Tag Archives: Hollyweird

Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars in Disrepair as Honorees Cry Foul

First world problems…

Donald Trump's vandalized Walk of Fame Star

Donald Trump’s vandalized Walk of Fame Star

From Hollywood Reporter: More than 10 million tourists flock to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame each year, but in the early morning hours of Oct. 27, James Otis wasn’t there to snap a selfie. The political protester instead wielded a sledgehammer and pickax to obliterate Donald Trump’s star. “I thought if I took that symbol away, it would help a lot of people understand that what Trump said [about Latinos and other groups] wasn’t right,” Otis told THR. His pulverization, which netted international headlines, quickly was followed by work to repair Trump’s star.

But most damaged stars, many bearing far more of the cultural symbolism Otis cited, receive lesser treatment: One-fifth of the 2,500-plus stars are in disrepair after decades of neglect, THR has found. Longtime Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Leron Gubler acknowledges this figure matches a city review conducted in the 2000s. Neither he nor any other Walk steward disputed THR’s findings.

Touching every era and genre of entertainment, the damage ranges from minor cracks (Charlie Chaplin, Aaron Spelling, Aretha Franklin) and broken brass inlays (Al Jolson, Chris Rock, Edith Head) to large gouges (Irving Thalberg, Myrna Loy, Paul Rudd). Stars in the worst condition include those honoring Cecil B. DeMille, Ginger Rogers, Neil Diamond, Lucille Ball and Billy Wilder.

hollyweird-walk-of-fame-star

It’s troubling,” says Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore (1952’s Come Back, Little Sheba). “We earned our stars.” Adds Don Murray, who debuted opposite Marilyn Monroe in 1956’s Bus Stop: “If I were a member of the chamber, I would hope I’d be bothered.”

Actress Terry Moore

Actress Terry Moore

Actor Tab Hunter also points a finger at the chamber. “The Walk of Fame is a registered trademark of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce,” he says. “They must be raking in the bucks. I wonder what they’re doing with it.”

Indeed, the disrepair is hard to reconcile with the roughly $1 million in annual revenue that the chamber — which selects honorees and stages the ceremonies at which stars are bestowed — appears to generate from the Walk. Along with the two dozen or so new stars added annually, each of which comes with a $30,000 “donation,” licensing fees — from key chains, shot glasses and T-shirts sold in local tchotchke shops — amount to “six figures” annually, says Gubler.

The degradation of the Walk is far from new. In 1986, the head of the chamber noted that decay had begun a decade earlier, as the neighborhood itself went into decline. (The official’s plan at that time was to fund a significant restoration, to the tune of $500,000, funded with an extensive merchandising pact that saw 170 celebrities, from Kirk Douglas to Charlton Heston, agree to allowing products bearing their starred names to be sold at local souvenir shops.) Yet even as gentrification has swept through the surrounding blocks in recent years — Charlize Theron sold her multimillion-dollar penthouse in a renovated loft building at the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine earlier this year — the Walk remains a wreck.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

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Hollywood Studios, Agencies in a Daze After Trump Win: ‘Many of Us Will Be Scared and Threatened’

leocryingdeparted

From Hollywood Reporter: Early Wednesday morning, United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer dispatched a memo to the company’s staff trying to alleviate anxiety and anger in the aftermath of Hillary Clinton’s surprise loss to Donald Trump in the presidential election.

Jeremy Zimmer

Jeremy Zimmer

Many of us will be scared and threatened and we can give comfort. Some of us will be happy because our voice was heard. Either way, it’s a challenging moment so let’s be extra sensitive and caring with others,” Zimmer wrote to the agency’s employees.

Across Hollywood, agents, studio executives, producers and thousands of rank-and-file employees showed up at work Wednesday in a daze. A majority of Hollywood’s power brokers and up-and-comers supported Clinton. Her roster of donors reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, including Universal’s Ron Meyer, Jeff Shell and Donna Langley, Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara, Sue Kroll and Toby Emmerich, Paramount’s Brad Grey, Sony’s Michael Lynton, 20th Century Fox’s Stacey Snider and Disney’s Alan Horn. Harvey Weinstein, Legendary’s Thomas Tull, CAA’s Bryan Lourd and ICM’s Chris Silbermann also were donors, and many top figures, including Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes and stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, hosted events for Clinton. (Entry to an August fundraiser hosted at Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s house was $100,000 per couple.)

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Beil with their hero...

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel with their hero…

There was also super PAC money organized by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Univision’s Haim Saban on top of their personal contributions. All told, the Center for Responsive Politics reports Clinton garnered $22 million in contributions from the entertainment industry, compared to a mere $290,000 for Trump.

