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

  • Matthew Murphy

    This is the most civil, appropriate I’ve ever read to a person who has essentially gone out of their way to slander and innocent person. Zooey wasn’t the only person to make a comment like that! I heard like three other people say the same thing on the news about the event!

  • Alyse Frances Czack

    I’m so glad you responded to this “Patt”(don’t forget the two t’s) article in general, let alone posted this on HelloGiggles, a female friendly site. It’s not fair the way bullying happens, especially by these females who take statements, and make catty remarks out of harmless words. Whether it be the internet, a newspaper, text message, etc., it’s not okay to do! Us girls are much more classy then that!

  • Megan McDaniel

    LOVE. This is just as classy as I would expect from you Zooey :)

  • Sonia Oh

    Love the response — articulate, mature, and elegant. I knew there was a reason I liked you (minus the fact that I love your movies, haha). You’re awesome! :)

  • Lu Cores

    Are there really people who read trash like that? Journalism has gotten so bad this last years that anyone can use the title and receive a salary for it, what a shame….

  • Linn Dyakov

    Lol, that is ridicule. She’s an amateur.
    It’s funny how your article completely outshines hers despite the fact that she’s the one educated in journalism.

  • Lu Cores

    And you have all the right in the world to be angry and take revenge, but you answer like a real lady, calm and with respect. Well done, girl! :)

  • Holly Bedford

    Brilliant…that is all.

  • Anna Schatte

    It is nice that you have this forum to respond to such defaming and negative journalism. It is one thing to dissect something one has said, but it is obvious this journalist was attacking your character, and it really just made her look rude and judgmental. If only ALL sites were as supportive and positive as Hello Giggles. Come on women, let’s stop with the crap and support each other!

  • Roland Zwikker

    Oh dear, lazy journalism…it’s going to be the death of newspapers. Living in the UK it is currently hard to be shocked by this kind of thing…journalism used to be a proud craft & journalists were respected professionals…no longer…good on you for standing up for yourself! Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

  • Nikki Lombino

    Well put miss! I need to go read her complete nonsense that she is claiming as an article….but jeez! I’m just shocked (but considering that most “journalists” these days don’t put much effort into actually finding out the facts before putting them forth as such, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised…) But I can’t believe she did that. I would have been too tempted to just write her back saying: MOOOOOOOOOO, screw you! Do your job instead of flinging complete garbage! – But your way is much classier and very well spoken :) A tip of my hat to you chickie!

  • Steph Pessoa

    THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF. It’s ill-equipped writers like her that utilize the immature gossip of others as a means of “journalism” that add to our society’s problems. I am and have always been a HUGE fan and your genuine and much needed response shines next to the disgusting article. GO ZOOEY!

  • Alison Brough

    Bullies are, like, the worst. Sorry you got bullied. You are better, stronger, more articulate, more intelligent, and much kinder than that guy.

  • Jocelyn Dugan

    Cow? I would be more offended by the dairy remark than anything else. I hate weight jokes and “cow” to me, is a weight joke. Zooey is not a cow. Cow is rude. I dislike rude people on principle.

  • Alex Smith

    Oh you wonderful person, Zoey. Made my day.

    • Alex Smith

      And now I just feel like a fool for spelling Zooey wrong. Still, the point stands!

  • Ashley Barrett

    Wait since when were people not allowed to have, and voice, their own opinion? I thought we lived in a place that celebrated free speech and the right to disagree with your neighbour? Even if you had said something about not liking LA, the reporter has no right to take your personal opinion and use that as a character basis. Personally I don’t like LA. But that’s me. It doesn’t mean that I don’t on occasion take a trip to do some shopping or go giddy in the American Girl store. I’m just so confused as to how someone could take what you said and turn that against you. If anything it did show you have pride in your city, company’s coming so let’s do a little house cleaning, right? Kudos to you in your response Zooey, you showed him far more respect as a human being that he surely showed you.

  • Francesca De Jong

    You’re my heroine!

  • Chris Zak

    You know, it’s really unfortunate that he wrote this. This not only makes him lose credibility in our eyes, but everyone who deals with him on a professional basis. He’s probably embarrassed, and if he’s not, he should be. This is some kind of rant that belongs on Livejournal, not the LA Times.

  • Raelynn Glasscock

    This is a very classy response to a person that deserved far less.

  • Leigh Ryan

    Very well said, ZD. Journalism for the most part these days, especially those reporting about celebrities, has taken such a turn for the worse. Most of what is put into the mainstream world today is such blasphemy. It’s about time people started fighting back against the defamation of character.

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