The Social Network walked away with a few choice awards, including Best Picture, at the Golden Globes tonight. The film is loosely based on Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook, and it largely trashes his reputation from the very first scene, where the Zuckerberg character (Jesse Eisenberg) gets trashed by an ex-girlfriend, who says some classic lines to him.
Erica Albright, played by Rooney Mara, says, “You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you’re going to go through life thinking that girls don’t like you because you’re a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that won’t be true. It’ll be because you’re an asshole.”
But upon winning a Golden Globe for best screenplay, writer Aaron Sorkin took the stage and said, “I wanted to say to Mark Zuckerberg, if you’re watching tonight, Rooney Mara’s character makes a prediction at the beginning of the movie, she was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a visionary and a fantastic altruist.”
Producer Scott Rudin accepted the award for Best Picture. He said, “I want to thank everybody at Facebook; Mark Zuckerberg for his willingness to allow us to use his life and work as a metaphor through which to tell a story about communication and the way we relate to each other.” The film also won for Best Director and Best Score.
Interestingly, the rumor mill suggests that Facebook’s handlers resisted the creation of the movie, which is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires, a fictionalized account of Zuckerberg’s life by Ben Mezrich. Then, after realizing the movie couldn’t be stopped, Facebook’s founder embraced it, taking the whole company to go see it in the theaters (a number of times). He often said that the movie makers got a lot of details right, like how he owned almost every T-shirt worn by his character in the film, but noted that he didn’t create the site to get a lot of girls.
But Hollywood likes a good story and ran with the fictionalized account. Now the movie is a big contender for an Oscar. Zuckerberg has been laughing it off. Inside, it has to hurt to be depicted in such a way. But it doesn’t seem to have dented his reputation that much. Indeed, it seems only to have made him more famous.