Now Clinton’s stunning defeat has left Hollywood in shock — and questioning whether it is out of touch with a wide swath of the country by assuming Clinton would win.

gee-ya-think

Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, who runs management and production company Grandview-Automatik, grouped his staff together for a company talk. “It was a heart-to-heart, and we talked through a lot of things,” says Kavanaugh-Jones, whose recent producer credits include the new interracial romance drama Loving. “One point that was brought up was that Hollywood can be a bit sheltered from the rest of the country, so it’s important that we are all open to hearing other people’s points of view and try to reach out across the aisle and hopefully they’ll reach back.”

baby laughing

Like UTA’s Zimmer, WME Global head Graham Taylor also sent an email attempting to rally the agency’s staff around 1 a.m. Wednesday after the news networks had called the election for Trump.

“While I had hoped for a different outcome for a myriad of reasons, I do strongly believe tomorrow we all have a united challenge to come together as a company,” Taylor wrote. “We have colleagues and clients that are both happy and upset. We have a divided country, a disrupted globe, and the level of fear and cynicism is unprecedented both in our business and the world at large.”

The major film and television studios were similarly taking stock, but top executives were loath to speak out publicly, since their companies will now have to work with a Trump administration after Democratic President Barack Obama’s eight-year administration comes to an end in January. At MGM’s offices, for instance, there was no formal note from management, but executives “have been consoling each other,” with some employees shedding tears, says one insider.

The mood inside another studio’s animation department was akin to an Irish wake, according to an insider, with employees dressed in black, gathered in a communal kitchen nursing a collective hangover.

Another top studio executive tells THR he is “completely devastated” by Clinton’s loss. Still another notes the paucity of phone calls coming in Wednesday morning as the industry focused on Clinton’s concession speech, followed by President Obama’s live address. “Safe to say it’s been an unusually quiet morning,” says the exec.

“It feels weird to conduct business as usual,” says a producer elsewhere. “How can we focus on make-believe stories when the real world seems to need so much help?”

The mood was decidedly “quiet and morose” inside UTA, a major talent brokerage that boasts Will Ferrell, Channing Tatum, and Joel and Ethan Coen among its clients. Stunned employees sat quietly in rows of desks Wednesday morning, reading Zimmer’s missive urging staff to contact clients and assuage their fears.

The question on everyone lips this morning was “How?” How could the vast polling and political punditry complex have been so far off — and how did no one inside Hollywood, save for Michael Moore, see this historic upset coming?

And yet one established Hollywood agent has a different take, even though he voted for Clinton. “This is a town that rewards disgusting behavior, so people being upset is hypocritical,” says the agency partner. “What the cool kids are upset about is that someone they don’t like and someone who is not part of the cool kids, won. Time to grow up and move on.

hands_clapping

DCG

This is Hollyweird: Steven Spielberg to Produce ‘Voyeur’s Motel’, the account of a hotel owner who spied on his guests while they were having sex

Another Hollyweird movie that will be on my “not to see” list.

Author Gay Talese

Author Gay Talese

Background from the author of this story Gay Talese, of his book entitled, “The Voyeur’s Motel.” Excerpts from a New Yorker article Talese wrote in April 2016:

“I know a married man and father of two who bought a twenty-one-room motel near Denver many years ago in order to become its resident voyeur. With the assistance of his wife, he cut rectangular holes measuring six by fourteen inches in the ceilings of more than a dozen rooms. Then he covered the openings with louvred aluminum screens that looked like ventilation grilles but were actually observation vents that allowed him, while he knelt in the attic, to see his guests in the rooms below. He watched them for decades, while keeping an exhaustive written record of what he saw and heard. Never once, during all those years, was he caught.

Hotel owner/Peeping Tom, Gerald Foos

Hotel owner/Peeping Tom, Gerald Foos

From a handwritten note the hotel owner/Peeping Tom, Gerald Foos, had written to author Talese:

“The reason for purchasing this motel was to satisfy my voyeuristic tendencies and compelling interest in all phases of how people conduct their lives, both socially and sexually. . . . I did this purely out of my unlimited curiosity about people and not as just a deranged voyeur. My main objective in wanting to provide you with this confidential information is the belief that it could be valuable to people in general and sex researchers in particular.

Read all the background here.

spielberg

From Variety: Steven Spielberg is producing a movie version of Gay Talese’s upcoming novel “The Voyeur’s Motel” for DreamWorks with Sam Mendes directing.

