Michael Moriarty, original Law & Order DA Ben Stone in the days before the McCoy-Briscoe era, was set off by a comparison to a particular French tyrant in New York magazine and decided to exercise his freedom of speech:
A recent plug by John Leonard for Dick Wolf’s latest spinoff . . . described my role in the original Law & Order as that of a “Robespierre.” What gives? For those of you who might not know, Maximilien Robespierre was the murderous ideologist of the French Revolution. He was most assuredly not a good man like my character, Ben Stone. . . . I’m running for president of the United States in 2008 on a third-party ticket, entering the race on a basically comic note, since no one in the mainstream press is taking me seriously, certainly not John Leonard. Or is he? Someone at New York is reading my editorials and articles on enterstageright.com and mmuuuhp.com, or Leonard’s French Revolutionary comparison would never have been made. No, Mr. Leonard, I didn’t play Ben Stone as a Robespierre. If you want to lay a French moniker on me, try Lafayette, who advised George Washington to abolish slavery. As Lafayette cried for an end to slavery, I’m declaring, “End abortion! Overturn Roe v. Wade!” . . . [T]he effect of that light upon their eugenics-inspired darkness will be like rabies in a raccoon. Dick Wolf and John Leonard are minor raccoons swept up in the rabies of American careerism.Link (via Sugar, Mr. Poon). Yeah, yeah, and you'll be sweeping up all the raccoons you can find . . . at Rikers! It's time to play Guess Which Mental Illness or Drug Problem Michael Moriarty Has. My money's on schizophrenia, but peyote is a good bet too.
Indexed by tags television, magazine, New York, letter to the editor, Michael Moriarty, Law & Order, Robespierre, raccoons, abortion, politics.
Image credits: (a) Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, courtesy UTOPIA, public domain; (b) "Troll 1," still from the movie Troll, courtesy the B-Hive, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes. Interestingly enough, in Troll Michael Moriarty played Harry Potter Sr. Go figure.