We don't traffic in empathy much around here — especially for studio heads — but you can't help but feel a bit sorry for Alan Horn these days, who has been reduced to peering under his car in a paranoid state before each trip to and from the Warners lot, searching for some Harry Potter fan's homemade peat-moss explosive affixed to his gas tank with frog spit and the hovering air of revenge. Surely he knew what he was getting into when he pushed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from this November to July 2009 (he's already apologized), but still, no one deserves to live under the type of shrieking death-threat duress graphically laid out by The Wall Street Journal:
Jean Fink, a 51-year-old Los Angeles artist who also works as an administrative assistant, was so distraught after a night of fitful sleep that she dashed off a scathing message to the man who'd betrayed her. "I can't breath amymore [sic] because you just ripped out my heart," she wrote in an Aug. 15 email. ... Kerry McGee, a 24-year-old office administratoPhase of r from Townsville, Australia, says Mr. Horn's attempt to create a positive spin on the delay "put fuel on the fire." In response to Mr. Horn's apology she sent 30 angry letters to Warner Bros. in bright red envelopes — an allusion to "howlers," a magical kind of hate mail in the Potter world that screams loudly at the recipient and explodes violently if left unopened.
The Journal features a fine collection of other strongly and/or wrongly worded e-mails, as well as a referral to some of the fan reaction videos that have arrived on YouTube. We've sampled a selection below for your review, but be advised that the raw frustration and geekery on display may be disturbing to some viewers. All we need now to close this particular circle of hell is a reaction video from Horn — let's hope he survives long enough to deliver. [YouTube video courtesy of Tristian Crider, lorinjj, tomasdacorta, xxToxicInsanity, snapiekins, lovesallbooks]