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The Hollywood Reporter - March 07, 2018

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TIME’S UP: WHAT NOW
AGING IDOL RETURNS
OSCAR RECKONING
Growing pains in the push for equality
Disney’s gamble and the Ryan Seacrest saga
Parties, gossip and (oy!) plunging ratings
March 7, 2018
From left:
Kumail Nanjiani,
Thomas Middleditch,
Martin Starr and
Zach Woods
in Los Angeles.
TRIUMPH OF THE
BETA MALE
Silicon Valley’s tortured tech bros take on 2018’s ‘darker’
digital culture and star T.J. Miller’s messy exit: ‘He wasn’t LeBron’
Reine de Naples Collection
in every woman is a queen
BREGUET BOUTIQUES – NEW YORK 646 692-6469 – BEVERLY HILLS
3 10 8 6 0 - 9 9 11 – L A S V E G A S 7 0 2 7 3 3 - 7 4 3 5
T O L L F R E E 8 6 6 - 4 5 8 - 7 4 8 8 – W W W. B R E G U E T. C O M
CONGRATULATIONS
CHLOÉ ZHAO
Recipient of the inaugural
Film Independent Bonnie Award
We’re proud to honor Chloé Zhao with the very first Bonnie Award,
along with a $50,000 grant to pursue future endeavors.
Chloé has received much acclaim for her two feature films,
“Songs My Brothers Taught Me” and “ The Rider,” which is
nominated for four Spirit Awards this year, including
Best Feature, Best Director, Best Editing and
Best Cinematography.
Learn more at thebonnieaward.com
The Bonnie Award is named
after American Airlines pilot
Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, the first
female pilot to fly for a major
U.S. airline, and recognizes the
outstanding efforts and visionary
work of female directors.
Issue No. 10, March 7, 2018
FEATURES
70 Can Silicon Valley Save
Silicon Valley?
70
From left: Zach Woods,
Kumail Nanjiani,
Thomas Middleditch
and Martin Starr
were photographed
Feb. 12 at Quixote
Studios in Los Angeles.
Warner for $85 billion
begins as Trump and his
administration may take
a new tack to block the
merger and legal experts
evaluate the stakes for the
biggest case of its kind
since Microsoft in the 1990s.
On set with HBO’s savage
startup satire as the creators
contend with a “darker
side” of tech culture and
star T.J. Miller’s messy
exit: “T.J. wasn’t LeBron.”
76 The Antitrust Showdown
of the Century
82 Hollywood Royalty*
Prince Frederic von Anhalt,
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ninth and
final husband, is a hustler
who bought his bloodline
On March 19, the trial to
determine whether AT&T
can legally acquire Time
Photographed here and for the cover by Sami Drasin
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
8
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
and says he made millions
selling titles to other
wannabes. As he preps the
auction of his late wife’s
estate, he opens up about
the socialite’s final days,
his dubious past and why
America is the perfect mark.
SEE YOU IN 2 WEEKS
The next issue publishes March 21.
Keep up with breaking news,
reviews and video at THR.com and via
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Issue No. 10, March 7, 2018
The Grand
Reflecting Pond at
the Amanyara resort
in Turks and Caicos.
THE REPORT
19 Time’s Up: Where
Does the Movement
Go From Here?
An industry push for equality
runs into divergent agendas.
ABOUT TOWN
31 Atlanta’s Singular Woman
Zazie Beetz on the FX hit’s
sophomore season and her
Deadpool 2 villain turn.
THE BUSINESS
40 Creative Space:
Robert Kyncl
YouTube’s top L.A. exec on
policing the world’s largest
video platform and moving
into original content.
46
these four awards-season
trends will sizzle on through
the spring.
46 ‘An Antidote to
Oscar Season’
82
Whether your idea of postawards relaxation is beach,
city or mountains, THR’s
top decompression spots
are vetted by winners
(Sam Rockwell) and awards
strategists.
“She loved to fight,”
Prince Frederic
von Anhalt says of his
late wife, Zsa Zsa
Gabor. “I always knew
to give in.” He was
photographed Feb. 1 at
their home in Bel Air.
THE 90TH OSCARS
51 The Gowns and the Glitz
The best dresses and parties,
plus Rambling Reporter at the
Academy Awards.
45
Tom Ford Ultra
Shine Lip Color
in Indulgent; $54,
tomford.com
REVIEWS
STYLE
45 Best in Glow
From dramatic lips to
matchy-matchy tips,
Ava DuVernay’s adaptation
of the classic children’s
novel is a disappointment:
uninvolving, visually
disjointed and erratically
acted.
BACKLOT
92 Why Foreign-Language
Releases Are
Thriving in China
THIS WEEK ON THR VIDEO
Silicon Valley stars reveal who in
real life is most like their character.
Recent movies from India,
Thailand and Europe
have struck gold in the
Middle Kingdom.
From left: Sally Hawkins,
Saoirse Ronan, Meryl
Streep and Margot Robbie
embraced at the Oscars.
Von Anhalt photographed by Adam Amengual
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
12
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
51
AMANYARA: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. LIPSTICK: COURTESY OF BRAND. GROUP: ABC/ED HERRERA.
89 A Wrinkle in Time
WE’RE BACK WITH A BRAND-NEW LOOK.
4 3 7 N O RT H RO D E O D R I V E
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moderated a Women
in Film “Breaking
the Oscar Mold” panel,
featuring Oscar-winning
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Blye Faust and Oscarnominated producer
Bonnie Arnold (How to
Train Your Dragon 2), at
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T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
14
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
LESLEY GOLDBERG
moderated a
discussion about
YA feature Love,
Simon with director
Greg Berlanti at
WME on Feb. 27.
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T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
16
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
↑ Film
Inclusion Riders
Frances McDormand’s push
for the clause p. 20
Television
The Re ort
Behind the Headlines
ESPN’s Pick
Can the new quarterback
score with digital? p. 26
Heat Index
Steve Gilula/Nancy Utley
The Fox Searchlight chiefs
land their third best picture
Oscar in five years with
The Shape of Water (and six
wins total) just as Disney
is determining their future.
Rich Ross
The Discovery channels group
topper exits and Kathleen
Finch adds to a purview
including HGTV, TLC and Food
Network as the company
acquires Scripps Networks.
