Jeff Wells Festival draws to a close

Two final updates on JeffWellsOxfordGate 2009 (see previous items here and here) and then I believe the matter is closed.

At the Oxford Film Festival’s awards ceremony Saturday night, one of the prepared comedy bits involved a category for Best Performance by a Local Actor in a Film Not Appearing in the Festival. These included two clips from actual films involving actual local actors, and then a third one: “Jeffrey Wells in ‘The Media Panel.'” This was accompanied by a graphic of an empty chair with a sign on it reading “Reserved for Jeffrey Wells.” It got a huge laugh.

I mention this in particular because Wells’ language in his last couple blogs and comments suggests it’s only his colleagues (“the cool kidz”) who think he did something wrong by ditching the panel, and that no one else minded. Believe me, that’s not the case. If nothing else, this joke is evidence that to the festival organizers, blowing off the panel was a big deal.

Wells posted what is presumably his final blog entry on the whole affair, and it is a masterpiece of deflection and justification. As it turns out, every single element of the ugly incident was someone’s fault other than his! That includes his grumpy refusal to go to the panel, which one of us ought to have prevented by talking to him when we saw him looking so downcast in the hotel lobby that morning.

I’m serious! Read his blog! That’s really what he says!

He also continues clinging to the fiction that he was invited to the fest to provide overall coverage, with the panel being only a minuscule part of that. None of the other panelists misunderstood things that way, so I don’t know how he managed it, but there you go.

But after much back and forth between him and his readers, most of whom agree that he screwed up and ought to refund what the festival paid for his plane ticket, Wells finally posted a comment that should be the final word: He continues to blame everyone else in the world for everything that happened, but he ends it by saying he’ll reimburse the fest for the airfare. No admission of wrongdoing, but he’ll make restitution — from a narcissist, that’s as close to an apology as you’re going to get.