Mendes will produce through his Neal Street Productions company. Mendes, who directed the James Bond movies “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” has directed a trio of titles for DreamWorks — his debut on “American Beauty,” “The Road to Perdition” and “Revolutionary Road.”

DreamWorks won an auction for the rights to Talese’s novel. CAA brokered the auction.

The story centers on Colorado resident Gerald Foos, who opened a hotel so he could watch guests having sex. Foos had reached out to Talese in 1980 with the following note:

“Dear Mr. Talese: Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America, which will be included in your soon to be published book, ‘Thy Neighbor’s Wife,’ I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.”

An excerpt of “The Voyeur’s Motel” ran in the April 11 issue of the New Yorker. The novel will be published July 12 by Grove Press.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Mendes and Talese. Mendes is also represented by attorney Melanie Cook of Ziffren Brittenham. Talese is represented for publishing by Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit.

DCG

Hollywood job loss increased 19% in 2 years

Hollyweird

Dave McNary reports for Variety, Sept. 10, 2014, that preliminary statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a steady erosion of jobs in the motion picture and sound industries.

Employment in those two industries has dropped to 298,000 in August — marking the first time in the past decade that the number has dropped below 300,000. To better understand the 298,000 jobs, that figure is:

  • 8% decline from a year ago when total employment in the motion picture and sound industries was 324,600 jobs.
  • 19% decline from 2 years ago when total employment was 366,300 jobs in August 2012.

Hollywood’s declining employment will continue. On Sept. 4, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara told the studio’s 8,000 employees that layoffs were coming at every level.

The industry has been hit by a sharp decline in domestic box office, with summer business generating the poorest total in eight years. Additionally, production incentives outside the U.S. have continue to lure producers to use international locations.

The BLS stats showed that average hourly earnings of $29.20 in July for all employees and $23.71 for non-supervisory employees.

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) statistics for 2012 — the most recent period covered by the industry group — asserted that the industry supports a total of 1.9 million direct and indirect jobs for a total of $111 billion in total wages in 2012, with the direct jobs generating $46 billion in wages, and an average salary 43% higher than the national average. “There were over 293,000 jobs in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing, and distributing motion pictures and television shows,” the MPAA said. “These are high quality jobs, with an average salary of $86,500, 76% higher than the average salary nationwide.

The MPAA estimates that there were nearly 360,000 jobs in related businesses that distribute motion pictures and TV shows to consumers. The “indirect” jobs include caterers, dry cleaners, florists, hardware and lumber suppliers, and digital equipment suppliers. This also includes jobs in other fields that do business with consumers, such as DVD and Blu-ray retailers and employees at theme parks and tourist attractions.

I read some of the 259 comments on this article on Variety. The comment below is representative:

Kim says:

I think folks are tired of going to the movies and having liberal agendas shoved down their throats instead of entertainment. Hollywood has alienated a huge segment of America that simply does not agree and the box office reflects that..

Bear in mind that Hollywood employment is plummeting DESPITE the 20% tax cut “the entertainment industry” has enjoyed since the 1950s.

And they want more: A bill in Sacramento will increase California’s “incentives” for Hollywood from the current $100 million to $400 million a year. (See DCG’s post on this, here.)

See also:

~Eowyn

It should be OK to lock lips with others after saying ‘I do’?

An enlightened Hollyweird actor

An enlightened Hollyweird actor

‘Marriage is serious business, but kissing is not’: Mindy Kaling on why it  should be OK to lock lips with others after saying ‘I do’

Daily Mail: Mindy Kaling has voiced her opinion that one should still be able to kiss other people after they get married.

In a New Yorker article, the comedienne and author, 33, who is single, says kissing new people is ‘one of the greatest joys of life,’ which married people should be able to enjoy, too. ‘Why should saying “I do” necessarily mean “I will not kiss another human for the rest of my life”?’ she asks.

The actress and director, who writes and  stars in Fox’s The Mindy Project, said one of the perks of acting is getting to kiss men, often married ones, with ‘zero repercussions for anyone  involved.’ She goes on to explain that she is by no  means advocating open marriage. ‘Marriage is a serious business,’ she writes.  ‘[But] kissing is not.

‘Just because I want to kiss someone doesn’t mean I want to love that person, share a bed with him . . . tell him not to use  so much salt, or share one AOL e-mail account,’ she adds. The problem with kissing, she says, is that  it has been ‘cheapened’, and is now perceived as a gateway gesture to sex.

‘Kissing is to sexual intercourse as the  phrase “Can I talk to you for a second?” is to a full-blown screaming fight,’  she writes.

