It has come to the attention of the "Kill Michael Vaughn" campaign that tentative confirmation of our success has been posted on assorted forums. The text of this "confirmation" follows.
simone/Jodi writes: (and here too)
Due to my association with the MV Campaign, I was contacted by a source from the set of “Alias” and given the following information regarding Michael Vartan’s status with the show.
1- Yesterday, Wednesday August 17, 2005 was Michael Vartan’s last day of shooting on the series “Alias”.
2- The funeral scene was filmed yesterday.
3- At this time there is no intention of having either Vaughn/Vartan return to the series.
4- In regards to Mr. Vartan’s departure being a “mutual decision”, Mr. Vartan’s intentions had always been to stay with “Alias” until the series concluded as he had many times, stated in the past.
I was contacted earlier in the week regarding this information, and was just told yesterday that I could release it.
This is all the information I’ve been given regarding this matter, so please don’t PM or email me for additional information or my source. Also I will not be involved in any other “spoilering”, because considering I won’t be watching the show, I really don’t care.
Excuse us while we put away the world's tiniest violins.
A couple of points bear mentioning here:
- There is no information on how this was obtained, other than from "a source".
- There is no information on how this was confirmed as accurate.
- Phone calls are difficult to trace and confirm from where they are being made.
- Emails are easy to forge and Jodi's lack of skill in this regard would make email as a source be even less believable. ("Lack of skill" reference is due to assuming an email address was "fake" with precisely zero evidence - the initial reason for my banning from the MVC forum was this "fake address" theory.)
- Even if we assume that the person who told Jodi is actually in a position to know details such as these, that does not make it true. They could be lying through their teeth and Jodi's bought it lock, stock and barrel.
- Vaughn is hardly the first person to be "dead and buried" on Alias ;-)
- Jodi (and the others of MVC) have a vested interest in this issue, and this "leak" confirms everything they've said? I'd be a tiny bit suspicious, even if I'd believed the rumour from the start.
Until we receive some independent verification (rehashes of the same "information" do not count), the parties in this neck of the woods won't be starting!
However, this is very promising news. We hope to have more information for you later, but for now, if you have information regarding this development, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Sources on the Alias set or at ABC, etc can choose to remain anonymous if they so wish.)
- Ding dong, Michael Vaughn is dead...
Update to the update:
There is a theory that fits all the above facts as stated by Jodi that I'm not sure will have crossed anyone else's mind just yet.
Vartan/Vaughn could be getting a spinoff show.
Re-read what Jodi has posted with that thought in mind:
- Yes, it's Vartan's last day on the set of Alias... Because in future he'll be working on "Super Vaughn!"
- Yes, the funeral scene was filmed yesterday... But it is Alias - funerals mean nothing!
- No, there's no current plans to have him return to the series... But we might schedule a few crossovers between "Super Vaughn!" and Alias.
- Just a little something for everyone to chew on.
Update to the updated update!
Some extremely amusing comments have already started to surface related to this... some choice quotes (and some replies) will be listed below.
- SouthernGal said: I also have no intention of watching any of S5.
KMV: Great devotion to the character shown there! He's in at least one episode you goose.
- boyscoutwoman said: Now I'll be waiting with baited breath each week for ratings to be released - just so I can laugh when Alias sinks deep and gets hit hard.
KMV: And I guess if it rates well, it's all due to the excellent performance of Vartan at the start of the season? (And it's "bated")
- swan7 said: until their already low ratings drop. Of course then they'll blame it on the new time slot or Garner's pregnancy, but we'll all know just how much of it was due to Michael's untimely departure.
KMV: With so many factors to take into consideration, it will be impossible to gauge the impact of Vartan's departure with any accuracy - regardless of whether the figures go up or down. Anyone who says otherwise needs a clue.
- vsf said: I think another round of letter writing is in order.
KMV: Surprisingly, I agree. The first round of letters were clearly a great help. ;-)
- naysayer said: I'm also going to return all of my Alias dvd's seasons to JJ Abrams or ABC.
KMV: Why? Are they faulty? You do realise that they still contain the same content you (and others) have enjoyed for the past 4-ish years?
- aprildancer said: I suggest that everyone go out and buy some Sympathy cards, send one to ABC and one to Bad Robot in honor of the passing of not only Michael Vaughn but Alias as well.
