Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #754: Tangoing Does Take Two...

For the last week I've been writing a lot about people in Hollywood wasting money like crazy, even though such wasteful spending usually does more harm than good to the spender. I talked about free spending executives, and over expensive movie stars, and the dose of reality that both need to have, but will most likely never do. Today, I would like to take a stab at trying to figure out why they do what they do. The foundation of this theory is the concept of "To E.R.R. is human," and E.R.R. standing for:

ENTITLEMENT: Both sides of this little dance of waste reek of a sense that they are entitled to everything they can get, including fat salaries, $200,000 bathrooms, and 2 story luxury trailers.

Executives think that they are entitled to all they can grab because they believe that they made it by virtue of being the relative of the parent company's chairman, or by belonging to the right fraternity at the right Ivy League school. Ability or merit doesn't appear to have anything to do with their success or failure, only their ability to suck up to the right people, and putting the blade to anyone who might outshine them.

Stars feel entitled to all that they can get, because they live in a world that is very different from the one we live in. I call it The Axis of Ego. It's a plane of existence separate from the rest of us who dwell in the mortal plane. If you're a full citizen of the Axis you live in a world where everyone you meet is either in your business, want to be in your business, or are in some way dependent on your for their livelihood. You are constantly bombarded with the message that you are wonderful, you are great, and that you deserve everything you can grab.

It's bound to warp your mind after a while.

RESPONSIBILITY: Nobody has any sense of responsibility towards the money because it's not their money, and the wasting of it usually doesn't have any affect on their lives, unless....

Executives only have to face the music when the ownership or top management of their company changes radically. We're talking about the sort of drastic shake ups that come from take-overs or buy-outs. Usually the effects of corporate shake ups like this are temporary, and the new suits that come in after the new broom sweeps clean start repeating the same old habits of the people they replaced.

Stars only have to face the music when they fail to sell tickets to such an extreme that their salaries and demands for extra perks look extremely ridiculous. Now this is much rarer than corporate shake-ups, because "A-List" stars have two layers of protection. One layer is "name recognition" the notion that if you appear in the media a lot that you will sell movie tickets. Jennifer Aniston has coasted through her entire "post-
Friends" career by constantly giving "exclusives" to every celeb magazine, tabloid, and TV show, about her pathetic love life and how she wishes the media would leave her alone. The second layer of protection are their agents and managers. If these said agents and managers have a large and prosperous clientele, they can use that clout to keep their less successful clients in clover, and executives don't care, because it's not their money anyway.

RESENTMENT: There is a hell of a lot of resentment going on in Hollywood. It's the rhythm of the tango that both sides are dancing to.

Executives resent the Stars for getting so much money and attention, as well as the audience for not accepting their every brain-fart as a masterpiece of genius. So they give themselves little pick-me-ups like big salaries, perks, and overpriced extras.

Stars resent the constant attention, though they spend a lot of time and money begging for that same attention, they especially resent the studio system because they fully expect the studio to screw them in any way it can, and they're usually right. So why not get whatever they can squeeze out while they can get away with it.

Do you see how this mixture adds up to a toxic business culture that does more harm than good to the industry.


  1. Blast Hardcheese27/6/11 7:46 am

    You forgot that Jennifer Aniston also does the occasional 'taking off all of her clothes' thing in addition to the interviews. I know that if I was a cute girl and wanted to avoid attention, the first thing I would do would be to doff my kit and pose on the cover of Vanity Fair.

  2. Entitlement exists in all circles. What pretty much ruined manufacturing jobs in the USA was union workers think that they were entitled to pay near that to professionals and huge pension plans when most of them are HS dropouts. Then whine about the same thing when CEOs do it. Because they think they are entitled to it. Jobs move overseas because no company wants to pay that to a dropout. When they can then move to some 3rd world country that has a lower standard of living and better education system. They will actually show up to work sober and on time.