Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Movie Executives Are Despicable People

Hollywood studio exes are assh*les! Really? They say racist and obnoxious things? SHOCKING!!! They hate the smug stars with whom they work? I'm stunned! Actually, I'm not.

For those who don't know, a group of hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace ("GOP") hacked Sony's computer network and made off with a ton of information related to their studio operations. This includes employee data, phone numbers, aliases used by stars, complete scripts, budgets and emails. The suspicion is that this was done by North Korea in retaliation for Sony releasing a film called The Interview, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play film producers who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un... who had his uncle eaten by dogs and looks like the nerd who sings "Gangam Style."

Anyway, for the past few weeks, they've been releasing these emails bit by bit, freaking out everyone in Hollywood. What the emails have shown is that much of what we suspected about Hollywood is true: it is populated by vile, hateful people. Indeed, read the following and tell me if you see a pattern:
● Sony pays its male executives a lot more than they pay their female executives.

● Sony lobbies against Google (which they call Googliath) out of spite in retaliation for Google not doing enough, in their opinion, to stop pirates.

● More movies make money than Sony admits publicly.

● Many of these emails were written by illiterate executives who don't know the difference between words like lose/loose, their/there/they're, and to/too. Foul language is the order of the day.

● Sony employees don't like Adam Sandler films, which they consider "formulaic"... though I wonder what they produce that isn't formulaic.

● Studio execs called Angelina Jolie "a spoiled brat" and complained about "the insanity and rampaging spoiled ego of this woman." When one exec was told to get Jolie's project under control, the response was: "DO NOT FUCKING THREATEN ME"

● The head of Sony pictures only knew Michael Fassbender because of the size of his penis, which he had seen on screen.

● They describe Leonardo DiCaprio as "actually despicable."

● Despite contributing heavily to Obama and supporting him, studio execs engaged in a racist discussion in which they tried to come up with a list of films Obama must like, each of which involved black actors.

● Studio co-boss Amy Pascal implied that actors adopt black orphans as accessories, and she described stars looking to work in television instead of in film as "the new black baby."

● Studio execs called Kevin Hart, who is black, "a whore."

● Studio execs described David O. Russell, who directed American Hustle, as "a loon" who "got in trouble" for feeling up his teenage transgender niece.
And so on. In response to this, these executives have claimed that these emails are not who they really are as people. Yeah right.

I find this interesting on many levels. First, the most obvious is that these studio execs are clearly odious people. They are hateful backstabbers who lie, in-fight, and think nothing of openly racist behavior. Yet when confronted with their own shameful actions, rather than being shamed, they claim "this isn't who I really am!" That's delusional. Of all things, you are the person you act like in private among people you view as confidantes.

Further, keep in mind how liberals react to suggestions of racism. When it's someone they don't like, they feel happy convicting you on the basis of their own belief about what must be in your mind. The slightest hint of verbalizing something as these people have done would bring instant groupthink howls that the person must be an unrepentant racist, followed by calls for termination of employment and social blacklisting. Yet as these are good liberals who give money to Obama, this will be excused with an apology. Is it any wonder, the public no longer buys claims of racism from leftists? Also, is it any wonder that leftists think everyone must be racists, as they clearly are?

Next, how blind do they need to be to attack a Sandler film for being formulaic, but somehow not see that every... other... film... they... produce... is formulaic these days? Not to mention, how do people who can't spell or choose their words correctly end up with power in the film industry?

None of this is surprising. Hollywood loves to be smug and liberal, but every time the curtain is pulled back we see evidence of racism, sexism, and corporate privilege. We see hypocrisy, perversion, and the worst traits of humanity offered up as evidence of superiority. This is just more of the same; it is nothing new, and it explains why Hollywood has devolved to the point that it can no longer tell a good story... because the shit floated to the top.


ScottDS said...

Taking politics out of it for a second...

I did read a few e-mails written by other execs which were kinda encouraging: "We need to make better movies" and so on, but I guess that's all common sense. And given the box-office returns of Sandler's most recent movies, I don't think the execs are wrong for questioning their relationship with him.

And while I'm absolutely NOT defending anybody (most people - filmmakers and otherwise - would say studio execs are horrible), should they be judged based on private e-mails? I wouldn't want to be judged on that basis.

At the end of the day, the old saying is true: Hollywood is just high school with money.

And we all know Obama's favorite movie is The Candidate. :-)

Going back to politics for a second, this is why I'm always leery when someone says, "What we need is a conservative Hollywood!" Yeah, because nobody would ever send embarrassing e-mails in that world.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Private emails are the best way to judge a person, especially when they are as damning as these. The things you say in private are what reflect who you truly are because those are the unguarded moments where you aren't trying to present any particular facade.