KMV: So many things wrong here - season hasn't even started, this is by no means 100% confirmed, even if it's confirmed there's no guarantee the ratings will dip in the slightest or that ABC will cancel if so...
- aprildancer said: I don't know of when a television show has screwed over their viewers like TPTB have with this. It's an insult to the viewers, that after four years of developing a character they just pull the rug out from under you
KMV: Hang on a minute, it's coming to me... Ummmmm... Stargate: SG-1. Season 9, all original cast members are now "Special Guest Stars". Every last one of them. Oh, and the show has Farscape and Andromeda's cast-offs in lead roles. gg kthxbai.
- Titania said: Vartan has been fired from Alias. I really don't see how you can continue to logically think anything else at this point. (snip) Jodi has no reason to lie about the information she has been given
KMV: As set out above, there is still ample reason to doubt this information. And Jodi has every reason to lie - she runs the campaign site dedicated to "saving" Vaughn. Hardly what any sensible person would call an unbiased source.
- RocknVaughn said: Goodbye, Alias...we hardly knew ye.
KMV: It's fairly apparent that you hardly knew Alias from the rest of your post - you think the show will die without Vaughn and you think the writers have the "imagination of a thimble".
So why have you watched for four freaking years?
- Anonymous Guest said: i'm cracking up here at the desperation. Mwahahahahahahaha. this is the best thing to happen to this fandom in a long time. hey crazies here's a thought: get a life.
KMV: Preserved for posterity as I'm sure it will be deleted in no time. Whoever you are, I salute you!
- Jenah said: Firing without cause. Mr. Vartan was not a drunk. He showed up for work when expected and delivered.
KMV: You don't know that. You don't know that. You don't know that. And to top it all off, you don't actually know that he was fired.
- nishajones said: Jodi is a very professional
KMV: Jodi works very hard at projecting an image of professionalism, but it's a lie. Behind closed doors (and deleted posts) she's very unprofessional. Don't blindly believe the facade of professionalism.
- aprildancer said: It's an insult to the viewers, that after four years of developing a character they just pull the rug out from under you and oh yes, they have the new agent, Mr. Getty, you'll like him better. Gees, do they think we have the IQ of a gnat?
KMV: Fairly sure you'd have trouble outsmarting a gnat.
Mr. Getty is a new character - you do not know how he will be written, how well he'll fit the role, or indeed anything much about his part in the show. If you'll cast your mind back a few years, you did not know how Vaughn's character would be written, how well Vartan would fit the role, nor indeed anything about any "end-game" scenario involving the character.
And you watched and enjoyed the show anyway.
If you won't give new actors/characters a chance to interest you, then you really do have the IQ of a gnat. At best.
- Vasily said: Very true: What is Alias without Vaughn to make us feel loved?
KMV: Haven't you heard of vibrators?
- angiverl said: Half of Alias fans watching it because of Vartan, with he's gone, they can say goodbye to that high ratings.
KMV: Talk about having your head stuck up your own butt. Even if we accept the preposterous claim that half the fans of a show watch it for one of the lesser stars, it's ludicrous to suggest that even most of them participate in online fandom. Most people who watch the show just for Vaughn are unlikely to know he is rumoured to be leaving.
Don't be fooled by how many crazy loudmouths there are that blindly love Mr Vartan are in the fandom. Much more than half actually watch the show for the storylines - and far more watch it to see Sydney than Vaughn
- aprildancer said: I want to be a television executive, I'll just need a prefrontal lobotomy to decrease my I.Q. about 70 points.
KMV: Going by some of your earlier comments (quoted above and elsewhere) that would bring you to a grand total IQ of 0.
Now, while we won't dispute that a lot of TV execs are really quite stupid, we still think they would not be much under 70 themselves...
- Lady M said: As for whose decision it was you know your position how? From the stuff put out by VBR/ABC/Kristen? Because she's the defination of a mouthpeice. (snip) I'm sure their PR department is gratified there are folks like you that accept things so easily.
KMV: Oh. My. God. You did not just say that, did you? It must be my imagination. You can't have said that? The ENTIRE MV Campaign, the forum of which you joined almost two weeks ago, was based solely and entirely on one article by the person you yourself have conceded is just a mouthpiece.
