You will never be completely rid of James Frey

Ugh, looks like James Frey's "memoir," A Million Little Pieces, is about to become a movie. The book, which unhelpfully and unthoughtfully applies toxic masculinity to questions of addiction and substance abuse, became famous when it was selected as an Oprah's Book Club pick back when Oprah's Book Club was a thing. And then it became even more famous when it was revealed that Frey made up a lot of the book.

At the time, the hot takes questioned whether memoirs need to be entirely truthful, but I feel as though those hot takes missed the point: when you write about overcoming addiction, a lot of people who are struggling with addiction look to your memoir for hope and guidance and emotional support. The fact that Frey lied about his struggles — in fact glamorized and simplified them — very likely caused harm to many people who desperately needed help.

Frey was famously raked over the coals by Oprah for the falsehoods in his book, but I don't know if he ever answered for the harm he likely caused for people struggling with addiction. And in fact Frey is now the overlord of a horrible YA fiction farm. When you combine that with the fact that Pieces is becoming a film, you get a real picture of how male mediocrity rises to the top against all odds.

Anyway, I don't want to malign a film before it's even made. But if the movie version of Pieces doesn't incorporate the meta-narrative about the falsehoods somehow, or address Frey's irresponsible behavior as an author, I have a hard time seeing how it will be worth anyone's time.