David Cross Explains Balance of Indie Cred and Chipmunk Cash

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


mojo-photo-davidandchipmunks.jpg

Hey, did ya see that Chipmunks movie yet? The one that looks like a sub-Garfield brain-dissolving Hollywood CGI cash-in? No? Well, me neither, but it turns out comedian David Cross is in it, which if you’re like me you didn’t know until this bit of news hit Defamer: Cross has posted a lengthy defense of taking Chipmunk money on his website, apparently in response to a dis from Patton Oswalt, who had a part in the considerably-more-highbrow Ratatouille and turned down the part in Chipmunks. The screed is vintage Cross, brutally honest, kind of mixed up, and pretty damn funny:

I knew going into this movie that I would be eating a lot of delicious shit for it. Usually I wouldn’t give a shit about what everyone’s feelings are about it, but I wasn’t prepared for the level, or amount I should say, of vitriol that’s been flung about like so much monkey poo. But then I read Patton’s snide comment in his blog about how he and Brian were offered the part and how they then chucked the script in disgust only to have it hungrily intercepted from it’s intended trajectory into the incinerator by me, a money hungry whore sell out, (I’m paraphrasing).

Cross goes on to defend his taking the part for a variety of “mitigating factors,” including that the movie is for kids so who cares, he doesn’t care about the original “Alvin and the Chipmunks” so who cares, he likes working so who cares, and most amusingly, he wanted to buy a little place in upstate New York and the seller wouldn’t take “credibility and artistic integrity” instead of money. True dat.

I mock Mr. Cross, but I mock because I love. In fact, for me, like many people in somewhat creative fields, the money factor is always a challenge, i.e., how much money overcomes reservations about a gig, and are there gigs you should “just say no” to? Personally, as a DJ, I take on just about everything people ask me to do, passing myself around to corporate parties and cheeseball nightspots like a drunken French whore at a sailor’s bar. Or something. However, I draw the line at weddings, where the wild disparity in age groups means you need a massive library of potential requests ready to go, and if you don’t have the bride’s great aunt’s favorite song you’ve ruined everything. But that’s for my own emotional health, not my “image.” Anyway, thankfully I have enough fun gigs where I get to indulge my creativity that it balances things out, but if McDonalds wanted to pay me $250K to make a mashup for a commercial, what would I do? I don’t know. I want a place in upstate New York! So, is David Cross a sellout, a bad judge of when to sell out, or an awesome dude who’s just trying to get by like everybody else? Any creative types care to weigh in: what’s your price?

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up to $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate