Terry McMahon V Donald Clarke


On Saturday, Irish Times film critic Donald Clarke (above) complained at some length that a quote of his had been used on the side of buses in Dublin to promote the movie Charlie Casanova, directed by Terry McMahon (top) and released on May 11.

Clarke said he would rather drink “caustic soda’ than be seen to endorse the movie.

Adding: “When I mentioned the bus business to fellow critics, few of whom were any more fond of Charlie Casanova, they made comical side-clutching gestures and fell theatrically from their seats. After pulling himself together, one then commented: “That has to be illegal.” A phone call to The Irish Times’s lawyers confirmed that such quote-mining could conceivably involve an infringement of the journalist’s copyright. Misrepresenting a critic for financial gain is not considered ‘fair usage’.”

Yesterday, Terry McMahon gave a detailed response on his blog which concluded:

“…The truth is, Donald, you don’t know me. We’re not friends. If we were, you’d know I’d come out fighting. You’d know I wouldn’t allow you take food off my kid’s table. When you dialed those Irish Times lawyers, did you not feel the need to run your future article past them? Defamation is a serious business, Donald. Do your lawyers know, Donald, that, with the might of The Irish Times behind you, you have unlawfully done discernible damage to the reputation and livelihood of a citizen? I don’t f*****ng think so. So, should you find yourself forced to choose between caustic soda and a re-watch of Charlie Casanova, you can speed dial those Irish Times lawyers because they’ll be there for you, Donald Clarke, diluted caustic soda in one hand and a copy of Sweet Smell of Success in the other, all prepped to skip to the JJ Hunseker scene where he says, “You’re dead, son. Get yourself buried.” If you don’t believe me, Donald, ask your lawyers.”

Clarke’s piece: Five Stars? I Don’t F**king Think So (Donald Clarke, Irish Times)”

McMahon’s Response: Charlie Casanova and Donald Clarke (Terry McMahon)

Clarke illustration by Tom Galvin

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