Joe Carnahan Attacks Film Critic Over Mixed ‘El Chicano’ Review, Then Deletes His Twitter

Joe Carnahan has deleted his Twitter account after lashing out at a film critic who gave the new film “El Chicano” a mixed review. Carnahan produced the superhero movie and co-wrote the script with first-time director Ben Hernandez Bray. Film critic Carlos Aguilar reviewed “El Chicano” for the Los Angeles Times, calling the film “solidly acted” and a “technically accomplished spectacle” despite a troubling script that creates “separation between Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals, presented only as demonized, criminal, carnage-friendly, nationalist invaders.”

Aguilar submitted his review to Rotten Tomatoes as a positive one, but his criticisms clearly rubbed Carnahan the wrong way as the filmmaker used Twitter to attack the critic. Carnahan responded to Aguilar’s tweet about the review by saying, “You suck as a writer.”

“This motherfucker is proof that the days of Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert, and Andrew Sarris are dead,” Carnahan wrote about Aguilar in a now-deleted post. “Mexico City ain’t East LA, homie. Your ‘review’ missed by miles. Should have had [fellow LA Times critic] Justin Chang review ‘El Chicano.’ He’s from Orange County, gets it, and is ten times the writer.”

Aguilar is a critic with bylines at various publications, including IndieWire, and he was immediately supported on social media by fellow members of the press. As the backlash against Carnahan grew, the director deleted his remarks and posted another blunt message to film critics.

“I deleted the ‘offensive’ tweet but it’s fascinating how many of you ‘critics’ rushed in to defend one of your own, like some tribal council,” Carnahan wrote. “Maybe look at that. At the fear and loathing you live in because of your reluctance and/or inability to create yourselves.”

“El Chicano” is now paying in theaters courtesy of Briarcliff Entertainment. Next up for Carnahan is “Boss Level,” a science-fiction action movie starring Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo. The film does not have a release date. IndieWire has reached out to Carnahan’s representative for further comment.

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