'Mad Men' creator 'shocked' by spoilers
"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is famously protective of his show's secrets. So he wasn't a big fan of Alessandra Stanley’s spoiler-laden preview of the AMC drama's fourth season in the New York Times last weekend, which Weiner says revealed way too much.
"I was shocked – really shocked," Weiner says of the piece, which disclosed the status of Don and Betty Draper's relationship and key details about the employees of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. "I would love to have it known that this was done totally without my approval."
Of course, critics and other media types typically get advance copies of new episodes, and Stanley regularly reviews TV for the Times. But journalists usually honor requests to keep key story details to themselves. And AMC, mindful of Weiner's sensitivities, included with every "Mad Men" mailing a note that asked writers not to reveal spoilers.
"Ninety-nine percent of the reporters who wrote about the show did not write about the story," Weiner says. "A lot of people told me they were blindsided by (the Stanley article)."
He adds, "You’d think the New York Times wouldn’t have to scoop me."
Weiner’s history with protecting spoilers goes back to his days working on "The Sopranos," when people would come up to him and ask, "What happens next?"
"I’d say, 'Do you really want to know?’ and then they’d say, 'Not really.’ It’s bittersweet when you don’t get to have the experience of seeing the show as it was meant to be seen. In some ways, it ruins the show."
Will there be any repercussions?
"I’m kind of powerless," says Weiner. "It’s the bargain you make: I wanted to have press, and it was nice to get that kind of space with those pictures. The alternative is not to share these things with the press any more – but how can you expect journalists to write about the show if you don’t?
"It was all very disappointing to me."
"Mad Men" premieres on Sunday night.