You cannot possibly be that stupid, can you?
This is a prime example of how utterly absurd this campaign has become. On one hand, we're to believe Kristen when she says someone other than Grunberg is leaving. But we mustn't believe her when she says it is of the actor's own accord. Oh and she's a mouthpiece for ABC/Bad Robot/whoever, so you shouldn't believe anything she says. But you must believe her when she says someone other than Grunberg is leaving...
A recurring theme/comment seems to be that Alias is dead and buried now that Vaughn is assumed to no longer be in the series. Quite a few people are saying that ABC are making a big mistake, Bad Robot is making a big mistake, JJ Abrams is making a big mistake, the writers are making a big mistake...
Everyone saying such things is using flawed reasoning.
While, yes, many fans have been watching the show to see Vaughn, the Bristows, the Derevkos and so on, the fact remains that much of the storylines of the show will be completely unaffected by this casting change. Alias is, by and large, a show about espionage. The forces of good fighting, and usually triumphing against the forces of evil. Whilst the fans have developed much love towards the existing cast, the base storyline has been told with a thousand different actors in a thousand different movies. There's absolutely no reason to expect that the writer's ability to tell a good tale is going to miraculously disappear, just because the cast won't be the same.
And while the new actors are clearly not Vartan, Garner and Co., that's not to say their storylines can't be just as intriguing and exciting as those of the characters we've enjoyed over the last 4 years. And in fact, the primary, over-arching storyline for all four seasons has been the pursuit of assorted Rambaldi artifacts, prophecies and so forth. Vaughn is an extremely peripheral character when it comes to Rambaldi! Arvin Sloane is the most important character to retain when it comes to Rambaldi.
If you don't give the show a chance to prove it can go on in a different direction, then all you're doing is hurting all the other people who have worked so hard on the show over the years - cameramen, sound, lighting, makeup, writers, prop makers, etc.
Vaughn leaving does not have to mean the show will no longer be interesting, but if everyone stops watching, the show will die. And that won't help anyone.
Sunday, 21st August Update:
(With thanks to the person who tipped KMV off on this)
Alias Media last week published the results of an Alias related poll, where participants were asked the question, "Would you watch Alias without Sydney Bristow as the lead?" (link to their article)
The results would not be shocking to most people:
No. Jennifer Garner is the reason I tune in. - 50%
Yes. I love the whole ensemble. - 18%
Who cares? I don't like the show. - 30%
This poll debunks the ridiculous notion the Vartan fangirl brigade have been shouting people down with - Vartan is definitely not the prime reason a significant portion of the fanbase watches the show for. Much more of them watch the show for Jennifer Garner/Sydney Bristow than the rest of the cast combined.
If you left aside the people who watch purely for Garner, it may be true that "most" of the 18% watch the show for Vartan. I'd imagine a fairly sizeable portion of that 18% would be composed of Jack and Sloane fans, of course.
So, Vartan fans (we know you're reading!) - quit claiming such a ridiculous percentage of the fanbase watches purely for Vartan. It's simply not true.
J.J. Abrams has form!
Check out this tidbit of info about J.J.'s other TV show, Lost!
Dan Roebuck was rumoured to be playing a large part in the second season of the show... Only to suddenly, shockingly, be killed near the end of the series. This means that this "leak" from the set of Alias could be a complete fabrication by J.J. and co., to have everyone believing Vaughn will die and not come back... When in reality, he's going nowhere!
(Yes, Roebuck could return for Lost's second season in a number of ways, but the release was deliberately designed to fool the audience into thinking Arzt would be okay, no matter what the danger.)
MV Campaign.com's forums force registration to deter 'troublemakers'.
Welcome to the boards at THE MV CAMPAIGN!
Approved registration is now required to post. As the creator of this campaign I want to extend my apologies to everyone for having to make these changes. With all the media attention the campaign has received, unfortunately we have begun to attract attention from people who choose to post in a vulgar and disparaging manner. This will not be tolerated, so we've had to implement these changes. This is not something we ever wanted to do, but due to a small handful of troublemakers, these are changes we felt forced to make. Once again my apologies to all. - Jodi
'Troublemakers' apparently being secret MV Campaign language for 'people who think Vaughn/Vartan might not be leaving' and also 'people who do not blindly believe everything they read on the internet'.
