For months, Nikki Finke has been suspiciously quiet on HBO’s forthcoming “Tilda” — a show ostensibly about her – while Deadline continues to publish “exclusives” about the pilot and its casting.
Now that Deadline’s parent company, Mail.com Media Corp. (MMC), has reached a deal with Watski productions, Finke figured it was time to disclose something.
“Considering how many inaccurate media claims have been made regarding myself and the potential series Tilda for HBO, I wish to set the record straight,” Finke wrote in a post on Deadline.com Tuesday. “I had no prior knowledge that this show was being created or put into development. I have never written about the show. I have never encouraged Deadline.com journalists to write about the show. I had no prior agreement with HBO or anyone regarding the show. I had no creative or consulting involvement with the show.”
Worth noting: Curiously, Finke had the comments turned off on her post:
SORRY, COMMENTS ARE CLOSED FOR THIS ARTICLE
The current cast includes Jason Patric, Wes Bentley, Ellen Page and Diane Keaton as the Finke-ian "powerful female online Hollywood journalist."
Alas, she continued: “[T]here is an agreement now in place among myself, Deadline's parent company MMC, and Watski Productions (which is producing the 'Tilda' pilot) negotiated solely on my behalf by attorney Tal Vigderson. I still have no creative or consulting involvement with the show nor wanted any. I still won't write about the show. And Deadline.com journalists can still write whatever they want about the show.”
Finke declined to comment further. A representative for MMC did not return a call seeking comment.
What I think Finke is referring to by “inaccurate media claims” are reports that she had been paid for her involvement in developing the show, which in turn made Deadline’s reporting on it to this point ethically muddy at best and – at worst — a violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s bloggy guidelines (the latter of which I think is a serious stretch).
Taking her word that she had “no prior knowledge” nor “creative or consulting involvement,” what’s potentially troubling ethics-wise is that it sounds like Finke thinks “My First & Last Statement On HBO's 'Tilda'” counts as a blanket disclosure — from now until the show is cancelled — whenever Deadline posts a story about "Tilda" or HBO.
Sorry, Nikki, that’s not how disclosure works.