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

  • 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*

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Rebecca Lynn


    yep. i think that covers it.

  • 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.

  • Liz Brown

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

  • 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!

  • Glenn Sherman

    Well, Zooey, welcome to Sarah Palin’s world. Welcome Michelle Bachman’s world. Welcome to Fox News’ world. Welcome to the world of ad hominem attacks. Name-calling is part and parcel of what the press (and many of your fellow celebrities) revert to when logic and thoughtful dissenting discourse is exhausted. However there is a twist. Now, pretty much people skip any pretense of logic or discourse and jump right to name-calling and cursing and lying about opponents. They besmirch others’ very existence and subsequent to that destroying their opinions is a simple matter “See? She’s a cow. How can her opinion be of any value or validity?” Welcome to the Tea Party, my friend.

    BTW: Best of luck with your new TV show! I’ve always just adored your work. Never a lemon in the bunch.

  • Ana Herco

    I’m so proud of you, Zooey!!

  • Iliyan Conev

    The truth and only the truth about Zoey: Very honest and open letter

  • Iliyan Conev

    I’m laughing after reading Patt’s-WIKI short biography:

  • Jeni Towlerton

    much like everything you do..I find this AWESOME!!!

  • Lisa Marie Rowe

    You tell her! :o)

  • Megan Younce

    A+! Such a great, classy, response to a rude, unclassy article! Well done Zooey!

  • Rachel Valentino

    Wow, good on you girl! You got your point across in a polite, clear and articulate manner without lowering yourself to the level of Ms. Morrison and using inappropriate name calling.
    What audacity she has to call herself a journalist!! Anyone in that profession worth their salt would at the very LEAST check the facts before writing a piece based on a sample of gossip! Honestly, she should be very, very ashamed of herself!

  • Claire Bass


  • Paris Puig

    Zooey, you are one classy lady. Your response was very elegant in a Jane Austen style. I’m so happy that Claudia Puig was able to clear things up a bit. And well, since that is my last name too, I know she is an intelligent women. Don’t let such juvenile name calling get you down. “woke up this morning t’was another lovely day”.

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