And in this case, it's especially true on the issue of race. These people think nothing of calling everyone else a racist and demanding the immediate execution of people who say far less than they say here, and yet now we're supposed to just say, "Gee, it's not a big deal." No. People either need to be held to the same standard they try to hold other people to or they need to STFU about other people.

In terms of being encouraging, I saw a string of comments that would encourage me, except that they seem oblivious to the fact that they are part of this. They always seem to dismiss those as someone else's fault. Also, right after saying things like they need to take more chances and stop just remaking things, they would go into lengthy moments of whining about how they don't have any good franchises.

I don't think they get it.

ScottDS said...

Like I said, it's high school with money.

"Franchise" being the operative word in Hollywood, I can't blame them for being discouraged, especially since it's obvious they don't know what the hell to do with Spiderman. They ruined the Raimi films in three movies and the new movies in only two!

And the original link I sent you doesn't work but I'd like to get your take on this proposal by the makers of the new Ghostbusters.

(Abandon all hope, I know!)

Tennessee Jed said...

I truly do hate these asses. That said, hacking emails is dispicable. So while it is fun to see the studio folks squirm, I am uncomfortable supporting those who profit from that theft

Kit said...


That Ghostbusters proposal is vile. Worse than any alleged racism.

Kit said...

New batch of emails contains terrorist threat against people who see The Interview in theaters.



We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.

More to come…

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The whole idea is stolen from other films... and it sucks eggs.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I find the whole thing pretty fascinating, even if the emails are stolen. I probably should be more outraged about that, but I find the studios so vile that I have a hard time feeling sympathy for them.

That said, I would not want to see this happen to nicer people.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, As an aside, it strikes me that it should be easy to create a franchise these days. There are so many possibilities out there already. But that does require having vision and looking beyond things that are already basically franchises (like Superman or Batman).

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I really wonder if North Korea is behind this. If they are, then the danger is actually quite real. They routinely all kinds of criminal things without any fear of the consequences.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I'd like to think the success of Guardians of the Galaxy proves, despite Marvel's brand name, that you indeed can create a franchise featuring characters 99% of the population doesn't know anything about.

Imagine what you can do with a script featuring characters 100% of the population knows nothing about! :-)

I was just talking to my friend about Ghostbusters... I mentioned that, if I worked in Hollywood, I'd jump at the chance to do a Star Trek or Alien sequel... but Ghostbusters is its own unique thing, and it's because of those guys. I'm a fan but, man, I'd be intimidated if someone asked me to come up with a new one. I wouldn't know where to start!

Kit said...


Given their record of blowing up a plane, sinking a ship, and kidnapping teachers and film makers a part of me thinks they might actually do something insane.

And Obama will do... Nothing.


Kit said...

Furious D has a blog post on it. He gives the people at Sony some suggestions on moving forward. Suggestions they probably won't take but, oh well. It largely boils down to make cheaper movies with good stories. If they tank you are not in the hole. If they succeed, more money for you.


AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The thing is that they are all looking at the same place to find their franchises... comic books. They need to expand their thinking and look at the thousands of other properties that exist well outside the world of comic books.

In terms of Ghostbusters, I think there is a tremendous film to be made based on all the ghost hunting groups out there right now, but it wouldn't milk the Ghostbusters goodwill. In terms of Ghostbusters, I don't think it can be done in any way that doesn't feel exploitative and worthless.

If I had to do it, I would probably make dramatic changes to the feel. For example, I might make it much more serious.
I would take it in a different direction. For example, I might

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The problem with dealing with crazy people, like North Korea, is that you are usually better off not escalating issues.

As for Sony, I would create two divisions, essentially. The first would look to make great films. Find good scripts, interesting ideas, and swing for the moon. The other would milk general audiences with the same garbage that gets made by the other studios.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

You're message cut off. I would take it in a different direction. For example, I might... might do what? :-)

Oh, and re: your reply to Kit, the studios used to have independent divisions to make the prestige stuff but they were pretty much all swallowed up for one reason (the economy) or another. See here. And here.

ScottDS said...

You may also be interested in this article: How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA

“You could make movies in the ten-to-20-million-dollar budget range,” she tells me, almost wistfully. “They didn’t have to be huge blockbusters. They could be more adult-oriented, they didn’t have to appeal to absolutely everyone in the world, and if it’s good work then the studio was happy with making a good profit, but it was a different model… And I think over the years, what happened is that things have gotten really polarized. To studios now, to make a million dollars isn’t a big deal — you have to make a billion dollars, right?” She laughs. “They have to appeal to every demographic in every part of the world, so to make a $20 million movie that makes $60 million, why put their money there?”

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The last line should be deleted.

Koshcat said...

I have a rule for my work email to never write anything I wouldn't want to see on the front page of the NY Times. Seems like a basic rule most companies try to keep.

shawn said...