MCDORMAND: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. GILULA: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES FOR FOX SEARCHLIGHT. ROSS: JESSE GRANT/GETTY IMAGES. NISHIMURA: TIBRINA HOBSON/
GETTY IMAGES FOR INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY ASSOCIATION. STOTSKY: DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES FOR NBCUNIVERSAL. RHIMES: JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES.
Making a Moment
Into a Movement
Lisa Nishimura
Netflix’s head of docs nabs
an Oscar win for Russia doping
pic Icarus, only the second in
company history and first in a
feature category.
Adam Stotsky
The E! president sees Oscars
red carpet viewership drop
35 percent from 2017 as host
Ryan Seacrest becomes a
distraction after a harassment
accuser goes public.
Showbiz Stocks
$13.25 (+7.2%)
IPIC ENT. (IPIC)
The operator of 16 dine-in,
luxury movie theaters has
plans to beef up its live-event
offerings and build a facility
in Boca Raton, Florida.
$44.03 (-9.4%)
LIVE NATION (LYV)
After a $110 million legal
settlement with Songkick, the
company reports a quarterly
loss of $1.12 per share, 4 cents
more than analysts predicted.
Time’s Up ‘became a brand overnight,’ but the anti-harassment
crusade now seeks structure and a leader amid skepticism about
CAA’s role and ‘movie star cliquey’ meetings BY KIM MASTERS
O
n March 1, members
of the Time’s Up antiharassment organization
met the media to deliver a
60-day progress report on its campaign for “basic fairness in the
workplace,” as Bad Robot co-CEO
Katie McGrath put it.
The timing was right.
Hollywood being what it is, and
people being what they are, there
has been speculation and some
suspicion about where Time’s Up
came from, who gets to participate
in the group and what its priorities are. At the meeting with the
press, A Wrinkle in Time director
Ava DuVernay assured that even
though Time’s Up “started so
splashy on the red carpet, there’s
real work being done.”
At this point — about two
months since its Jan. 1 unveiling
as Hollywood’s most high-profile
effort toward gender equality —
Time’s Up is a work in progress,
but it has some tangible results
to report. Its legal defense fund
has raised $21 million. (Jennifer
Aniston, Selena Gomez and Sandra
Bullock are said to be among
major donors; CAA has donated
$2 million while WME, ICM
and UTA each donated $1 million.)
The fund, which is to be run by
the National Women’s Law Center,
already has fielded more than
1,700 requests for
assistance from individuals working in
more than 60 different industries. (The
Rhimes
emphasis is not on
women in entertainment but on
wage workers.) Time’s Up also has
struck a partnership with the nonprofit StoryCorps to record tales
of working women and preserve
them in the Library of Congress.
Meetings have covered a panoply
of issues, from nudity clauses to
job parity.
But some women who have
attended Time’s Up gatherings
say key questions remain unanswered. The group garnered a lot
of media attention with buttons
and black gowns at the Golden
Globes, one talent rep says, but
“the nuts and bolts should have
come first.” A central player in the
group acknowledges: “It became
a brand overnight. No one anticipated that.” (While some Time’s
Up members spoke to THR on
background, none would agree to
comment on the record.) Several
important Time’s Up members
say that it has become clear that
there will have to be more structure, and the group is seeking
a professional manager as well as
funding to pay that person’s salary. So far, all donations have gone
to the legal fund.
Some of the distrust around
Time’s Up can be traced to its
beginnings in late 2017 in the crisis atmosphere that prevailed
after accusations against Harvey
Weinstein became public. Early
meetings took place at CAA, with
the agency’s chief innovation
officer Michelle Kydd Lee and
agents Maha Dakhil, Hylda Queally
and Christy Haubegger among
the founders. When certain A-list
actresses (such as Kristen Stewart
and Emma Stone) and major players repped at other agencies (such
as Shonda Rhimes, handled by ICM
Partners) were invited to meetings while their agents were not,
some suspected that CAA might
use the gatherings to try to poach
clients. “There are people cynical
enough to say it’s about getting
Shonda,” says a producer who is a
member of the organization.
Some reps from other agencies
have now joined Time’s Up, and
several participants in the earliest meetings who are not CAA
clients tell THR that they never
perceived the group as serving
Illustration by Jason Raish
Feb. 26-March 5
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
19
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
The Report
a CAA agenda. Instead, they say
they were happy to take advantage
when CAA offered free meeting
space and food and even paid for
an airline ticket change so that
Gloria Steinem could speak at the
first meeting in early December.
In a statement, CAA said, “The
work we have done for Time’s
Up has not only been heartfelt and
deeply meaningful, but it is also
consistent with our decades-long
commitment to social action and
community involvement.”
But still, there was more suspicion about CAA’s intentions: Some
thought the agency was aligning
with Time’s Up to inoculate itself
against questions about its longtime ties to Weinstein as well as
its in-house culture. The New York
Times reported in early December
that at least eight CAA agents
had known about Weinstein’s
alleged behavior. (In its response
to the Times, CAA apologized “to
any person the agency let down.”)
Maureen Dowd took direct aim
at the perceived linkage, writing,
“Time’s Up … was born at CAA,
the agency dominated by white
men who, their despoiled clients
charge, served as a conveyor
belt to the Weinstein hotel suites.”
Another question that
has dogged Time’s Up in the early
going revolves around who was
included in the early meetings and
who wasn’t. “Why is it a club?” asks
one producer. “Why do you have to
be invited?” Some say it seemed to
them that at the core of Time’s Up
was a clique that included such
A-list stars as Reese Witherspoon.
“At first it felt selfpromotional,” says
a talent rep who has
attended the meetings. A television
Witherspoon
executive thinks that
early Time’s Up inadvertently
felt “feature film, actress, movie
star cliquey.”
At the March 1 news briefing,
members said no one was intentionally left out. “Hollywood
breeds a feeling of exclusion for
people,” Rhimes said. “There’s
this feeling that this must be
something that you’re invited to,
because everything else in this
town is built on that idea, but this
just doesn’t work that way.”
“If you want to join, you can
make it happen wherever you are,”
said Laura Dern, who said that
meetings formed while she was
on location in Atlanta because a
crewmember suggested it. Other
Time’s Up members say those
who want to participate should
simply ask to be put on the mailing list and come to meetings.
