An Open Letter to Los Angeles Times writer Patt Morrisson

This is an open letter in response to a piece entitled Downtown LA: Good enough for the royals, but not for Zooey Deschanel?, written by columnist Patt Morrison, which appeared in the publication on July 10, 2011.

Dear Ms. Morrison,
I feel compelled to respond to your recent blog post regarding comments I “allegedly” made outside the BAFTA dinner on Saturday night. I never spoke to you at this event; in fact, you weren’t even there. I am completely and utterly shocked that a professional journalist, whom I have never met, would take a partial quote out of context and use it as the basis for a misguided personal attack. Further, I find it appalling that you would resort to name-calling to get your point across. In a court of law this would be called hearsay, and in journalism, I believe this should be the beginning of an investigation, not the end of one.
Let me be clear: the quote from USA TODAY that you used as the foundation of your piece was taken completely out of context. I NEVER said that Downtown LA was “the worst of LA”. I did make a reference to a parking lot adjacent to the theater that had a lot of trash in it in an attempt to be humorous. I simply said, “It’s funny they brought royalty here, there is a parking lot with trash around the corner.” It wasn’t an opinion. It was true. There was indeed a parking lot with trash around the corner. I thought that the juxtaposition of British Royalty and trash was amusing in a high-brow + low brow sort of way, but I never said that I, personally, didn’t like downtown, the Royals, or even trash.
I LOVE DOWNTOWN LA and I relish any opportunity to spend time there. I have pride in my city, that’s the reason why I thought it was kind of funnythat they didn’t clean up the immediate surroundings before the Royals came through. In the end, of course, it didn’t actually matter since those two crazy kids were flown in by helicopter anyway. Silly me. Regardless, I don’t even think I need to defend my love of Los Angeles.  I am a native Angelino, and had you done any research at all, you would have found that I have been quoted in the press on numerous occasions talking about how much I love Downtown.
In your piece, the character you’ve created of “me” is actually pretty funny. I don’t know who this person is, but it seems as if you’ve borrowed her from the Susan Lucci repertoire. You make so many far-fetched conclusions; for one thing, you state, “go back to your house on the Westside.” Well, I can’t do that because I do not live on the Westside. You also open your piece by calling me a “cow”, which might be your opinion, but I wish a journalist for the Los Angeles Times and KPCC had found a more sophisticated way of sharing a difference in perceived opinion.
It’s hard for me to comprehend why you launched such a vile and toxic blow in my direction over a sentence fragment that you did not even hear for yourself. I do hope that in the future when writing about something, especially a human being, you will consider both the facts and context before publishing your opinion.
Zooey Deschanel

  • Breanna von Muegge

    Well said. People should not believe everything the read and only half of what they hear. Love you Ms. Deschanel!

  • Claudia Bax

    Well said, Zooey. My hat off to you!
    Wow. The nerve of that journalist. I love the internet, it opens you up to what goes around in the world, but it also results in being entirely vulnerable to the bad parts of it. It’s so open, quotes float left and right and are misquoted on more cases than not. With a lot of pros, there comes a ton of cons. I am sorry you were faced with a very horrible con. But you replied with this very admirable and strong. Hear Hear!

  • Terri Harvey

    You tell em’ Zooey!
    I completely agree with you!

  • Jamie Barr

    I haven’t read the piece but it seems like more interesting things were going in that night that merit discussion. He is obviously a very misguided man.

  • Katie Hart

    Holy Libel Suit, Batman!

  • Johanna Ehnle


  • Pao M’ Cisneros

    You are admirable Zooey.

  • Lindsay James Nyquist

    thanks for a well-written and appropriate response to a shallow blow.

  • Alexandra Colombara

    Seriously who would ever think to say that Zooey is a cow? the audacity of some people!!

  • Melissa Kraemer

    You TELL her! And how amazing of you to take the high road and not call her a Lying Skunk!

  • Nicola Haines

    YOU GO GIRL! snap snap snap!

  • Ulf Skei

    I feel sad on your behalf. It is indeed remarkable how little amount of human decency some people display. Because a person is a ‘celebrity’ I imagine they think they can write anything about them…
    Sad to hear…

  • Mike Vivian

    Spot on Miss. Deschanel! Glad you took the high road on this topic unlike other people who refer to libel and first-grade name calling to attempt to get their point across.

  • Kate Woronischtsche

    great job zooey! very very well put.

  • Erika Turner

    That is just bad journalism! It sounds more of like a personal attack on you than on anything that you may or may not have said. People love to take someone down a notch no matter what, so way to take the high road. BTW -Thanks for this site which just goes to show your character (as well as molly/sophia) and what you really believe in.

  • Jacki Clayton

    What a lovely, eloquent, and KIND way to rebut that attack on your honor. You are a true roll model. I am, once again, in awe of your talent.

  • Allison Andresini

    This is just another example of a journalist using celebrity mis-quotes to drum up controversy. How dare you call yourself a journalist if your story isn’t even based in facts that can be properly sourced? It’s embarrassing.

  • Jamie Kluesner

    go get um Zooey!

  • Jeff Eyamie

    Don’t let this put a damper on your Summah!

    • Erika Turner

      lol, funny or die? That was a hilarious little video.

  • Jenny Lonussen

    If anyone wants to question your love of LA they should watch the following videos! Where you state that you love ALL of LA..
    Anyhow that’s poor journalism at the very least and completely vile and uncalled for. Sorry you have to put up with these things. I don’t think people realize that celebrities are people with feelings as well and saying that bad-press, paparazzi is something that comes with the profession is BS and an excuse for people to threat others badly. I think you handled this very well and classy. <3

    • Jenny Lonussen


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