Studio co-boss Amy Pascal implied that actors adopt black orphans as accessories, and she described stars looking to work in television instead of in film as "the new black baby."

Well, for the longest time, t.v. was the ugly step-child of film. It was pablum churned at as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible. But that has long since changed. Lots of very interesting stories being told on t.v. And actors can make a fair amount of money for their efforts.

I like comic book movies for the most part. But having said that, maybe someone in Hollywood could read an actual book instead if they are looking for ideas.

Here's some suggestions.
Larry Corriea's "Monster Hunter" and "Grimnoir" series are quite entertaining.

Laurell K. Hamilton has written a R to X-rated Buffy the Vampire Slayer knock-off: "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter". But only the first 10 books are any good.

W. Michael Gear's "Forbidden Borders" trilogy is entertaining.

Brian Lumley's "Necroscope" series.

Micheal Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone'" series.

Rustbelt said...

Oh, Scott. How naive. Can't see you see how original this idea for a Ghostbusters villain is? In fact, if it is stolen, I can only think of it being used a few times- such as in "Hellraiser," "The Sandman's Last Rites," A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Chucky," "Silent Rage," "Past-Posted: The Harry Reid Story," "The Thing That Wouldn't Die," "Plan 9 From Outer Space," and...oh, just kill me now.

Look, I want to lighten things up here. Here are 2 nice GB parodies that are pretty good. Well, okay, they're for video game nerds. You have been warned.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That's a great rule... which too many people don't follow.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I have nothing against comic book properties per se, but I do think they are blind to a world of possibilities which exist outside the comic book world. Guys like Zorro, Sherlock Holmes, and the Three Musketeers all come from real books. So do Tarzan, John Carter, Robin Hood, etc. And while those are all well exploited properties, there are hundreds more waiting to be gotten by Hollywood.

Look at what they did with "The Hobbit," and now imagine a six film deal based on "The Sword of Shannara" or "The Foundation" or Elric, or an updated series based on Agatha Christie's detectives, etc.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, LOL! Yeah, it's going to be ugly if they make it.

ScottDS said...

or an updated series based on Agatha Christie's detectives, etc.

I read a few years ago that Jennifer Garner was attached to do a Miss Marple movie in the style of the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies. Obviously nothing has happened... and frankly I'm surprised we haven't gotten something like that, especially with feminism being the big buzzword of the day.

wulfscott said...

A Ghostbusters reboot with genders switched and plot stolen from other movies? Sounds like another Barb Wire to me, and may even be as good :P
Rustbelt - "Past-posted: The Harry Reid Story"? Too scary for me....

Kit said...

By the way, today terrorism won a victory against free speech.

Sony is allowing theaters to cancel showings of The Interview and many are doing just that.

wulfscott said...

Monster Hunter, Elric, Foundation, or maybe even Caves of Steel. How about Fafrhd and the Grey Mouser? There are a lot of books out there that would be good, and probably a lot of original ideas that we never hear of, but the studios are too reactionary to try anything different. At least TV is trying out ideas and maybe TV\cable will come up with some of those stories first.

Jason said...

Think Hollywood will come out for waterboarding if we nab one of these hackers?

Rustbelt said...

wulfscott... they were originally going to call it "Election of the Dead." But studio execs thought something that Romero-esque was too niche. So, to appeal every single demographic, they thought naming the flick after a cheat move in craps (which could infer well-known Las Vegas mob involvement), and the best known mummy in the land would increase its appeal.
But how that covered the movie's rear-projected plane chase, the Faustian pact with the Greek god Ares (spliced in with overdubbed B-roll from a Mexican wrestler film), a volcano forming on the Strip, and the 20-minute zombie sword fight (it's never explained how they learned coordination in the first place), on top of the Stratosphere is anyone's guess.

AndrewPrice said...

Sony won't be releasing "The Interview" into theaters, which makes sense because they can't risk the lives of theater goers. What I find disgusting is how everyone in Hollywood is whining about this being surrender to terrorism and the such and condemning it... yet, they have nothing to say about students and teachers being burned alive or innocent people being killed.

They are sickly out of touch with reality and their priorities are messed up.

ScottDS said...

There's a guy named Robert Conquest who coined the phrase: “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.” I believe that applies here.

And while I CAN'T defend Hollywood on this one, I also resent the binary nature of this stuff: how dare they talk about X when they won't talk about Y! You're correct, of course, and Hollywood doesn't help by sidestepping every other major terrorist attack until one hits close to home... but some of that's human nature, too.

It's why I'm more upset when I get a bad grade than when terrorists attack a school halfway across the world. I'm not proud of that fact, but one event is slightly more relevant to me than the other.

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