But at first, at least, it wasn’t
quite so simple, says one exec
who says she made several calls
hoping to attend the inaugural
meeting, to no avail. “I talked to
a lot of women who were highlevel and couldn’t get invited and
were very upset,” she says. “It was
like, ‘We’re inclusive but unless
you’re a movie star or a farmworker, you’re not invited. If you’re
an EVP, we don’t want you.’ ”
Some women who are involved
are still unclear or uneasy
about how the group is setting
its agenda. Members aren’t supposed to discuss what goes on at
‘Inclusion Rider’ Meets Thorny Reality
Frances McDormand’s Oscar call is leading to a real organizing effort, yet studios may
also invite discrimination lawsuits if they prioritize gender and race in hiring decisions
BY JONATHAN HANDEL
t might just be the most famous contract clause
Iuttered
no one’s ever seen. When Frances McDormand
the words “inclusion rider” on the Oscar
stage March 4, the Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri star left viewers (and some in the
industry) baffled.
The concept, however, is simple: Stars — or anyone with leverage, really, such as showrunners and
top movie directors — can negotiate a contract
addendum, or rider, that commits
a studio or producer to recruit and
hire diverse actors and crew on
a project. It’s the brainchild of USC
professor Stacy Smith and Cohen
Smith
Milstein civil rights employment
attorney Kalpana Kotagal. Smith first introduced
the idea in a 2014 THR guest column, but it lay
mostly dormant until Oscar night. Smith says she’s
not aware of any actors having used the rider, and
entertainment lawyers say they’re unfamiliar with
it. “Seen none. Have none,” says a top talent lawyer.
The rider, as Smith and Kotagal outlined,
focuses on improving diversity in select belowthe-line jobs and supporting roles that do not
affect “story sovereignty” or interfere with
financing or insurance. It also “creates financial
consequences for studios that don’t engage in
good faith efforts.”
Will studios agree to binding commitments
and monetary penalties? Some have their doubts.
Loeb & Loeb management-side labor lawyer Ivy
Kagan Bierman, while supporting the overall
concept, predicts companies might try to soften
the language. Others wonder whether such
riders are workable at all, especially in television
(would numerical targets be per episode? per season?) and how penalties would be assessed
and to whom they would be paid. Even the rider’s
authors acknowledge the risk of reverse discrimination suits, which could ensnare not just a studio
but even the A-list star who demanded the rider.
Assessing these issues is tough without seeing
specific language.
Unions also could have a role. SAG-AFTRA
issued a noncommittal but supportive statement,
and the guilds could seek to incorporate aspects
of the rider into their collective bargaining agreements in the 2019-20 negotiations. The studios
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
20
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
meetings, but sources say that
at the gathering at Paramount
in February, Kerry Washington
introduced women from Alianza
Nacional de Campesinas (the
National Farmworkers Women’s
Alliance). Speakers included a
mural artist who discussed the
role of art in bringing about
change. Seth Godin, author of
books including Tribes: We Need
You to Lead Us, talked about how
to start a movement.
Overall, one attendee says,
the meeting still seemed unfocused. “I feel there’s a lack of
awareness on how to best manage it.” That kind of talk upsets
women who are putting in long
hours to turn Time’s Up into a
force for transformation.
“When you start a movement,
the first thing people do is try to
peel you away, to distract you from
the mission,” says one member.
“We have devoted our lives to this
industry. Is this what we want
our legacy to be — that we were
victims of harassment? I want my
legacy to be that I was part of a
group who saw a problem and was
part of the solution.”
SION
I N CLU
RIDER
McDormand ended her Oscar speech with “I have two words to
leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: ‘inclusion rider.’ ”
shot down a 2016 DGA attempt to strengthen
currently toothless language, but that was in the
pre-#MeToo era.
Meanwhile, a coalition led by Smith and Kotagal
is trying to get state governments to provide
inclusion rider tax incentives. Ultimately, audiences might make a difference too. Says Endeavor
Content co-president Graham Taylor, “Just as
consumers are increasingly interested in where
their food is from, they are becoming increasingly interested in how their content is created
and the values behind it.”
SMITH: LARS NIKI/GETTY IMAGES FOR REEL WORKS. MCDORMAND: KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES. PEN: ISTOCK. WITHERSPOON: JON KOPALOFF/GETTY IMAGES.
In a recent column, the Times’
Behind the Headlines
EMBRACED
ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER
BEST PICTURE
© A.M.P.A.S.®
J. MILES DALE GUILLERMO DEL TORO
GUI LLERMO DEL TORO
PAU L DENHAM AUSTERBERRY
SHAN E VI EAU AN D J EFFREY A . M ELVI N
ALEXAN DRE DESPLAT
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Oscar Scorecard: Highs, Lows and Oddities
Kimmel couldn’t prevent a ratings collapse, but the 90th Academy Awards brought plenty of records, milestones,
#MeToo mentions and a Jet Ski as THR breaks down the moments and misfires that got people talking
Event TV? Not Really Must-See
STUDIO WIN TALLY
The Shape of Water
← Fox Searchlight
6
Warner Bros.
5
Focus Features
3
Disney
2
Sony Pictures Classics
2
HOW WOMEN
FARED AT
THE SHOW
It hasn’t been a great year for marquee live events, with the
four major spectacles losing steam from 2017. But even at an all-time
low, the Oscars’ losses aren’t as dramatic as the Grammys’.
120M
The year’s biggest night on ABC
took an even deeper dip among
younger viewers. Its 6.8 rating
among adults 18 to 49 marked a
25 percent spill from 2017.
103.4M
↓7%
Presenters
100
80
INSTAGRAM
60
TWITTER
40
207,000+
20
Number of mentions
of the #MeToo hashtag
during the ceremony.
19M
↓5%
19.8M
↓24%
— Jan. 7 —
Golden
Globes
— Jan. 28 —
The
Grammys
Nominees
163,000+
Retweets that
Jordan Peele’s tweet
(“I just won an Oscar.
WTF?!?”) has received
since Sunday night,
making it the most
retweeted of the show.
NIELSEN
1,061,000+
In the night’s most
liked Instagram video,
Gal Gadot revealed
her preshow makeup
application.
— Feb. 7 —
Super
Bowl
89
1,126,000+
Likes that Ansel Elgort’s
Instagram post with
Timothee Chalamet
(center) and
Armie Hammer (left)
has received, making
it the most liked photo
from the evening.
