Mandy Patinkin on Why He Left CRIMINAL MINDS

Because he’s a sensitive man, that’s why. His reasons definitely resonate with us. Well done, Mandy dood! Yeah, right, we’re praising a man whose actions have consistently proven that he doesn’t need our praise. Which we also find praiseworthy. (Time to stop before this hole we’re digging gets any bigger!)

Mandy Patinkin: ‘Criminal Minds’ Was ‘Destructive to My Soul’ – by Seth Abramovitch (HollywoodReporter.Com)

Emmy nominee Mandy Patinkin is currently enjoying popular and critical success on Showtime’s Homeland. But his last TV job, on CBS procedural Criminal Minds, was such a terrible experience it left him thinking he’d never work in the medium again.

“The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” Patinkin tells New York Magazine in a new interview.

Explaining why he abruptly quit the series before its third season began, blindsiding its creator Jeff Davis, Patinkin says, “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year.”

“It was very destructive to my soul and my personality,” Patinkin says. “After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”

Patinkin says that while Homeland also contains graphic violence, its message is coming from a very different place.

“A show like Homeland is the antidote. It asks why there’s a need for violence in the first place,” Patinkin says.

A call to Davis’ reps for comment was not immediately answered.

“Blindsided” Jeff Davis? Really? Stars being the major kvetchers they are, we’re betting it didn’t quite go down that way. Jeff, whatcha say?

TEEN WOLF Showrunner Gives Us a Practical Lesson in Production

Why you can’t always do what you want when you’re running a TV series (and, no, you can’t even always do what you need):

TA Message About Race and Racism in Teen Wolf –  Jeff Davis’s Tumblr post (which has since been taken down)

I have seen a number of posts regarding race and racism in Teen Wolf that reference a quote I made in an interview about my efforts in trying to build a world in the show that is somewhat idealized. The critiques are all fair and insightful. I do think it may interest some of my more vocal critics to know the difficulties of approaching these kinds of subjects in television.

First off, the lack of story development for Boyd’s character. I have said numerous times in interviews that the new supporting characters are there to “support” the main characters. I have 41 minutes a week in which to tell a story. It’s not easy to service every character equally!

Second, our show has budget constraints that severely limit how many guest actors we can have. For example, I would have preferred to have Michael Hogan show up in every episode of the new season. Unfortunately, we could only afford him in a certain number. With the three new wolves, Sinqua, Gage and Daniel, we had to decide how best to use them in twelve episodes. When we make contracts for actors it’s usually a minimum guarantee of 6 out of 12 episodes.

Now, here is a sample email during the production of the show I received about Sinqua Walls who plays Boyd:

“So Sinqua is testing for a pilot on Tuesday. Tracy (his manager) has asked if we can get him on the latest flight possible back to LA on Monday night. She doesn’t want him traveling the same day as the test. Would this work for production? He still isn’t closed for the next episodes and they have been holding b/c of this possible testing. This is rather time sensitive since I believe he was scheduled to fly out today. So please get back to me ASAP.”

What this means is that while he was guaranteed several episodes in our show, Sinqua made it very far along in the casting process for a pilot. Since Sinqua is not a regular cast member, he is often out auditioning for numerous other roles. And as he had the possibility of getting another job, his management was hesitant at committing to any more episodes with us. While I was writing the last batch of episodes, I had no idea if he would even be available to me. That makes it very difficult to invest in a character if I’ve got be able to craft a script so that he can be easily written out in case the actor gets another job.

When we send out breakdowns for cast it always says “All ethnicities.” I’m quite proud of the fact that our lead actor is Latino. But I have also always said I will not make Teen Wolf an “issues” show. I think a series like Glee or even the humor of Modern Family are far more equipped to handle those subjects. I also worry that as a white male who grew up in a pretty ordinary middle class suburb I may not have the insight to be particularly adept at tackling issues of race head on. While there is no way I can write without socialization and my own personal bias both informing and affecting my work, I believe my first job is to entertain. That’s what I love about writing. Entertaining people. If I skirt the issues of race and sexual politics, the reason is most likely that I don’t feel like I’m going to be very good at tackling those issues within a show about teenage werewolves. I don’t really know how to write those stories. But I think I do know how to scare people and how to make them laugh. There are far better writers out there like Aaron Sorkin, Shonda Rhimes, David E. Kelley, far more equipped to tackle those subjects. I’m here first and foremost to entertain. All else comes under the banner of “best effort.”

I love the passion all of the fans bring to the show and I’m glad it creates far more of a discourse than I ever expected. I’m pretty sure most of my response here comes out of my own insecure thinking: “Are they calling me racist? I’m not racist! Wait… am I?” But maybe some of this information will provide a different insight into the why’s and how’s of the world of television and if you don’t necessarily forgive our flaws, you might at least understand them a little better.

So this insight comes out of a specific problem, a big controversy about the show, which Jeff thought he was ending. But instead…

Poor baby.

TEEN WOLF Controversy?

Hey, this show needs some reason for peeps like us to write about it, so it looks like they’re going for the gold:

So How Come The Black Guy On ‘Teen Wolf’ Doesn’t Have A ‘Life?’ – by Sergio

Another day, another controversy.

And today’s controversy revolves around the popular MTV show, Teen Wolf (which I asusume is not like that 1985 movie with Michael J. Fox) and its creator and executive producer, Jeff Davis.

It seems that Davis likes to think of himself as an enlightened, open-minded kind of guy, free of any prejudices. In a recent on-line interview, he said, regarding his show, that: “I’m trying to create a world where there’s no racism, there’s no sexism, there’s no homophobia. And I know it’s not real life, but I kind of don’t care. I’d like to create a world where none of that matters: you have the supernatural creatures for that to work as an analogy. In my mind, if you can create a world like that on TV, maybe life starts to imitate it.

O.K. sounds great. If everyone thought like Davis does, what a wonderful world this would be.

Well it would, except that, as soon as this quote got around, people took to the internet, calling out Davis on his B.S., in particular, with regards to Boyd, the black character played by Sinqua Walls on the show.

Turns out that Boyd is the least defined, most one-dimensional person on the entire show. He’s your basic token black guy, with no personality, no back-story or life, unlike the other major characters on the show.

One person went into even more detail, and wrote on his blog that: “Boyd has no family, no story, no background, no home, and when he even makes his brief cameos in the show, he’s usually somebody’s backup or lackey. He has no human complexity, and his one moment of individuality comes when he says he wants to be like Scott (i.e. the lead character on Teen Wolf). Which is then promptly ignored and never covered again. Erica gets a storyline. Isaac gets a storyline. Matt the photographer gets a storyline. So where’s Boyd’s?

Read it all

There’s more on the site we’ve linked to, and it makes Jeff Davis look pretty bad. But then the story ends with this:

But the real issue is, does this really matter? Do you really care about Boyd on Teen Wolf, or any other similar characters on other shows? Is this really much ado about nothing, after all?

To which we call “Bullshit.” If you think this is about nothing, Sergio, then why even file this report?

Unless…unless this whole thing is nothing but a P.R. attempt to grab attention, and you’re part of it. After all, your blog is part of IndieWire.Com, which is all about P.R., no?

And, yes, we believe that bringing that to the public’s attention is very worthwhile indeed. (Excuse us while we slap each other on the back and wait for a response.)