Pop Culture Warrior

“Culture Warrior” is certainly a loaded term, one I mean to rescue from its misuse by political partisans. I added “Pop” because this blog focuses primarily on popular culture, and also for fun. This blog explores the areas where pop culture and politics overlap. For more information, read A Mission Statement.

Gary Susman

I am an editor, writer, reporter, and critic. I have been a journalist in print and online for more than 20 years. I blog daily for AOL’s entertainment sites, including Moviefone, TV Squad, and PopEater. My work continues to appear in Entertainment Weekly, where I spent nearly eight years as Senior Writer. Other outlets have included MSNBC, People, the Village Voice, the Guardian, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Boston Phoenix, for which I have written since 1989. I am a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics, although I live in New Jersey.


Please keep it civil, folks. No bigotry, abusive language, flame wars, commercial plugs, spam, or phishing. Try it and you risk having your comments deleted and being banned from commenting in the future.


The opinions expressed in blog posts published on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect those of any outlet that has published my writing or broadcast my spoken words, or any outlet that may do so in the future. Opinions expressed in comments are strictly those of the commenters and do not necessarily reflect my opinions or the opinions of any outlet I have been associated with or may be associated with in the future.


14 responses to “About

  1. Glad you set up a blog. Do you want me to promote it? KDS

  2. Randee

    Re: Your banner art – is Pop Warrior’s motto “Tonight we blog in hell?”

  3. Gary Susman

    Yes, Randee, that’s correct. Also, my budget is extremely Spartan.

    • Mr. Susman….I have just finished your piece on the top 10 breakfast scenes.. I would be remiss if I didn’t try to find a way to say that that work was so well done and written with such a clear understanding of how to put into words what you want to convey and how to hold the reader’s interest regardless of topic, length or the type of audience. I believe it should be required reading in any school of journalism that wants a first rate example of expressing oneself.on matters that you find interesting. You must certainly know that your talent is vary rare despite the countleess number of other journalists. That’s it. That’s all I have to say.

  4. Gary
    I am trying to reach you quickly as I have a deadline
    I am from Network 7 TV in Australia
    Can I have an email address I can write you?
    It’s re a story I’m doing at the moment and need some information that you can probably help me with.
    The story may be of use to you as well
    Cheers Paul.

  5. I’m glad to see what you’re up to, Gary. This site is looking good!

  6. I could not be more excited about a posting site, blogroll, article archive, or repository of expression that paints the world through the honest eyes of the beholder… as its mission statement! How many times have I spoken with the musician or critic who preferred not to get political, or to the politician who said, “job well done. Sit with your Rolling Stone; we can talk about it over latte.” Friends, I’m a lucky gal. This site was made for me. The world IS our canvas; our ideas and colorizations do complete the painting. We must be mindful to visit all corners! A personal opinion: with this by-and-large humble, vigorous President, we have our chance to participate, both within the system of government, and by the efforts of one person, one item, one day at a time. It can be discourse or volunteerism. But it will count. This time it must. Rhetoric never touched a paint brush or solved a problem. This time our individual efforts take on a greater meaning than ever before, if we are to participate in the growth of a free humanity. At the same time, our pragmatism must kick in. Infrastructure must include our favorite artistic contributions. The art, for example, of preventing a population from drowning for the network cameras. We need new modes of transportation, new methods of effective health care, new technological breakthoughs in scientific and communications affairs — accross the globe. We need an attitude of gratitude for the possibility of new modes of expression, to dwindle, subtly, violence and warfare to a standstill — so that, as Dr. King promised us, our work to construct that artful, level playing field, will be done. Civil Rights will be an exercise, not a slogan.
    War and guns won’t end in our lifetime. But, what a sigh of relief at the end, the last gasp, when I can say, “this was my part of the quilt. Will you look after it and grow it?”

  7. Barrie Denmark

    Gary, I am interested in the dynamic behind listing the stars names on the movie “Unstoppable”. Denzel is an established, well-known movie star and yet a relative newcomer, like Chris Pine, shares billing with him above the title. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Pine, and lest someone think this is racially motivated, I am not black. But I do wonder if the listing is racially motivated where the marketers and production company are concerned. Do they not feel that Denzel alone could carry the film? He seems to be the only headliner promoting it. It reminds me of when unknown Angela Jolie shared top billing with Morgan Freeman many years ago. What is that about? In your research do you find that when the big star is white a newer actor receives equal billing?

  8. Pingback: ‘Unstoppable’ and the Politics of Movie Credits | Pop Culture Warrior

  9. Gary Susman

    Thanks for your question. I’ve addressed it in a post here.
    By the way, I’m not sure which Angelina Jolie movie you’re referring to. She’s only done one movie with Morgan Freeman, Wanted, which came out just two years ago, when she was undeniably a bigger star than he was. Maybe you’re thinking of Ashley Judd, who made a couple movies with Morgan Freeman at a time when she was the lesser-known star. There was also The Bone Collector, starring Jolie and Washington, when she was still a rising starlet but was billed just behind Denzel and above the title because she had a comparable-sized role in the film.

  10. Why are there no white basketball players? Or gangsta rappers? All those actors are good, right? Give it a break. Maybe someone should be looking deeper into white culture, too. If blacks can be African-American, can’t white be Irish-American? Is there culture less important? Even latino should be Peru-American, Puerto-Rican American (since PR is a territory but not a state), or Ecuadorian-American. When blacks got a bunch of Oscars last time, no one complained. If there are ten Albanians next year, is that going to bother you? Whether all black, all white, or whatever, it’s the hard work that does the talkin’. The Boston Celtics had the first all black starting five, and they kicked ass. If a white player wasn’t as good, he shouldn’t have been on that time.

    • Gary Susman

      Hi, film, thanks for commenting on my Moviefone article about the absence of black nominees at the Oscars for the first time in 10 years.
      The sports analogy is weak. The NBA hires players for their skills, but in Hollywood, if you’re casting a movie about the British royal family, the number of black actors who will qualify is zero. More black actors will get Oscar nominations when Hollywood stops relegating them to a narrow range of roles — action heroics, lowbrow comedy, sidekick roles – and starts treating black lives as worthy of being the subjects of serious dramas. Same goes for the Albanians.

  11. Gary…really good column on the Oscars today. They are far
    from dead, with universal interest still there, though, like you,
    long for the allure and golden mystique of yore. With that in mind,
    lavish eleven page feature article I wrote, entitled “The Oscars Letters,”
    being published in luxury art/style/culture publication in Great Britain,
    this week.


    Shaun Considine
    Author – Mad As Hell -The Life and Work of Paddy Chayefsky,

  12. Bob Canning

    Gary —

    In your list of famous movie nude scenes: How could you possibly forget Alan Bates and Oliver Reed wrestling nude in “Women in Love”? Talk about bears in heat!

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