26.5M
↓19%
23,000,000
Interactions on
Facebook, Instagram and
Twitter about the
Oscars (up from 22 million
interactions across
Facebook/Twitter in 2017).
— March 4 —
Academy
Awards
Age of best adapted screenplay winner
James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name), making
him the oldest person to win a competitive
Academy Award. (Had Agnes Varda won
best documentary feature for Faces Places,
she would have edged him by a week.)
17
del Toro
FRANCES’
OSCAR GAP
Inarritu
21
Years between Frances
McDormand’s best
actress Oscar wins for
Fargo and Three
Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri.
Number of times the
same film has won for
sound editing and sound
mixing. Dunkirk is the
sixth in the past 10 years.
S E C ON D S
AND ...
$20,000
Bail set by Los Angeles
police for Terry
Bryant, 47, who was
arrested on suspicion of
felony theft after
he allegedly swiped
McDormand’s
Oscar statue at the
Governors Ball.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
22
4
Cuaron
Number of best director Oscar winners,
out of the past five, who were born in Mexico
— Alejandro G. Inarritu won for Birdman and
The Revenant, Alfonso Cuaron won for Gravity
and now the third of the Three Amigos, Guillermo
del Toro, has won for The Shape of Water.
35. 1 0
Source: Instagram. Twitter, Nielsen
Number of installments of
the Planet of the
Apes reboot trilogy that
won the top Visual
Effects Society award, only
to go on to lose the
best visual effects Oscar.
Winners
Source: Nielsen
14
Number of times legendary
lenser Roger Deakins
was nominated for the
best cinematography
Oscar before winning for
Blade Runner 2049.
And the Jet Ski goes to …
Winning the costume design Oscar for
Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges spoke for
less than a minute, and for giving the shortest
acceptance speech of the night, he won
a Kawasaki Jet Ski (retail price: $17,999).
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Finally.
SHAPE: COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES. ELGORT: @ANSEL/INSTAGRAM. FARGO: PHOTOFEST. GADOT: @GAL_GADOT/INSTAGRAM. PEELE: TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC. BRIDGES: ABC/ED HERRERA. INARRITU, DEL TORO: ALBERT L. ORTEGA/
GETTY IMAGES. CUARON: JEFFREY MAYER/WIREIMAGE. IVORY: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC. DEAKINS: DAN MACMEDAN/WIREIMAGE. APES: COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX. DUNKIRK: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.
Viral Moments
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
JORDAN PEELE
BEST ACTOR
GARY OLDMAN
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
KAZUHIRO TSUJI, DAVID MALINOWSKI
AND LUCY SIBBICK
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
MARK BRIDGES
© UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Domestic
International
Gross Cume % Chg Gross Cume
Broadcast TV
Cable TV
18-49
Live+3
Viewership
Live+3
Total
Audience
Live+3
1.
Black Panther DISNEY
66.3 501.7(3) -41 56.2*56 396.6 898.3
1.
Winter Olympics Feb. 20 NBC
4.1
17.9M
2.
Red Sparrow FOX
16.9 16.9(1)
- 26.6*67 26.6
2.
Winter Olympics Feb. 19 NBC
3.9
16.9M
3.
Winter Olympics Feb. 22 NBC
3.6
15.8M
4.
Winter Olympics Feb. 21 NBC
3.4
14.5M
5.
Winter Olympics Feb. 25 NBC
3.1
15.2M
6.
Winter Olympics Feb. 23 NBC
3.0
13.3M
7.
Winter Olympics Feb. 24 NBC
2.3
12.0M
2.
The Alienist TNT
3.2M
8.
Winter Olympics Gala NBC
2.2
11.3M
3.
Haves and the Have Nots OWN
2.96M
9.
The Bachelor ABC
2.1
7.4M
4.
When Calls the Heart HALLMARK
2.93M
5.
Homeland SHOWTIME
2.01M
6.
If Loving You Is Wrong OWN
2.00M
7.
Nashville CMT
1.69M
8.
Waco PARAMOUNT
1.67M
9.
The Detour TBS
1.4M
43.5
The spy thriller opened below expectations,
marking the second disappointment in a row
for Jennifer Lawrence after mother!, which
topped out at $44 million worldwide last fall.
Death Wish MGM
13
13(1)
- 870K*6 890K
3.
13.9
Who says a bad Rotten Tomatoes score is the
kiss of death? The Bruce Willis action pic, a
remake of the 1974 film, beat projections despite
a 13 percent aggregated critics score.
The end of The Bachelor’s 22nd cycle
paces steady with its season averages.
Still, it will not be duplicating the only
season (2016-17) where it outshined
NBC’s The Voice.
4.
Game Night WARNER BROS.
10.4 33.2(2) -39 8.5*46 16.5
49.7
5.
Peter Rabbit SONY
10 84.1(4) -22 14.3*12 17.8
101.9
6.
Annihilation PARAMOUNT
5.6 20.6(2) -49 N/A
7.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle SONY
4.4 393.1(11) -22 1.9*79 535.7 928.8
11.
Big Brother Feb. 25 CBS
1.7
6.1M
8.
Fifty Shades Freed UNIVERSAL
3.4 95.7(4) -52 10.4*61 250.2 345.9
12.
A.P. Bio NBC
1.6
9.
The Greatest Showman FOX
2.7 164.6(11) -21 5.5*35 211.5 376.1
13.
Big Brother Feb. 19 CBS
1.6
6.1M
14.
Big Brother Feb. 23 CBS
1.6
5.9M
15.
Bachelor: Women Tell All ABC
1.6
5.5M
20.6
10. Every
1.5
11.
Day ORION
5.2(2) -49
N/A
N/A
N/A
5.2
The Shape of Water FOX SEARCHLIGHT
1.46 57.5(14) +24 9.5*55 69.4 126.9
Guillermo del Toro’s awards favorite saw a
huge bump on Oscars eve: It was up 24 percent
from the previous weekend even while adding
111 screens for a total of 832 theaters.
1.
The Walking Dead AMC
11.3M
At the midpoint of its seventh season,
viewership for cable’s aging (but still
biggest) hit is off 29 percent from 2017
— and down 34 percent in the key
adults 18-to-49 demo.
