The writer of an inflammatory interview with Ennio Morricone, in which the composer allegedly badmouthed Quentin Tarantino, has admitted to making “terrible mistakes” in the piece, including the use of quotes taken from previous stories in other outlets, Playboy in Germany said Wednesday.
The magazine called it “an intolerable breach of journalistic ethics” that did not reflect its standards, and apologized to readers “for failing to save you from this farce of an interview.” It also said it was filing a criminal complaint against the freelance writer, Marcel Anders.
“In our many years of collaboration, this highly experienced journalist, who enjoys a spotless reputation within the industry, has never given us cause to doubt his integrity or his skills. To our dismay, we have now established that sections of the interview published by us do not accurately reflect the words spoken by Mr Morricone,” Playboy Germany editor-in-chief Florian Boitin said in an electronic newsletter sent to the magazine’s 65,000 subscribers. The statement was also posted on the playboy.de website.
“Mr. Anders has now addressed the accusations himself, and admits to making ‘terrible mistakes,’” which included “adding statements made at other times and in other media,” Boitin said, adding: “Based on the information at our disposal, his actions have resulted in irresponsible inaccuracies at best and, at worst, in intentional deceit.”
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In the supposed Q&A with Morricone, which was published in the December issue of the magazine, the revered Italian composer allegedly called Tarantino “a cretin” who made derivative movies and who was not in the same league as the likes of John Huston and Alfred Hitchcock. Morricone, who won an Oscar for his score for Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” quickly denied making the remarks, said they were fabricated and threatened to sue.
Playboy, which in Germany is owned by publishing house Hubert Burda Media, initially defended the story. But on Tuesday, the magazine backtracked, saying that some of the quotes attributed to Morricone had been “incorrectly reproduced.” In Wednesday’s lengthier statement, Boitin issued a fulsome apology to the composer and squarely blamed Anders.
“Ennio Morricone is a living legend, and has written music for over 500 films. His genius has turned many good films into great films and created touchstones in cinematic history,” Boitin wrote. He said Anders had conducted an interview with Morricone “this summer at his property in Rome” but then misrepresented Morricone’s comments from that meeting and filched quotes by Morricone from other publications.
Boitin’s statement did not specify exactly which quotes in the published interview were false or misleading. Besides trashing Tarantino, Morricone also allegedly dismissed the Oscar ceremony as “boring” and criticized other musicians.
“I have the greatest respect for Mr. Morricone and his musical achievements,” Boitin said. “At this point, all I can do is express my deep regret that, due to knowingly inaccurate representations by an author commissioned by us, Mr. Morricone has been portrayed in a false light.”