Australian Food Critics Told to Hold Their Tongues
The critic's job is made clear by her description, or so one would think. Australian food critics are now being told, however, that their words can be construed as "defamation", a ruling that will no doubt reverberate throughout the industry.
THE High Court left a bad taste in the mouths of all reviewers yesterday when it decided that a bad critique and a low score from a Herald restaurant writer had been defamatory.
They fear the decision may weaken the ability of critics to say what is truly on their mind about food, art, concerts and literature.
The veteran critic and writer Leo Schofield said it was a bad precedent: "If a poor review leads to diminished returns at the box office of the theatre, are we going to now say that it is due to the review and not to the quality of the work?"
NB: The inclusion of the mano cornuto in this article is the
result of a bug as we roll out the new version of NowPublic, and I am
not attempting to give Australian restaurants the evil eye. Or ward off
the evil eye from Australian restaurants. Though I do own some Black