She admits that kissing does not come without  its complications, but insists it just needs to be treated as an enjoyable legal vice akin to drinking alcohol or gambling. In other words, it just needs to be regulated.

To prevent a kiss from leading to something more, Ms. Kaling came up with a hypothetical invention called the Kiss Monitor™,  an electric device inserted into the lip.

The gadget would allow a person to kiss a non-spouse for 90 seconds, before it would begin sending electroconvulsive  shocks to the lips. ‘If the kissing continues, the shocks increase in frequency and intensity until the patient passes out,’ writes Ms.  Kaling. ‘This can be very embarrassing.’

According to Ms. Kaling, this device would resolve the issue people have with kissing others after getting married. She imagines that the Kiss Monitor™ will be a means of demonstrating marital fidelity in the future.

‘I am a romantic at heart, and. . . I look  forward to the day when [a man] and I find each other, fall in love, and solemnize our relationship by exchanging Kiss Monitors,’ she  wrote.

So if a kiss is just a kiss and doesn’t lead to sex, why invent something to make a kiss unpleasant?

I’m not married, yet I doubt seriously my boyfriend would want me kissing other guys – and I certainly don’t want him kissing any women! Let’s see what Mandy has to say about this free-for-all kissing after she does say “I do”.

DCG

Liberal Hollyweird turns on their own…

Shunned...

Hollywood Snubs Muslim Stone

NY Post: Sean Stone, son of controversial commie director Oliver Stone, converted to Islam in Iran last week and says he’s already experiencing a Hollywood backlash.  The ceremony was held in Isfahan, where he is researching a documentary. He now goes by the name of Sean Christopher Ali Stone.

He told Page Six: “I’ve already experienced the reverse of anti-Semitism, having people within the film industry express a reluctance to work with me now that I have said a simple prayer, ‘There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his messenger.’ I am sure I have [bleeped] off some powerful people.” Speaking over dinner at Barrio 47, Sean told us, “Having read the Koran and having been around the Islamic culture, especially in Iran, I do believe that Mohammed is a prophet of the same god worshipped by other religions.

“I am of a Jewish bloodline, a baptized Christian who accepts Christ’s teachings, the Jewish Old Testament and the Holy Koran. I believe there is one God, whether called Allah or Jehovah or whatever you wish to name him. He creates all peoples and religions. I consider myself a Jewish Christian Muslim.”

“What I am trying to do is open up a dialogue about religion. There is such Islamophobia in the West. Islam is not a religion of violence any more than Judaism or Christianity is.

He said his dad welcomed the move.  “My dad said, ‘Allah be with you.’ My father understands that I am trying to bridge certain gaps and bring about peace.”

But he has been shocked by the reaction from others. Sean, about to release his horror movie “Graystone,” said, “I didn’t realize I would be so vilified. It is almost like I am a criminal for having accepted Islam. I didn’t realize Islamophobia was that deep. People have speculated that I have done this because I am from a spoiled family or that I am lost and trying to find myself. That is ridiculous.  “I don’t care if I get criticized. If I can open up a debate about religion and create some understanding, then it is worth it.”

Islam is not a religion of violence any more than Christianity?  Debate this Mr. Stone.

Mr. Stone may remain as delusional as he wishes….whatever gets him through life.  I’m just shocked that Hollyweird hasn’t embraced his choice.  Then again, Hollyweird-types never want to debate, just preach.  Guess birds of a feather don’t all flock together after all.

DCG

What’s up with these type of movies?

"Friendship has its benefits"

Hollyweird certainly has no morals.  And the movies they’ve recently released prove that.  Earlier this year, the comedy “No Strings Attached“, featuring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman was released.  The premise? “A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.”

Then came the Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis (the woman who recently stated that “young republicans are ill-informed) movie, “Friends with Benefits“. The premise? “They come to the conclusion that sex should not come with so many emotional attachments. Both feeling the need for a physical connection they agree to have sex without emotion or commitment involved.”

Now Hollyweird has created the latest masterpiece, “What’s Your Number?” The premise? “A woman looks back at the past twenty men she’s had relationships with in her life and wonders if one of them might be her one true love.” And by “relationships”, they mean the number of men she has slept with. The movie is based on the novel, “20 Times a Lady“.

The trailer has women discussing an article that states, “In America, 96% of women who have been with 20 or more lovers can’t find a husband.”

Well, I wonder why.  Twenty lovers? There’s a word for women that have slept with that many men and it ain’t “lady”.

DCG