Whilst the Kill Michael Vaughn campaign team certainly do not encourage people to visit the MV Campaign forums and post in a "vulgar and disparaging manner", we'd certainly get a chuckle out of it!
However, a better course of action would be to visit the forums and post in a polite manner, letting them know your opinion of their campaign. The rules say you can't be vulgar or disparaging - they don't say you can't reject the conclusion they've drawn, based on the evidence provided!
Page 47 (here on KMV) has some specific points you may like to raise. Do not directly copy and paste them - read, form your own opinion, use your own words. This will prevent any blanket bans of phrasing or of quoting from "external websites" and such.
Participation extraordinarily poor for MVCampaign?
As of this morning, we have 2337 participants who have sent us in demographic information. That is pretty amazing considering that the campaign has only been up and running for three weeks!
Wow! That is amazing! You've managed to get 2337 people to sign up for your whingefest in three whole weeks!
Sorry, how many people watch Alias every week? I'm at least fairly sure a few more than that watch the show. I'd be truly flabbergasted if the number of regular viewers is not more like a thousand times more than that piddly number. And worldwide, the figures would be even more against you.
2337 people in three weeks for such an 'important and vital character'? Is pathetic.
If this website were to whore itself all over the fandom to rope in visitors, as MVC has done, I'm sure we could produce a similar number of people who don't give a rat's ass if Vartan/Vaughn leaves. So what does 2337 people prove?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.
VackforSeasons5through10 says:And you know "TPTB" thinks that... sorry, how do you know TPTB thinks that?
And TPTB think no one will miss our Vaughn, or stop watching.
There has been no official statement from "TPTB" or indeed anyone as to the truth of any rumour doing the rounds at present. The nearest anyone directly involved in the show has come is, "the man himself", Michael Vartan.
When he was directly asked if it is just a rumour, he replied, "Yes, indeed."
You, nor anyone involved with MVC, do not know what TPTB may or may not think about this situation. If, in fact, Vartan is leaving, it is just as possible that TPTB are upset and wanted him to stay too!
All signs point to this being a mutual and amicable parting of the ways, if he is in fact leaving. Given that we don't even have confirmation he's leaving, it is truly absurd to suggest anything about "TPTB"s feelings on the matter.
In response to a claim that Vartan said he thinks some fans are crazy, Jenah says:While it "isn't exactly true" that Vartan said the people involved with MVCampaign are crazy, it is very clear from the interview that while he appreciates the support, he thinks the people involved are being a bit ridiculous.
That isn't exactly true, Candie. However it was certainly edited that way to make it look true. I honestly think that he did a decent job considering the pressure. I wasn't totally thrilled by how it looked on TV but there is nothing I can do about it. They will edit as they will.
They could have made it look a lot worse if that had been their intention. The editing was actually very kind.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, and all that.
Jodi says:It seems far too coincedental that Jenah has had a crack at KMV in the guestbook for reprinting quotes without permission for this line from Jodi to not be a reference to this site.
lurking trolls (who apparently can't read do-not-repost directives)
You're all class, Jodi. Not only do you categorise this as "trolling" (How? No one involved in KMV is posting links to KMV on your site. The only link to KMV from your site is something one of your moderators posted. :) ) you seem to be a little confused.
I, nor anyone involved with KMV, have ever agreed to the "do-not-repost" directive. We would never do so.
But yes, I've read it. It is very amusing. Who, precisely, is prohibiting the reposting? It says we need permission from staff or the author?
Why on earth would we (or anyone else looking to mock you) ask for permission? We're certainly not going to get it!
And then we'll post it anyway, because there is precisely nothing preventing us from doing so.
How about KMV continues to save everyone some time and not bother asking for permission, how's that grab you? :-)
Just how ignorant, stupid and clueless are the supporters of MVCampaign?
RocknVaughn says:I am, frankly, blown away by the idiocy expressed in that post.
After faithfully watching for four years, even during very lean storylines, I am appalled at what they are doing to this character. To have the one person who has always been Sydney Bristow's rock, her guardian angel, the one person she could trust have deceived her for six years to the level that has been insinuated disgusts me.
How dare the writers introduce a truly shocking storyline! It is disgusting the way they are trying to inject new meaning into a character who had reached the end of his usefulness two seasons ago!
