Jeffrey Wells, who operates the movie blog Hollywood Elsewhere, has been expelled from the Critics Choice Association, the group of journalists that host the annual Critics Choice Awards.
Wells was indefinitely suspended due to a “pattern of offensive, insensitive and unprofessional behavior,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
He confirmed his ejection in a blog post on Thursday evening. He wrote, “The Critics Choice Awards group, a distinguished and influential journalist org that plays a big annual role during award season, gave me the boot today because of that post that was up yesterday for maybe an hour or so, a post that contained a discussion about the ramifications of the recent Atlanta killings and how this might tangentially stir the pot as far as Oscar considerations were concerned.”
On Wednesday, Wells shared and deleted a blog post insinuating that Tuesday’s shooting at an Atlanta-area Asian spa helped solidify Oscar prospects for Chinese director Chloe Zhao’s acclaimed film “Nomadland,” as well as “Minari,” a story about a Korean American family.
In a later entry titled “Shrieks, Whispers and Wokester Wrath,” Wells acknowledge it was the “wrong thing to post yesterday” and attempted to defend himself by saying “mistakes happen.”
“Obviously I realize it was a mistake to mention something as trivial as the Oscar race in the middle of a terrible crisis, hours after the killings were first reported. I obviously understand that. I obviously made a big mistake,” he wrote. “I realized my error very quickly and took it down as quickly as possible. Mistakes happen.”
Wells continued, “All I did was briefly and rather stupidly post a digressive conversation, an odd tangent stemming from a terrible tragedy…a digressive discussion that anybody might have voiced or been privy to at any social gathering, if we were having social gatherings. People in my world consider all the currents and echoes and side issues… everything swirls together. Knowledgable people consider all the angles.”
Wells’ website has a loyal readership of film bloggers, but he has faced blowback over his behavior and views in the past (he once asked director James Mangold to send him nude photos of “3:10 to Yuma” actress Vinessa Shaw and made comments about actresses’ weight). He blamed the latest backlash on “cancel culture,” and criticized Twitter users who are “salivating and thirsty for blood” and “copy posts and pass them around like deranged hyenas.”
“Every so often I’m reminded just how extreme our culture has become in persecuting people for what they think and what they say,” he said. “My mistake was obvious, but I especially erred by posting a digressive discussion at the wrong time.”
The Critics Choice Association didn’t respond to Variety’s request for comment.