On Keith Olberman’s news show, Countdown on MSNBC, Olberman portrays Fox chief Rupert Murdoch with a pirate accent whenever reading quotes from the Chairman of News Corp. It’s a less than flattering portrayal of the Australian born businessman, playing up his Aussie roots rather than, say, anything nefarious about the man.
According to an upcoming wrongful termination suit to be filed this week, Roger Friendman, who was fired for reviewing Wolverine after downloading an illegal copy off of the internet, claims that the film was on the web in the first place due to Murdoch.
As reported by the Daily News’ Rush & Molloy, Friedman’s attorney Martin Garbus said that Murdoch asked the studio to make him a copy of the unfinished film and, “Apparently, someone made another copy for themselves,” says Garbus.
Nikki Finke offered up her own version of the rumor, reporting that “Murdoch was anxious to bring the film on board his yacht and asked 20th Century Fox to make a copy for him. But then Murdoch had outside people do it, and that’s how the film leaked onto the web.” Although Finke noted that sources have told her that Murdoch saw a rough cut on the Fox lot moths before the film appeared online.
While Friedman was (very) publically fired over the Wolverine review and resultant flap, another angle on his firing says that it had more to do with Scientology and less to do with a pirated copy of Wolverine.
As Rush & Molloy report, Fox News’ Roger Ailes was under pressure to fire Friedman by Kelly Preston, Tom Cruise and other members of the Church of Scientology due to his columns and reports critical of Scientology. Reportedly, Cruise made Friedman’s firing a condition of agreeing to co-star in the upcoming Wichita with Cameron Diaz.
Both Preston and Crusise’s attorneys have denied Friedman’s claims, pointing out that Friedman was fired days after his Wolverine review.