BY MIA GALUPPO
Closer
Look
Chi SHOWTIME
1.3M
Brother Feb. 21 CBS
1.8
6.5M
One to Watch
6.5M
The Magicians SYFY
Averaging roughly 1.3 million viewers
and losing no steam from 2017’s run,
the surprise hit scored a season-four
renewal Feb. 28.
Wrinkle in Time Tops Best-Sellers
The 1962 book rises ahead of movie debut
A Wrinkle in Time MADELEINE L’ENGLE
Green Eggs and Ham DR. SEUSS
3. Dog Man and Cat Kid DAV PILKEY
4. One Fish Two Fish DR. SEUSS
5. The Great Alone KRISTIN HANNAH
6. Fifty Fifty JAMES PATTERSON
7. The Cat in the Hat DR. SEUSS
8. 12 Rules for Life JORDAN B. PETERSON
9. Fire and Fury MICHAEL WOLFF
10. Wonder R.J. PALACIO
1.
2.
The 15:17 to Paris WARNER BROS.
1.4 35(4) -60 2.2*31 15.4 50.4
13. Three Billboards FOX SEARCHLIGHT
1.3 52(17) +2 5.8*55 79.2 131.2
12.
The Post FOX
938K 80.4(11) -24
Disney’s tentpole
opens March 9.
14.
3.8*34
71.3
151.7
Call Me by Your Name SONY CLASSICS
783K 16.9(15) +50 1.4*39 15.0 31.9
How to Market
a Teen (Gay)
Romance Now
Fox 2000 and Greg Berlanti
pitch Love, Simon to the masses
without trying to ‘hide or
obfuscate’ its subject matter
10. The
10. Big
Love, Simon
will get a
release in
2,000-plus
theaters.
Source: Publishers Weekly’s top 10 overall best-sellers (March 5, 2018)
s Love, Simon — the first teenA
targeted, major studio project
centering on a gay romance — gears
up to hit theaters in wide release
March 16, the film has already made
a marketing splash. Fox 2000 has
been promoting the $17 million title
more like a rom-com than a release
about a closeted high schooler
coming out. That is, in part, superproducer Greg Berlanti’s doing.
Berlanti, who also directed the
film that stars Nick Robinson as the
title character in the adaptation
of the hit book Simon vs. the Homo
Sapiens Agenda, says he asked
the studio to “sell it as they would
any other teen rom-com, the same
size and scope” and “not hide or
obfuscate in any way what the movie
is about.” The trailer premiered in
theaters in December ahead of 20th
Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman
and on NBC’s revival of Will & Grace.
Billboards have recently hit New York
and L.A., and the movie’s Twitter
account has been tweeting notes
from “Simon” to Queer Eye star
Jonathan Van Ness and Olympian
Adam Rippon.
Fox 2000 has experience in the
YA market, having released The Fault
in Our Stars ($307 million at the box
office) and Paper Towns ($85 million). But LGBTQ-themed features
— like Oscar winners Moonlight
and Call Me by Your Name, which
launched in four theaters apiece —
are more common at the specialty
box office. “There was a time when
we saw LGBTQ content and storylines sidelined in marketing,” says
GLAAD vp programs Zeke Stokes.
“This presents itself as exactly
what it is.”
15.
Box-office source: comScore; estimates in $ millions; ( )Weekends in release; *Territories. Broadcast source: Nielsen, live-plus-3, week of Feb. 25. Cable TV source: Nielsen, live-plus-3 scripted series, week of Feb. 25.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
24
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
BILLBOARD: TRISTAN CASSEL. BACHELOR: ABC/PAUL HEBERT. DEAD: GENE PAGE/AMC. MAGICIANS: ERIC MILNER/SYFY. WRINKLE: ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA/DISNEY. RED: MURRAY
CLOSE/ TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION. DEATH: METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES. SHAPE: COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES.
Box Office
WE PROUDLY CONGRATULATE
FOX
SEARCHLIGHT
ON ITS SIX OSCARS
The Report
Behind the Headlines
ESPN’s Playbook:
New QB, Digital Blitz
Caught ‘flat-footed’ amid a transition from cable to
over-the-top, incoming president Jimmy Pitaro will be tasked
with monetizing streaming offerings BY MARISA GUTHRIE
E
SPN’s pick of Jimmy
Pitaro — a savvy, Silicon
Valley-connected executive with experience navigating
the digital landscape — as its
new president is a clear sign of
the Walt Disney Co.’s priorities
for the sports behemoth. And
it’s one that Disney CEO Bob Iger
likely hopes will calm investors
as Pitaro, 48, gets to work on
reimagining ESPN for the overthe-top universe.
The move was greeted with
enthusiasm at ESPN’s Bristol,
Connecticut, headquarters, where
Pitaro had his first meeting with
direct reports March 7, sources say.
Iger had previously attempted to
insert Pitaro as former president
John Skipper ’s No. 2, but Skipper
rebuffed the move.
Pitaro’s first order of business
will be the April launch of ESPN
Plus, the company’s direct-toconsumer offering powered by
BamTech, the MLB Advanced
Media tech company in which
Disney owns a 75 percent, $2.6 billion stake. The offering, with a
monthly fee of $4.99, will stream
more than 10,000 live events
annually. It will not feature marquee leagues including the NFL
and the NBA, and as such many
analysts view it as a pure niche
offering. “ESPN got very fat,” notes
Daniel Ives, head of technology
research at GBH Insights. “It was
built on heavy advertising sales
and subscription fees, and that has
since thinned. Their OTT strategy was nonexistent. So they were
caught flat-footed.”
ESPN is far from the only legacy
media company playing catch-up
amid digital disruption. But the
company has much more at stake
than many. ESPN subscriber losses
(the network is in close to 87 million homes today, down from
more than 100 million in 2011) and
escalating rights fees have been
a drag on Disney’s stock price,
which has fallen 7 percent in the
past year. However, ESPN still
is a major profit driver for Disney
Media Networks, which took
in $23.5 billion in revenue and
$6.9 billion in operating profit
for the fiscal year that ended
last September.
Pitaro’s ascension comes as
Disney is in the midst of regulatory approval of a proposed
$52.4 billion acquisition of most of
21st Century Fox’s assets, including its regional sports networks.
If the deal is approved by the
Trump administration’s Justice
Department — and all signs are
that it will be, despite the potential loss of thousands of jobs
— Disney also will gain a controlling interest in Hulu.
