There’s more to the axing yesterday of Kansas City Star movie critic Robert Butler than meets the eye…
For starters, Butler is the first Star staffer of the newspaper’s layoffs era I know of to take a double hit. Two years ago he was given the choice of hitting the road with six months pay and a year of benefits or taking a 25 percent pay hit, loss of vacation and dialed back benefits.
He opted to remain at the Star.
Yesterday’s pink slip means that Butler’s being fired from his parttime position.
"That means he has to wait six months before he can freelance any movie reviews for the Star," says a source.
It was a bad day all aound…
Shortly after learning of his May 13 demise, a somber Butler attended a movie screening with other critics for the new Will Ferrell movie "Everything Must Go."
Unfortunately instead of a stress-relieving laugh riot, Butler buzzed head first into Ferrell’s first-ever serious role about a dude who gets fired, his wife leaves him and he loses everything.
Talk about timing…
Which brings us to the unintended consequences part of Butler’s layoff and inability to review for the Star until November.
"The people that are really going to get hurt by this are the art house people," says a source. "The people at the Tivoli, Glenwood Arts, Leawood and Sceenland theaters. Because he reviews all of those art films and the art houses seem to depend on reviews much more than the mainstream movies do."