What the Hell Happened to Aaron Sorkin?

Finally, somebody comes right out and asks the question that I've been asking for like three years now:

What is going on with this man? Here's a guy who battled drug addiction and got busted at the Burbank Airport for holding. He's been in the tabloids himself. Now he takes on all these Perez Hilton stories. But instead of finding the good in people he goes for the bad. And he's not even truthful about it.

A good example is his recent play The Farnsworth Invention. The play, which was once in development as a feature film, has the big, bad corporation win the lawsuit against the actual inventor of TV, Philo Farnsworth. Farnsworth then dies a broken man in abject poverty.

Actually, Farnsworth won the lawsuit and lived a long and fruitful life. That's quite a difference, Mr. Sorkin. When called on it on Facebook of all things, Sorkin blew the question off claiming that there were many lawsuits and Farnsworth lost as many as he won. Yeah, but he won the big one Aaron. And he didn't die a broken man!

I meant it when I said to Aaron Sorkin – when I met him in La Jolla in April, 2007 during the pre-Broadway run of The Farnsworth Invention – that I would not have made it through the GWBush years without The West Wing there to offer a weekly reminder of how the country is supposed to work.  

But somewhere between The West Wing and The Farnsworth Invention, it seems to me that Aaron Sorkin was assimilated into the Borg.  I guess that's what happens when you get rich sucking in the giant corporate tit. 

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Paul Schatzkin

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6 Comments

  • So what is the status of Sorkin’s screenplay? Does he or anyone else own the rights to the Farnsworth story? Couldn’t find anything registered at WGA, but maybe I didn’t know exactly what to search on.

  • he’s a complicated mix of humility and egoism — at once a self-deprecating goofball who struggles with insecurities and a confident titan of his field who recognizes that his name is itself a brand, one that melds fiction and reality into whip-smart dialogue delivered at breakneck speed.

  • Will Sorkin’s recent Oscar award encourage him to have another try at a Farnsworth film script? If it does, he might care to consider something closer to the truth than the one he offered before, which has caused such a fracas.

  • To the contrary, the whole “Social Network” experience seems to have strengthened, rather than softened, Aaron’s stand on how he handles fact -v- fiction. I’ve heard him in numerous interviews where he expresses the sentiment that his only obligation is to “story telling,” rather than any underlying historical truth or even facts. It almost seems like his experience with The Farnsworth Invention was a rehearsal for The Social Network, and the Oscar only serves to fortify his stance.

  • I am glad it was appropriately punished. I don’t work in a big agency, i am an independent, so I don’t have any insight into how agencies bill, but I know how I do it, and there is no padding there, so for others to muddy that up is pretty irritating indee

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