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James Franco critiques NYTimes theater critic

By Breeanna Hare, CNN
updated 4:28 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Don't mess with George Clooney's family -- or his fiancée. <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/09/showbiz/george-clooney-daily-mail/index.html?hpt=en_c1' target='_blank'>The actor made a personal response to the U.K.'s Daily Mail</a> on July 9 after spotting an article in the paper about his soon-to-be-bride, Amal Alamuddin, and her mother. With the paper said that Clooney's future mother-in-law was trying to stop the wedding, Clooney quickly fought back, calling the article "dangerous" and "completely fabricated." The actor won this round -- The Daily Mail swiftly deleted the piece. Don't mess with George Clooney's family -- or his fiancée. The actor made a personal response to the U.K.'s Daily Mail on July 9 after spotting an article in the paper about his soon-to-be-bride, Amal Alamuddin, and her mother. With the paper said that Clooney's future mother-in-law was trying to stop the wedding, Clooney quickly fought back, calling the article "dangerous" and "completely fabricated." The actor won this round -- The Daily Mail swiftly deleted the piece.
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Stars bite back at the media
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Stars bite back at the media
Stars bite back at the media
Stars bite back at the media
Stars bite back at the media
Stars bite back at the media
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • James Franco appeared to take issue with a New York Times review of his play
  • The actor makes his Broadway debut in the new revival of "Of Mice and Men"
  • After the Times' reviewed Wednesday's opening night, he critiqued the paper on Instagram
  • Franco later removed the post, but it was screengrabbed and shared on Twitter

(CNN) -- When James Franco doesn't like something, you'll know about it.

On Thursday, the 35-year-old actor appeared to take a stand against The New York Times and its theater critic, Ben Brantley, after the paper ran a hesitant review of Franco's Broadway debut in an "Of Mice and Men" revival.

In the April 16 piece, Brantley called "Of Mice and Men's" opening night on Wednesday "respectable" and "respectful," but also "generally inert." The revival, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, sees Franco portray the smaller, sharper George from the John Steinbeck story, while Chris O'Dowd portrays his oafish companion, Lennie.

Brantley wrote that the two leads, who star alongside Leighton Messter, "wear their archetypes like armor." And while the production would make "an excellent audiovisual aid for middle-school instructors who are teaching (George) Steinbeck's novella," Brantley believes "habitual theatergoers ... shouldn't expect the kind of revivifying interpretation that makes revisiting a classic feel essential."

Franco has been blissfully promoting his turn in "Of Mice and Men" for weeks, and seemed pretty excited to both land the part and read the reaction to it. Following "Of Mice and Men's" opening night, the actor shared Variety's more favorable review, which credited director Shapiro for "an impeccably mounted production" and praised the ensemble acting as "flawless." But Franco was vehement about the Times' take.

"Sadly Ben Brantley and the NYT have embarrassed themselves," Franco said in an Instagram post that has since been removed. "Brantley is such a little b**** he should be working for Gawker.com instead of the paper of record. The theatre community hates him, and for good reason, he's an idiot."

The remarks have since been removed from Franco's account, but not before they were screengrabbed for posterity. Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson shared the image on Twitter, acknowledging that it had been sent to him by a friend.

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