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Real Apology for Fake Reviews

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The publisher of a Connecticut newspaper received an apology from a senior Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Monday following Newsweek's revelation that Sony created a fake film reviewer and attached the fake name and fake review excerpts to the publisher's weekly title.

"He apologized," said Tom Nash, publisher of The Ridgefield (Conn.) Press, of his telephone conversation with Jeff Blake, Sony's president of worldwide marketing and distribution. Nash said Blake told him, " '...all I can do is apologize. We're taking care of it here.'"

Sony spokeswoman Susan Tick confirmed that reviews quoted by David Manning praising Sony's A Knight's Tale, Hollow Man and Vertical Limit, and the just-released Sony-distributed, Revolution Studios' The Animal, were concocted and attached to the Press newspaper title. Sony admitted Manning does not exist and was created last year by a film advertising executive and said it is investigating who is responsible.

The Press will carry a story about Sony's fake critic in Wednesday's edition. Nash predicted that Manning-gate will be "probably one of the least important but one of the most read (stories) of the week."