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Good for Merrill for posting that apology. I think it was needed after that kneejerk first reaction of his.

I am glad he posted the apology, but I still have a rotten taste in my mouth after reading the first open letter. I found it amusing that he accused Dutcher of being condescending and arogant.

Dutcher's piece was arrogant, as his posturing over the past few years has been, and it was right of Merrill to point that out. But he definitely went way over the line.

The bit from Dutcher that drew Merrill out was as rude as Merrill's response, though briefer, reading more or less "How do hacks like Merrill, hiding their lack of talent behind 'family values,' find work? I don't know; nepotism maybe." It was still foolish of Merrill to publish on Saturday something he would need to disavow on Monday. But he couldn't help it; none of them can help it. They're artists, so their hearts belong on their sleeves, and their insults back and forth belong in general circulation newspapers.

Here is how I see it...

Call Dutcher's piece as arrogant as you want, but not once did he shamelessly plug any of his work as Heimerdinger and Merrill did. I hope there are LDS filmmakers who take his words to heart and create something fresh and new.

Whether Dutcher's self-important posturing is "shameless" is a matter of opinion, I suppose. But he is constantly "plugging" his own work. He tacitly plugs his own work every time he takes the podium to uphold his work and his approach as the standard to which Mormon filmmakers should aspire.

John M., nice analysis -- I think you're right. I was saddened by both Dutcher's words and by Merrill's response. I knew Merrill would instantly regret it.

Dave, thank you for posting on this apology. I hope those who have criticized Merrill based on his words -- which deserved criticism -- can see that this is a sincere apology that doesn't seek to excuse the behavior that is the subject of the apology. This type of an apology, in my opinion, is a sign of a fundamentally good person.

Reminds me of the personality spats among the teenagers in my high school drama program.

I so don't care about all this posturing. It's childish all the way 'round. All that matters is that I have enjoyed Dutcher's movies.

Seth R., once again, you hit the nail on the head. I bow to your insights and your priceless way of phrasing them.

Couldn't agree less, Ronan.

Ronan, which did you like more from Dutcher, "Work and the Story" or "The Singles Ward"? I mean, he was a pretty authentic pizza man, But playing himself with a beard in a movie making fun of mormon cinema while at the same time being the worst example of mormon cinema...wow...

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