The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to Lupita Nyong’o, whose star continues to rise with this week’s announcement that she won the cover of People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful” issue. This can be attributed to Nyong’o’s obvious beauty – a welcome sign that the days when magazines shied away from putting women of color on covers are over – her Oscar-winning performance in 12 Years a Slave, and doubtless a team of PRs and managers who have kept Nyong’o in the public eye, steadily but not to the point of over-saturation. Congratulations, Team Lupita.

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to Bryan Singer, director of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer pulled out of publicity appearances at last week’s WonderCon and will likely remain behind the scenes after a lawsuit was filed accusing him and three other men of sex abuse of minors. “I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from X-Men,” Singer’s PR statement read. 20th Century Fox, which will release X-Men next month, issued a terse comment a week ago: “This is a personal matter, which Bryan Singer and his representatives are addressing separately.” Time to distance a director accused of abusing teenagers from a product marketed to teenagers.

rove The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to Karl Rove, Bill Kristol and other Republican-Conservative strategists/pundits, for stepping in to “unskew” a New York Times poll favorable to Obamacare and Democratic Senate candidates. The Times poll, conducted with the Kaiser Family Foundation, found Democrats running ahead of or, at worst, neck and neck with GOP opponents in traditionally conservative Southern states. “Badly done,” Rove said of the poll. Kristol and the Republican National Committee were more snarky. But none, including Rove, who famously freaked when Fox News called the Presidential election for Obama two years ago, offered more than opinion to refute the poll.

Jackman Addresses Rumors, for Better or Worse

 Jackman Addresses Rumors, for Better or Worse

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Hugh Jackman.

When an actor has a new movie out, particularly a summer blockbuster, part of the massive marketing process is interviews. The training for these Q&As, which run the gamut from magazine cover stories and chat shows to endless roundtables with press, require more stamina than the life-threatening stunts for an action movie. The same questions are asked over and over and over again. The only thing that can break the monotony is a star addressing a rather unorthodox question, such as the one confronting A-list actor Hugh Jackman, currently promoting The Wolverine: “Are you gay?”

An actor at Jackman’s level could treat this question the way his character Wolverine, a comic book superhero with a short fuse and long razors extending from his hands, might – with swift death. But he’s taking it on, as is his wife, and even his X-Men producer, all saying the rumors are untrue. These rumors about Jackman’s sexuality have been hinted at since he portrayed gay songwriter Peter Allen in the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz, though they’re nowhere near the level of the accusations hurled at John Travolta or Tom Cruise. So why even bother addressing them?

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for Hugh Jackman. This is likely not what his film studio wanted for press for an action blockbuster aimed at a teenaged male audience.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Where there’s smoke, put out the fire – by not dousing it with fuel. Clearly, when accusations come with legal issues, such as what Travolta faced last year, action must be taken. In this case, why even acknowledge them? A subtle “That’s not worth addressing because it’s not true” would suffice. PRs might also want to remind their clients that while this might have been appropriate during the press tour for, say, the musical Les Miserables, it’s an eyebrow-raiser while doing press for an action flick. Additionally, at a time when gay marriage is fighting tooth and nail for legalization, vociferous denial of homosexuality could read the wrong way. Overall, it’s a question Wolverine should have sliced off the list.