Hire the Critic
Why would an author of a media work hire a guy who hated his previous stuff? Maybe he agrees with the critic and wants help to avoid more story problems. Maybe he wants an Honest Advisor who won't be afraid to tell him what's wrong. Maybe it's to back up his Lets See You Do Better challenge. Maybe it's to show him how hard helming a story really is, and that it's easy to criticize it when you don't know its trials. Or maybe it's to nullify the critic, because he'll be less likely to criticize something if he worked on it, right? Compare Cast the Expert, which a critic may technically be, an expert on story. Contrast Take That, Critics! and Promoted Fanboy.
Real Life ExamplesFilm
- A frequent topic in Aaron McGruder's comic strip The Boondocks was Jar Jar Binks and the racial stereotyping he portrayed. For the production of Red Tails, a George Lucas-produced film about the Tuskegee Airmen, guess who got hired as its screenwriter? That's right, Aaron McGruder.note
- For The Ultimate Matrix Collection, the filmmakers included two Alternate DVD Commentaries: one by philosophers who liked all three movies, and one by critics who gave the original Matrix a good review and then gave poor reviews to Reloaded and Revolutions. The Wachowskis say they did this to let viewers "triangulate their own position" between the two.
- Novelist Barry Gifford wrote a piece that was highly critical of David Lynch's attempt at Film Noir atmosphere in Blue Velvet. Lynch went on to adapt one of Gifford's books as Wild at Heart and co-wrote the screenplay for Lost Highway with him.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson wasn't very happy about how the night sky in Titanic (1997) had been lazily mirrored. He ribbed James Cameron about it several times, to the point that, finally, Cameron coolly replied, "Last time I checked, Titanic sold $1.3 billion worth of tickets, worldwide. Imagine how many more tickets we would have sold if we'd gotten the sky right." That deflated Tyson, but to his delight a few months later he was hired to provide a correct star map for the film's 10th anniversary DVD and 3D re-release.
- Pixar hired cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz to work on their upcoming movie Coco, even though he has been critical of Disney in the past over their treatment of Latinos and Latino cultures. Unfortunately, this actually caused many people to be angry at Lalo, thinking he's been bought out.
- Luke Smith of 1UP got hired to Bungie after he wrote the article "Broken Halo", where he criticized Halo 2's multiplayer for being highly unbalanced.
- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw was once asked to write Duke Nukem Forever. But they turned him down because his script was parodying Duke himself, while the developers at the time wanted to make him the Straight Man.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, Hot Stuff was a user who had, among other thing, discovered a bug that allowed him to generate infinite meat (the game's currency). The response involved him getting hired to the dev team, where he now looks for bugs in the code before it gets released.
- The Simpsons: John Kricfalusi has been a longtime critic of The Simpsons (and nearly all modern cartoons, for that matter), so naturally they hired him to do a Couch Gag for them. A very strange one.
- After publishing his scathing book on Mother Teresa, The Missionary Position, Christopher Hitchens was asked by the Catholic Church to speak as the "devil's advocate" during the debate for beatifying her.
- Not unheard of in various clubs and groups: If someone complains about how a given event was handled one year, the complainer is promptly thanked for volunteering to help plan the next year's event.
In-Universe Examples:Comic Books
- In Ex Machina, during his career as "The Great Machine", Mitchell Hundred tries to establish a working relationship with the NYPD police commissioner. She ends up nearly beating him to death with a nightstick because his "heroics" had caused two of her officers to be critically injured. When Mitchell becomes Mayor, he still keeps the commissioner on since she was the first person to make him realize the effects of his actions.
- The Tamul Empire from David Eddings's Tamuli likes to do this with revolutionaries who aren't too fanatical to be reasoned with. Clearly, there's some sort of problem, or else there wouldn't be revolutionaries. And since the revolutionary has made it their business to pinpoint the problem, clearly they're the person to fix it. How would you like a job as regional governor? As for actually punishing them for their rebellion, regional governor is such a lousy, unpopular job that the empire considers it to be punishment enough.
- At one point in Seinfeld, George decides that his choices have been taking him in the wrong direction, and resolves to always do the opposite of what his instincts tell him. When he's interviewing for a job with the New York Yankees, he meets George Steinbrenner, the manager, for the first time. Keeping with his resolution, George greets him with a frank and brutal condemnation of his work. Mr. Steinbrenner responds with an emphatic "Hire this man!"
- In the pilot episode of Spin City, the mayor commits a political gaffe that offends the homosexual community, earning particular reproach from Carter Heywood, a gay rights activist. Mike Flaherty, realizing that the mayor would be better served having a gay colleague on the staff, decides to hire Carter as the head of minority affairs. Carter, despite initially promising to make things a nightmare, ends up settling in well with the rest of the cast, and ends up serving the Mayor loyally for the entirety of the series.
- In Friends, Monica writes a scathing review of a particular restaurant for a local newspaper. The restaurant owner angrily shows up at her apartment to confront her over it. Monica defends her review by telling him exactly what's wrong with the cooking at his restaurant and showing him how those particular dishes should be made. He promptly hires her as his head chef.
- President Bartlet did this several times on The West Wing.
Leo: The President likes smart people who disagree with him.
- In Babylon 5, the new CEO of Edgars Industries rounds up the most vocal critics of the company to serve as the new board of directors. They certainly won't have any shortage of ideas on how to reform the company.
- The Nostalgia Critic is frequently pestered by the troll Douchey McNitpick, who is constantly pointing out all of the Critic's mistakes. At one point, the Critic decides to just hire Douchey as a fact checker, but Douchey turns down the job "because then I wouldn't get to complain about [your mistakes]!"
- In season 5 of The Guild, Codex harshly criticizes a pending update to 'The Game' unknowingly in front of the game's creator. At the end of the season, he offers her a job.
- In PvP, Max Powers concludes that the company is going bankrupt, information he obtained by breaking into Cole's office to examine the finances. When he confronts Cole with his suspicions, Cole angrily fires him. Later, Cole comes to his senses. He rehires Max under the title of Chief Financial Officer, and follows his plan to save the company.
- Something*Positive: Davan is hired by the producer of Ollie's play after the producer cuts their funding, leading Davan to give a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech. The next panel is Davan telling Pejee he doesn't understand why he got hired.
- The Simpsons is no stranger to this:
- In the episode "Beyond Blunderdome", Mel Gibson ends up hiring Homer Simpson after the latter gives a scathing review of his remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, because he believes Homer is the only man brave enough to tell him the truth.
- In another episode, Homer loses his job at the power plant, starting a chain of events that results in him leading a protest against the danger to the community posed by the plant. In order to silence the protest, Mr. Burns hires Homer as the safety inspector.
- But inverted in "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner", where Homer gets hired as a critic to the local paper because he doesn't criticize their food so much.