On March 5, Iger noted Pitaro’s
career at “the intersection of
technology, sports and media.”
(Prior to joining Disney in 2010,
Pitaro spent a decade at Yahoo
Media, where he ran online operations.) “ESPN’s biggest challenge
has been the transition to OTT,”
adds Ives. “If you look at Jimmy’s
background in the digital media
and streaming world, he was a
no-brainer choice.”
Georgia’s ‘Dumb Bill’ Could Be Costly
A piece of anti-gay legislation may threaten the state’s thriving film industry:
‘We have a responsibility to not feed our money into their system’ BY BRYN ELISE SANDBERG
in 2016, thanks to a tax credit of up to 30 percent
offered by the state. “With the institutionalized
homophobia that’s coming out of Georgia right
versial legislation threatens business as usual. On now, we have a responsibility to not feed our
Feb. 23, the state Senate passed a bill that would money into their system,” says Grey’s Anatomy
make it legal for adoption agencies to not work
showrunner Krista Vernoff, who calls on producers
with same-sex couples. Lawmakers also approved
and talent to insist on riders in their contracts that
a bill March 1 stripping a major tax break for Delta,
prohibit their projects from shooting in Georgia.
an unsubtle punishment for the airline’s decision “Showrunners and actors have more power in this
than they may be aware,” she adds. The Black List
to ax its discount for National Rifle Association
founder Franklin Leonard tweeted, “Hollywood
members after the Parkland, Florida, shooting.
may need to revisit its willingness to shoot
That one-two punch of GOP-led bills has
in my home state,” and writer-producer
drawn ire from Hollywood toward a state that
Ben Wexler put it more bluntly, posting,
boasted 17 features (Marvel Studios’ Black
“To my fellow showrunners: If this dumb bill
Panther, Avengers: Infinity War) and mulbecomes law, let’s be done filming television
tiple TV series (AMC’s The Walking Dead,
Vernoff
Netflix’s Stranger Things) shooting locally
shows in Georgia.”
eorgia’s annual Film Day — which on Feb. 27
G
celebrated the state’s $7 billion film industry
— fell at an awkward time this year, as contro-
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
26
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Georgia has dethroned California as the top filming location for
movies thanks to Marvel flicks such as Avengers: Infinity War.
Major studios who do business in the state
declined comment on the legislation, for now.
Execs may be waiting to see if the adoption bill
gets passed by the Georgia House, where sources
say it’s unlikely to even come to a vote. Vans
Stevenson, the MPAA’s senior vp state government affairs, is striking an optimistic tone, saying,
“We are confident that Georgia will not enact any
kind of legislation that would permit discrimination
against any individual.”
CHALKBOARD: ISTOCK. PITARO: COURTESY OF DISNEY/ESPN. SKIPPER: STEVE MACK/GETTY IMAGES. VERNOFF: JOSHUA BLANCHARD/GETTY IMAGES. AVENGERS: MARVEL/DISNEY.
← Pitaro (center) is stepping in to replace
John Skipper, who resigned as ESPN’s chief
Dec. 18 citing “substance addiction.”
The Report
7 Days of DEALS
Who’s inking on the dotted line this week
W EINSTEIN CO. SALE COLLAPSES AGAIN
AS BANK RU PTCY NOW LOOMS
ContrerasSweet
Burkle
The Weinstein Co. sale is off again — this time
seemingly for good.
TWC’s board had agreed March 1 to sell Harvey
Weinstein’s former company to a group of investors
led by former Obama administration official Maria
Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle for $500 million
(including the assumption of at least $225 million in
debt), but five days later Contreras-Sweet issued a
surprise statement that her group had “decided to
terminate the transaction.”
“After signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing
information about the viability of completing this
transaction,” wrote Contreras-Sweet. Sources say
that after taking a closer look at TWC’s books, the
buyers discovered at least an additional $50 million
worth of liabilities, bringing TWC’s total debt to as
much as $280 million.
Contreras-Sweet added that she intends to continue pursuing her vision to create a women-led
film studio and would consider acquiring some of
TWC’s assets once it enters bankruptcy.
The roller-coaster talks hit an earlier impasse
Feb. 25 when the TWC board called off the sale
and Contreras-Sweet signaled that her group was
backing out, but with the prospect of bankruptcy
looming, the parties returned to the table and forged
an agreement. This time, though, Contreras-Sweet’s
statement appears much more definitive, thanking all parties involved, including New York State
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who hosted a
marathon negotiating session that led to the (nowcollapsed) March 1 sale agreement.
The AG filed a sweeping civil rights lawsuit in
February against TWC and the Weinstein brothers
and had been expected to amend the suit in light
of the company’s sale and the parties’ agreement to
establish a $90 million victims’ compensation fund
and “gold standard” human resources practices,
among other concessions. “We will work with the
parties in the weeks ahead,” Schneiderman had
said March 1 of that deal, “to ensure that the parties
honor and memorialize these commitments prior
to closing.”
With the deal’s cancellation, the AG’s suit will stay
in place. TWC also must contend with the possibility of an $85 million lawsuit from former COO
David Glasser, who Schneiderman believes was
among the executives complicit in poor HR protocols
and who was subsequently fired by TWC’s board in
the wake of the AG suit.
The sale’s failure means sustained limbo for
TWC’s unreleased films, including The Current War,
starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison,
and Mary Magdalene, with Rooney Mara as the title
character. — PAMELA MCCLINTOCK
No Laughing Matter at Comedy Central
Comedy Central’s losses
are Netflix’s gains.
Big
On March 1, the streamDeal
ing giant announced it
had signed The Daily Show
breakout Hasan Minhaj, 32, to his own
weekly show. That news came two and a
half weeks after Netflix revealed it had lured
another Daily Show correspondent and
rising star, Michelle Wolf, to front her own
talk show.
Sure, Comedy Central has gotten
used to launching careers only to watch
that talent — be it John Oliver, Stephen
Colbert, Samantha Bee or Jessica
Williams — head elsewhere. It at least
partially explains the net’s recent decision
to extend Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s
contract through 2022. And in the case of
Minhaj, multiple sources say the Viacomowned network — which lost 19 percent of
its primetime audience in 2017 — made an
aggressive bid to try to keep the IndianAmerican comic. “They threw everything
they had at him,” says one. Ultimately, it
was no test for Netflix, which offered an
even more aggressive 32-episode order
and, notably, a global platform.
“Hasan brings this different cultural
background and a real global POV to a
lot of what he does, so it was exciting for
us and important for him to have that
reach,” Netflix vp content
Bela Bajaria tells THR,
suggesting his weekly
comedy show — the first
from an Indian-American
host — will share DNA with
Minhaj
his acclaimed 2017 Netflix
stand-up special, Homecoming King. India
has been a major target for the streaming
giant, which has more than 117 million global
subscribers already and an annual content
budget approaching $8 billion.
An insider credits Netflix’s dealmaking
philosophy of finding the “easiest path to a
‘yes,’ ” adding: “Comedy Central is focused
on all the reasons to say ‘no.’ ” — LACEY ROSE
Rights Available! Hot new material with Hollywood appeal
Davis
FILM
Viola Davis (CAA, Lasher,
Lichter Grossman) and
Lupita Nyong’o (CAA, Del
Shaw) will star as mother
and daughter in TriStar’s
The Woman King.
Bryan Cranston (UTA,
Ziffren Brittenham) has
joined Sam Rockwell in
Disney’s adaptation of The
One and Only Ivan.
Queen Latifah (CAA,
Flavor Unit, Eisenberg
Tanchum) will star in
Alcon’s true-life drama
Hope’s Wish.
Boyd Holbrook (CAA,
Morris Yorn) is in talks to
star in, write and executive
produce The Thirst for Fox.
Brad Pitt (CAA, Brillstein,
Bloom Hergott) will join
Leonardo DiCaprio in
Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon
Tate pic Once Upon a
Time in Hollywood for Sony.
BY ANDY LEWIS AND TATIANA SIEGEL
“Worst Roommate Ever” (NEW YORK, FEB. 19, 2018)
To Night Owl From Dogfish (DIAL/DUTTON, 2019)
BY William Brennan AGENCY ICM Partners
BY Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer AGENCY WME
Think Single White Female for the Airbnb era. In this viral true
magazine tale, Jamison Bachman moves in, stops paying rent,
threatens legal action and never leaves. That is, until he meets Alex
Miller. The nightmare scenario includes a murderous twist.
A TV writer and best-selling author team up for this kids book
that’s The Parent Trap by way of Modern Family’s Mitchell and Cam.
It’s about two very different girls from opposite sides of the country
who are forced to become friends when their dads fall in love.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
28
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
700
R E G I S T E R
Last Men in Aleppo’s
Feras Fayyad has
signed with Black Box
Management.
GLOW star Betty
Gilpin has signed with
Anonymous Content.
Tyrese Gibson has signed
with Joanne Horowitz
Management .
Famuyiwa
1
8
Insecure’s Jay Ellis has
signed with UTA , Rise
and Hansen Jacobson.
OF
0
said CFO David Wells on Feb. 28.
Sienna Miller has signed
with WME, as has
writer Ira Madison III.
C E L E B R AT I O N
2
Number of original projects that
Netflix plans to make in 2018
Big
Number with its $8 billion content budget,
Washington
N O W !
Rep
Sheet
APRI
AP
RILL 4, 201
RI
018
8 • ZI
ZIEG
EGFE
EG
FELD
FE
LD BAL
ALLR
LROO
LR
OOM
OO
M, NYC
C O N G R AT U L AT I O N S
2018 HONOREES
Next
Big
Thing
Zeeko Zaki
CONTRERAS-SWEET: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES. BURKLE: STEFANIE KEENAN/GETTY IMAGES FOR LACMA. MINHAJ: NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGES FOR SHANTI BHAVAN. WASHINGTON: JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES.
FAMUYIWA: EARL GIBSON III/GETTY IMAGES. KALING: CALABRESE/CELEBRITYHOMEPHOTOS. MILLER: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMAZON STUDIOS. ZAKI: COURTESY OF CBS. DAVIS: JEFFREY MAYER/WIREIMAGE.
The detached
garage on Kaling’s
property is now a
fitness room.
Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa
(WME, Oasis, Del Shaw)
will write and direct
New Regency and Plan B’s
adaptation of graphic novel
Black Hole.
Danny Boyle (WME, the
U.K.’s Independent) and
Richard Curtis (the U.K.’s
United, Gang Tyre) are
teaming for an untitled
Universal musical comedy.
Kristen Wiig (UTA,
Jackoway Tyerman) is in
talks to play villain Cheetah
in Wonder Woman 2.
Crazy Rich Asians star
Henry Golding (Paradigm,
Avenues, Stone Genow)
will star in Monsoon, from
Lilting writer-director
Hong Khaou.
Vera Farmiga (CAA,
Authentic, Peikoff Mahan)
will join Jamie Bell in
the Neo-Nazi drama Skin.
TELEVISION
Kerry Washington
(CAA, Washington Square,
Hansen Jacobson) and
Reese Witherspoon (CAA,
Hansen Jacobson) will
star and exec produce
a limited-series adaptation
of Celeste Ng’s best-seller
Little Fires Everywhere.
Paul Feig (CAA,
Sloane Offer) has inked
a first-look deal
with Lionsgate TV.
How to Get Away With
Murder’s Pete Nowalk
(UTA, Sloane Offer) and
Scandal’s Zahir McGhee
(UTA, Ziffren Brittenham)
have signed overall deals
with ABC Studios.
Orphan Black co-creator
Graeme Manson (CAA,
Canada’s Jennifer Hollyer,
Brillstein, Jackoway
Tyerman) will showrun
TNT’s Snowpiercer.
911 showrunner Tim
Minear (WME, Shuman,
Jackoway Tyerman)
has inked a new overall
deal with 20th TV.
White Boy Rick director
Yann Demange (CAA,
the U.K.’s Independent,
Bloom Hergott) will helm
the first episode of HBO’s
Lovecraft Country and
executive produce alongside Jordan Peele and
J.J. Abrams.
ABC has ordered Sundays
With Alec Baldwin. …
SundanceTV is teaming
with Blumhouse on docuseries No One Saw a Thing.
REP Authentic
WHY HE MATTERS
The Egyptian-born
actor has landed his
first lead role with
Dick Wolf’s FBI, which
CBS has ordered straight
to series. Zaki, 28, will
play an undercover DEA
agent handpicked to
serve in the FBI. His
credits include supporting turns and guest arcs
on History’s Six, Fox’s
24: Legacy and The CW’s
Valor and an appearance
in Allegiant.