Dear god! Plot twists on this epic a scale are usually something that leave fans agog, certainly. But it is usually in awe, if the writers have done a good job in laying the foundation. While it is, of course, by no means certain that the Alias writers will be able to pull off this enormous storyline of betrayal, if it works it could be one of the best storylines in the history of Alias.
As RocknVaughn themself said, Vaughn was "Sydney Bristow's rock, her guardian angel, the one person she could trust." And it might all have been one enormous lie!
Tell me that doesn't get you tingling? A four season, 6-ish year (in Alias terms) scheme coming to fruition?
What could he have been working on for that whole period? Why could he not have told Sydney until the end of Season 4? If he is not Vaughn, who is he? Is he only a CIA Agent, or does he work for someone else? Do we know his "other life" associates?
There are so many angles to this story that it should be fascinating to see it unfold. But bear in mind - Vaugn is the creation of the writers and J.J. Abrams. If they decide to spice up a character, it is their choice. It is not "character assassination" in some kind of evil, bad sense of the word. You don't hear anyone crying about the character of Lauren Reed having been the victim of "character assassination", do you? Because the character was written to turn out to be evil, which was revealed late in that season.
Vaughn's reveal has just taken a little longer...
Get over it. There's a lot more people fascinated about the "real" story behind Vaughn than there are people making stupid statements about "character assassination".
Which is as it should be!
Jodi Weinraub, lawyer extraordinaire?
Jodi says:This is a recurring theme for the bozo's over at MV Campaign, but... How do you know what Vartan's contract does, or does not, say? Were you there when the most recent contract was signed? No? Then you do not know for certain the contents of that contract.
The type of contract that Michael and all the others have is to protect the contractor, not the contractee.
Even if we stretch the bounds of credibility and assume "Vartan's contract" has fallen into other people's hands, there are so many problems it is sheer idiocy to make any statements based on their contents - contracts can be forged, it could be an out-of-date copy, it could be the current copy but renegotiations are under way, etc.
Contracts are for the protection of both parties. They bind both parties to a certain course of action. Period.
Touchstone Television (if in fact that is who he is contracted to) agree to pay Vartan a certain amount of money, for a certain amount of work, in a certain period of time, and if they would like to terminate this deal, they must take a certain series of steps.
These steps are likely to include:
- Formally informing Vartan and/or his contractually stipulated agent of the termination.
- Payment of the remainder of the contracted fees, or a portion thereof.
Few managers are going to sign a contract where that second point is not stipulated. It is not in the actor's interests to sign away their right to be paid, and where an actor has been working for a period of four seasons, it is unlikely a contract that did not include such a clause would be allowed to continue without any further negotiations.
There may (and probably are) be more stipulations regarding how he may be fired - Bad Robot would likely need to approve if it's a storyline thing, "due cause" would have to be shown if he was let go for bad behaviour - ... etc.
In exchange for this payment, Vartan agrees to do a certain amount of work, during a certain period of time. The contract is likely also to include a clause whereby Vartan can not speak ill of his employer, or reveal information he has not been permitted to reveal, and the company would be similarly bound not to speak ill of the actor.
If Vartan has truly signed a contract whereby he can be fired at whim - but not quit at whim - with no compensation and he is not allowed to speak about his firing in any way shape or form, nor reveal any details of the upcoming season, then he only has himself to blame for this situation. Only an absolute idiot would agree to such a contract, and the Screen Actor's Guild would scream bloody murder long before that contract was agreed to.
In essence, a contract which only protects the "contractor" is no contract at all. A contract may favour one side or the other, but if Vartan is still under such a ridiculously unfair contract after four entire seasons on the show, you can't blame "TPTB" for that. TV actors always get to renegotiate, if they so desire, because they know that if they quit, the TV show will lose a lot more from it than anything their contract says they must do if they quit.
But mostly? Quit pretending you know everything that is going on behind the scenes, Jodi. It is very clear how clueless you truly are.
MV Campaign founder abuses her children?
Jodi says:Wow, you take external frustrations out on your children?! Perhaps someone should call Social Services to check in on the poor kids. Their mother sounds more than a little unstable!
