I lean towards the latter, but the question is not easily answered. It has clearly bothered many writers over the years.
I was reminded of it when I ran across this passage:
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, whose writing and direction of the backstage comedy-drama All About Eve provided us with another Hollywood high-water mark, and whose creative control over his own work should have suggested he might consider himself a kind of artist, turned the very idea into the setup for a self-deprecating punchline. "I am never quite sure whether I am one of the cinema’s elder statesman," he said, "or just the oldest whore on the beat."—from a review by John Podhoretz in The Weekly Standard, of a new book by Sam Wasson about Breakfast at Tiffany’s