Not surprisingly, we loved The Devil Wears Prada (both the movie and the book). In the film, we ate up every last crumb of Meryl Streep’s delicious performance.
But it wasn’t perfect. For example, we hated the scene in the Paris hotel room when Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), looking dreadful in a bathrobe and without her make-up, breaks down in front of her assistant, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway). Miranda starts sobbing about her impending divorce and how it will affect “the twins.”
Meryl Streep is a great actress, so she was able to pull it off (barely). But anyone else would have made us cringe. Please, Hollywood: in your next movie about a great diva, spare us the obligatory “let’s humanize the bitch-on-wheels” scene.
Okay, enough preliminaries. We have some more news about the Justice Department’s Shanetta Cutlar (at right), Section Chief of the Special Litigation Section.
If true, it’s deeply troubling. Read all about it, after the jump.
The more we’ve learned about Shanetta Y. Cutlar, the high-handed head of the Special Litigation Section (SPL) in the Civil Rights Division, the more we’ve adored her. But these latest allegations concern us.
A former SPL employee sent us an email about our Shanetta Cutlar coverage. It begins:
You have not a clue what has been unleashed. Your online tabloid is god-sent, some may say.
After additional description of Shanetta’s treatment of her staff — which we won’t repeat here, since it’s repetitive of past submissions — it continues:
Guess what folks? Shanetta on the outside appears to be the Strong & Mighty SPL Dragon Lady. The attitude she gives off is: “Don’t come in my office, but acknowledge I am the BIG BAD GIANT. Be sure to speak up and acknowledge the appearance of ME, the GOD before you, in the DOJ hallways.”
But get this folks! She’s a paranoid, whiny cry baby behind closed doors. When her door is closed, she’s doing one of two things: strategizing an evil plan, or breaking down in tears over her bad deeds, as if she has a heart.
But a trip to OZ for her will be a waste of time, because she does not have a heart — and will never get one.
Crying tears of remorse over her misdeeds? Oh no! Must we strip Shanetta Cutlar of the hekhsher that desginates her a completely Kosher diva?
There’s a fascinating New York magazine article out about the Judtih Regan debacle. It’s entitled Even Bitches Have Feelings. Is this true? Maybe. But we can’t handle the truth!
The email continues:
If you catch SYC on a bad day, she will even vent some of her frustrations. She might actually give you some good office scoops. Or perhaps she might divulge one of her evil plans to just anyone, even a secretary, if the timing is good — and [Principal Deputy] Tammie [Gregg] and [Deputy Chief] Judy [Preston] aren’t around.
Blabbing about one’s plans to the support staff, in a moment of weakness? This is ill-advised — and disappointing. Perhaps SYC is not the great Machiavellian we initially thought her to be.
Furthermore, our source claims that Shanetta Cutlar can’t even cultivate allies among the support staff:
Get this… Shanetta has a head secretary/personal assistant. Due to Shanetta’s unstable behavior and severe mood swings, nobody likes to be in her proximity. She cannot keep a personal assistant under any circumstances, she ran all the good ones away. Her current head secretary was promoted from a secretary to head secretary.
Guess what? Before accepting promotion, he requested to remain seated at his current workstation.
What kind of assistant to the Chief would not want to work nearby and cover his Chief’s back? When promoted, he requested NOT to sit at the assigned head secretary station, which sits just outside of Shanetta’s door.
Guess what? His work station is on the opposite side of the office. Let’s just say, you will get your exercise for the day by taking that walk.
This may be poor strategy on SYC’s part. Abusing secretaries is par for the bad-boss course. But if you’re going to be throwing your line attorneys under buses all the time, it might be smart to have the backing of at least some secretaries — or at least YOUR secretary — as well as the deputy chiefs. This would allow you to attack your line attorneys on two fronts, pressuring them from above (the deputies) and below (the support staff).
Oh Shanetta… If we don’t receive some more horror stories about you, ASAP, or if we hear anything more about your “vulnerability,” we will be forced to strip you of your DOJ Diva credentials. And you wouldn’t want THAT to happen, would you?
(We will give you a second chance for now. After all, it’s rumored that even Senatrix Hillary Rodham Clinton — one of the great, iron-willed divas of our time — would occasionally have tearful tantrums behind closed doors. But Shanetta, you’re on probation right now.)
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar