by Irvin Muchnick
Yesterday we introduced the story of how the head of the MomsTeam Institute, a marketing partner of the new Concussion movie, smeared the bereaved mother of a former youth league and high school football player who had chronic traumatic encephalopathy at his untimely death, to a writer for Newsweek Europe.
On the last day of 2015 — also the eve of the anticipated second weekend of tepid box office for the Will Smith vehicle — Concussion Inc. resets this story and adds some emerging details. In the new year there will be more, much more, where these came from.
And there is plenty of shame to go around. It starts with the media outlets of larger circulation that turn their gaze from the fact that the bottom line of the complicity in these despicable tactics of the Concussion producers, director-writer Peter Landesman, Smiths hero character Bennet Omalu, and writer Jeanne Marie Laskas (author of the tie-in magazine article and book) is implausible deniability, at best.
Yesterday, and this is after our story broke, Laskas liked on Twitter a photo posted by MomsTeams Brooke de Lench of the two of them at a recent Concussion screening. Present vocabulary fails to fully capture the depravity of such bully-enabling and cowardice.
Even many of the journalists who consider Concussion some kind of courageous breakthrough already know that everything published here about the scam new Bennet Omalu Foundation is 100 percent accurate. The group is housed at the University of Pittsburgh, the lowest of the low in credibility on the concussion-CTE issue. The board of trustees consists almost entirely of the people who made the movie. And its crown-jewel oxymoron is Omalu crony Julian Bailes, a youth football industry danger-and-death denier of astounding audacity.
All of which brings us around again to what Kimberly Archie told Newsweek; the lies Brooke de Lench then told about her to a Newsweek reporter, the disingenuous and hydra-headed marketing machine of Concussion; and the active pimping and passive propagandizing of the Omalu amen corner.
The Newsweek Europe article includes the voices of both Kimberly and another friend of ours, ex-San Francisco 49er George Visger. An extended excerpt is in the next post here: https://concussioninc.net/?p=10627.
Kimberly tells of the 2014 death of her 24-year-old son, Paul Bright, in a motorcycle accident. Kimberly, a litigation consultant, was working on a case involving claims by former National Football League players. Paul, who hadnt played football since he was 18, was not one of them. But curious about the emerging science of CTE, Kimberly had her sons brain studied by Dr. Ann McKees research group in Boston. The finding was that Paul had stage 1 CTE.
After the publication of the article, de Lench — an omnipresent social media troller, as well as CEO of a youth sports advocacy nonprofit and a hanger-on in Concussion marketing — emailed a Newsweek writer. De Lench claimed that Kimberly Archie was a faker, that there was no finding of CTE in Paul, and that Kimberly was never invited, along with other family members of CTE victims, to a pre-premiere screening of Concussion.
As Kimberly easily established to the Newsweek writer, these claims were hateful lies. But they were not the first time de Lench has tried to smear and humiliate Kimberly. De Lench has consistently mocked Pauls CTE. And she has displayed the same pattern in snide or intimidating communications with other advocates — both victims and others.
The Concussion crowds first line of defense is that de Lench and MomsTeam do not represent them. That is malarkey. The joint @ConcussionMovie-@MomsTeam promotional campaign is all over Twitter. The movie website page http://www.concussion-movie.com/#ForThePlayers urges viewers to participate in the #ForThePlayers Challenge:
On December 11, director Landesman emailed me, I have never heard of MomsTeam. Presented with some of the evidence here, he did not respond. When later asked about his association with the Bennet Omalu Foundation and its youth football truther, Julian Bailes, Landesman referred me to Amanda Lundberg, his publicist. Lundberg said she didnt understand my question. After I repeated and explained my question, she did not respond.
Yesterday, when asked about his movie marketing partner Brooke de Lenchs smears of Kimberly Archie and her family, Landesman emailed me, For the record: You are insane.
This morning I emailed Robert Lawson, Sony Pictures executive vice president and chief communications officer, for a response to this story. There was none. Any defense that the left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing seems belied by new information I began reporting yesterday. But even if Sony and the movie producers did not know before what MomsTeam was up to, you do now, my message said in part. I added:
What are Sony Pictures comments on both the tactics of movie marketing partner MomsTeam, as reported by Concussion Inc., and on Mr. Landesmans response?
OUR SERIES ON THE CONCUSSION MOVIE