
Ebert shoulder tap > Chuck Norris kick
9/12/08 2:33:44PM
You know being a movie critic can be dangerous now days with those ninjutsu shoulder taps and those nunchuck movie programs. You never know when the movie critics could disagree and a fight of shoulder taps and programs slapping could break out.
9/12/08 2:58:35PM
Spike just canceled it's Manswers segment on the Ebert-shoulder-tap-can-kill. So did MythBusters.
9/12/08 7:07:16PM
ebert's super strong, he's been doing the thumbs up & down thing forever now........that's gotta give ya carpel tunnel or sure he has massive triceps
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