An Open Letter to Los Angeles Times writer Patt MorrissonZooey Deschanel

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

  • Keith Schoose

    Great response. I would have written Dear Hat wearing Harridan in lieu of your greeting, I guess you are a nicer person than I am!

  • Liz Brown

    Quoting someone else’s quote from USA Today is what the LA Times now considers “journalism”? Yikes!!!

  • Raquel Lupe Anaya

    went and read the original article and I can’t help marveling at how it got published in the first place. If it was in print I’d say it wasn’t worth the paper and ink it was printed on, but as is, it isn’t much worth the minuscule amount of cyber-space-cloud-whatevaa it occupies.

    props for setting it straight.

  • Rebecca Lynn


    yep. i think that covers it.

  • Michael Blatherwick

    Thanks to this trashy writer, I know the name Patt Morrison, which just goes to show Patt’s motive in being a jerk… self interest, not journalism. Love you Zooey!

  • Jackie Ruth

    I read the original opinion column, & I must say that it angered me, as a fan of Zooey’s and as a journalism student myself. Opinion is opinion, but in the very least, you can be tactful about it. I love this reply & I think it’s a very fitting response to the article. Maybe Patt Morrison can learn a thing or two here. On the other hand, just because there are bad journalists out there doesn’t mean that it’s no longer a worthy profession. I’m not very happy myself about all the comments about journalism in general being horrible based on this incident. I want to be a journalist involved in entertainment, maybe for Rolling Stone or a similar publication, but that doesn’t make me an awful person or a liar. I wish that everyone could show the respect that Zooey does when trying to get their point across.

  • Samantha Templeton Waxler

    Your response to Mrs. Morrison’s verbal attack reflects who you are, as much as Mrs. Morrison’s attack on you reflects what kind of person she is. You can rest assured there are a lot of people on your side. Maybe with the NotW collapse and journalistic integrity called into the fore right now, people like Mrs. Morrison will not be able to hide behind their computers much longer, printing whatever they want, whether fact or fiction. Maybe soon they’ll be called to account.

  • Melodie Ash

    I don’t know how tabloid Journalism became so misguided and odious! We love you over here in the UK Zooey, please come and visit us soon!

  • Andrea Hall Stockelman

    Very classy, Ms. Deschanel. But again, I would never expect anything less. Seems like Ms. Morrison should take a lesson from you.

  • Virany Kreng

    It’s galling that a venerated journalist for a respected newspaper like the LA Times could write and print something like she did. I applaud you, Zooey, for taking the high road. But I still think she owes you an apology. Her opening comment was very 2nd grade, and the most important lesson I remember from that year was to say sorry when you’re mean to someone. Well, that and don’t forget to feed the hamsters because bad things happen when you do. Yeah, I learned that one the hard way. *shiver*

  • Schöne Frau

    Hello Zoey. My gf is a big fan or you [sorry, I had to say it], and I, as a consequence, get to hear you, and I like your music , is really sweet, although my gf loves your music more.

    This is my share of explanation of what that “journalist” (if we can call him that way) issued this personal attack on you. It is called “lack of creativity”. That guy had absolutely nothing to write about, so he was not going to get paid. So what did he do to solve this? He got some random quote from a famous person [on this is you] and simply wrote about that in a very exaggerated way.

    So I really won’t take any word on that article seriously. I don’t think any of your fans will be able to believe such article, although some random guy that doesn’t knows you might take his words seriously, and perhaps you’ll be loosing a potential fan :(

    • Schöne Frau

      Sorry! I meant ZoOey, not Zoey. Please forgive me! By the way, I write with my gf’s facebook account since I don’t own one yet. I had to write these comments since I felt bad about a guy calling you “snooby cow”. He is really unprofessional.

  • Sarah Ann Schatsiek

    I love you. You kick ass. (excuse my French) You definitely know how to put someone in their place! So inspiring.

  • Cory Mac A’Ghobhainn

    nice response, zooey. and i love downtown LA too. patt morrison herself comes off like an insane cow in a hat

  • Alan Card

    I searched High and Low to find the perfect response to this writing and I kept coming back to this: ——> BOO-YA! :-)

  • Eddie Selover

    I lived in L.A. 25 years ago, and Patt the Hat, as we called her (she wore big hats to draw attention) was a struggling writer… Even then she was always name-dropping about her supposed run-ins with celebrities (not hard to do in L.A.) and trashing them to show her superiority. “I was having lunch at Spago when Marlon Brando tripped over my outstretched leg… Hey, watch it Fatso, I said…” in other words, she’s always been a hack and a tool… Now, she’s just old hat.

  • Ashleigh Trosen

    get em girl!!!

  • Catherine Brown Smith


  • Oscar Iván Lanza López

    Great response Zooey!!! U put that guy in his place!!!

  • McLean Turner Oakeson

    glad SOMEBODY’S acting like an adult!

  • David Jenkins

    Ms. Deschanel, a quick story. I toured for three years advancing the Ice Capades, and part of my job was dealing with local media. We were headed for my hometown of Boston and a gossip columnist from the Boston Globe contacted me at my hotel and demanded some dirt, some gossip she could print on the show. I told her I had nothing. She pushed and pushed so I said well, you could do a little thing about how the advance guy is from Boston and was thrilled to be working in an arena where I’d grown up seeing the Beatles, blah blah blah, convinced that she’d see it wasn’t worth printing. Well, the next day her column appears identifying me and saying “He dates lots of girls in the Ice Capades chorus line ‘just to keep his skates sharp,’ wink wink!” Of course she fabricated that completely, I never said anything even remotely like that. Well, that column very nearly got me fired from the company, the president of the show called me up from the Hollywood office and reamed me. In another city I had told a writer that Tai Babilonia, our Olympic skater that season, had “thunder thighs” when what I’d said was that she was a very strong skater who could do higher jumps. When it ran that crack had her in tears, she was only 19 or so, and when I confronted the writer he said “Well, there’s no quote that isn’t worth improving upon.” Good for you for standing up. Best wishes, David Jenkins, North Carolina.

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