Well this "fangirl" is a forty-one year old married mother of two children whose heads I hope not to rip off when they come home from school due to all the crap I've been dealing with because of the article in "Page Six".
If you invite the media to a party, you can bet your ass they're going to come in looking for "an angle" that makes it worth their readers time. Once upon a time, you could rely on the media to actually report on a story in a fair and unbiased fashion. Those days are gone. About the best you can hope for in today's world is that the more respectable outfits will at least be sure to get their facts straight - even if they have to go digging for facts that match the angle they're working on.
This result was inevitable And kudos to whoever invented that "memo". Whilst it is, obviously, not something the MV Campaign folk would be passing around themselves, it is on around the same craziness level as the rest of the campaign. But apparently, "Bunch of silly fangirls blindly believe a silly gossip reporter and extrapolate even sillier conclusions which then become gospel" isn't 'newsworthy'.
Ask Ausiello asks J.J. a few choice questions.
Question: Everybody is talking about what they can't say about Michael Vartan's rumored exit from Alias. My question is, what can you say? — Stephanie
Ausiello: A lot more than I could a week ago, Steph. Shortly after picking up his first Emmy ever for directing the killer Lost pilot, J.J. Abrams finally broke his silence about the firestorm ignited by Vaughn's alleged forthcoming death, including reports that Vartan's ex, Jennifer Garner, engineered the whole thing in a plot to remove him from the show. And here's the best part: It's a bloody AA exclusive!!!
First off, J.J. hinted that rumors of Vaughn's whacking have been greatly exaggerated: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings," he teased. "You have to see what the story is. And when I said at the beginning of the year that [Vartan] is back this season, I wasn't lying. So, in the way that Alias does things that you might not expect — in a way that you might not expect — it's typical of that. The conclusion people are coming to isn't exactly what it is."
And what of tabloid trash that Jen pressured ABC and Alias producers (Abrams included) to dump Vartan? "When you read that no one on the set is allowed to look at her in the eyes, you can't help but laugh at that," he said. "It's so preposterous that it's one of those things that doesn't even warrant a response because it's so silly. When people achieve a certain status, it is inevitable that they are the ones who become the targets. But I think there are very few voices who are saying this. The majority of people who really care about the show and about Vartan are not the people who are indiscriminately attacking Jennifer Garner. The majority of [Alias fans] really do, and rightfully so, appreciate Michael Vartan. And I hope they keep watching. And I would say one thing: Watch carefully, because there are clues as to what's going to happen in the episodes. And if [Vaughn] happens not to be in the episode that you're watching, it doesn't mean he's not part of it." In other words, it may very well be time for everyone to chill the heck out and enjoy the freakin' ride!
The usual array of idiots have lined up to denounce this latest attempt at "spin", as you'd expect. Nevermind that these answers cannot come straighter from the horse's mouth than if they'd dug up Mr Ed for the interview.
The typical demented demands of "tell me the whole plot or I'm gone" continue unabated.
One thing that should not go unchallenged is the continuation of the number one, flat-out LIE being perpetuated by the "leaders" of the MVCampaign.
By continuing to insist that Michael Vartan was fired from the show; by continuing to imply that there has been back-room maneuvering that resulted in his alleged firing and by continuing to claim that this is all induced by "The Powers That Be", for whatever reason, you are maligning each and every person involved in the show. You are damaging the reputations of everyone people can logically assume you are accusing of being behind the supposed sacking, regardless of any namby-pamby pussyfooting around you try.
If he was fired, someone must have made that decision. By suggesting that the firing was not Vartan's fault, but was instead imposed by the will of some nebulous "other" person, there is only one direction that suggestion can go - someone is behaving badly by insisting on Vartan's removal.
Oh, but you're not specifically saying that that someone is Jennifer Garner?
Big fucking deal.
Most of the people parroting this ridiculous claim are drawing a pretty clear picture as to who they think is responsible. While, granted, it may not be true that anyone implicitly involved in the campaign is suggesting it was Garner, many if not all are maligning ABC, Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams or others.
And it's based on... What, exactly? Some vague "source" most people don't even know the identity, and thus veracity, of? A source who neither confirmed, nor denied, the rumour of Vartan's firing?
It'd be funny if you weren't all so gosh darn serious about it. It's like you're all 4 again, spreading lies about the unpopular kid with the funny name.