DIGITAL
Billy Eichner (UTA, 3 Arts)
has sold his first stand-up
comedy special to Netflix.
Complex Media has sold
entertainment news site
Collider to its former exec
Marc Fernandez.
“BREAKING BAD”
BALAN NAIR
NOMI BERGMAN
RICHARD PLEPLER
JOHN BICKHAM
NEIL SMIT
President & CEO
Liberty Latin America
Television drama series
Vince Gilligan, creator; AMC
Senior Executive
Advance/Newhouse
Chairman & CEO
HBO
Vice Chairman
Comcast Corporation
President & COO
Charter Communications
SPONSORS AS OF 3/1/18
Netflix has renewed Black
Mirror for a fifth season and
picked up a Steve MartinMartin Short comedy
special. … Apple has landed
M. Night Shyamalan’s untitled psychological thriller
with a 10-episode order.
REAL ESTATE
Mindy Kaling (Berkshire
Hathaway) has sold her
Beverly Grove Spanish bungalow for $1.955 million.
— COMPILED BY MIA GALUPPO
AND REBECCA SUN
For mo
more
re inf
inform
ormati
orm
ation
ati
on or to mak
make
e your sp
pons
onsors
orship
ors
hip
p re
reser
servat
ser
vation
vat
ion, cont
ontact
act us at
chof @ cablecenter.org
or
720.502.7513
www.cablehalloffame.com | #CableHOF
29
CONGRATULATIONS
to our clients on their Academy Awards
Actress in a Supporting Role
ALLISON JANNEY
I, Tonya
Actor in a Supporting Role
SAM ROCKWELL
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Film Editing
LEE SMITH
Dunkirk
About Town
People, Places, Preoccupations
PERSON OF INTER EST
Atlanta’s
Singular
Woman
Zazie Beetz on the FX hit’s sophomore
season and her Deadpool villain turn
By Bryn Elise Sandberg • Photographed by Aaron Richter
fter catapulting into the zeitgeist on Atlanta’s first season, Zazie
Beetz found herself a bit disoriented. “It all happened incredibly
quickly, which I wouldn’t necessarily say is
a good thing,” she says. “There’s this element
of wondering if you’ve earned your place.” She
ticks off possible explanations for her rising
profile: She’s hardworking and passionate, she
says — but could it be that her look (Beetz is a
vocal proponent of black women wearing natural hair) was coming into vogue just as she
was? “It’s up to you to torture yourself to try
to figure which it is,” she says with a laugh.
The 26-year-old, who was born in Berlin
and moved to New York while in kindergarten,
was just two years out of Skidmore College
when she landed her breakout role in 2015 as
Van, Donald Glover’s on-and-off girlfriend in
the Emmy-winning FX dramedy. She’d worked
on a few indies and on Netflix’s Easy, but it was
Atlanta that got her noticed by Ryan Reynolds,
who cast her as a villain alongside Josh Brolin
in 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool sequel (out
May 18) after only one meeting. In signing on
to play the mutant mercenary Domino, Beetz
— who concedes she’s not much of a comics
fan, except for Calvin and Hobbes, “the classic
not-comic-book-reader’s comic” — secured
a three-picture deal with Fox, likely to play out
in the X-Force spinoff movies.
As Atlanta debuts its second season (“it’s
definitely darker, it’s more somber”), the
actress and aspiring doula is in New York
working on Steven Soderbergh’s next iPhoneshot feature, High Flying Bird, written by
Moonlight scribe Tarell Alvin McCraney. Beetz,
who lives in Brooklyn with her actor boyfriend, David Rysdahl, has been fielding a lot
of questions about how she represents “the
black woman” on Atlanta. “It’s a lofty ideal,”
she says. “Van’s story isn’t everyone’s story. I
mean, her story is not my story, right?”
HAIR BY TAKISHA STURDIVANT FOR EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS. MAKEUP BY RALPH SICILIANO AT THE WALL GROUP.
A
“The show is
sort of through
the male gaze,”
says Beetz,
whose character
grows “outside
of just the
context of Earn”
in the second
season. She was
photographed
Feb. 28 at
Go Studios in
New York.
Styling by
Eric McNeal
Edun dress, Rebecca
Ravenel earrings
Hear the best thing Beetz learned from Donald Glover at THR.COM/VIDEO
31
About Town
← “Leslie plays
the heart
and soul of the
movie,” says
Cannon (right)
on set with
Mann and
Cena. “She
went through
this with her
own daughter,
when Maude
left for college
this past year.”
Mickey Mouse,
Fashion Icon
Opening Ceremony rolls
out its swell spring line
at Disneyland By Booth Moore
Girls Gotta Have It
O
n March 7, the
fashion runway
will become the
Happiest Place on Earth
as Disneyland kicks off
a yearlong celebration
of Mickey Mouse’s 90th
birthday by hosting the
second fashion show
in the park’s 53-year
history (the first was
in 1978). “The Happiest
Show on Earth” will
feature the spring collection from Opening
Ceremony, designed by SoCal
natives Humberto Leon and Carol
Lim (repped by WME-IMG, the
New York-based pair also design
LVMH-owned Kenzo). Jessica
Alba, Spike Jonze and Chance
the Rapper will be among some
700 guests surveying the whimsical 16-year-old brand’s gowns,
faux fur jackets, sweatshirts and
more inspired by
Mickey. “Doing something at Disneyland,
we’ve dreamed of for
years,” says Leon, 42,
Leon
a self-described mall
rat. “Growing up,
I even made my own
Mickey Mouse bow
tie and cummerbund
Lim
for my prom.”
Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon’s directorial
debut Blockers, an R-rated teen sex comedy for the
#MeToo era, premieres at SXSW By Mia Galuppo
ay Cannon
them. “We’ve seen
was on her
many comedies that
first vacation
have the male perin six years — after
spective of losing your
writing and producing
virginity,” says Cannon,
three Pitch Perfect
43, who has a 4-yearfilms back to back to
old daughter. “That
back — when
these three
she made the
young women
decision to tackle
had agency over
her directorial
their sexuality
debut. “I promand were making
Fey
ised my husband
this decision, I
that I wasn’t going to
was excited to be a part
work at all,” recalls the
of showing that.”
30 Rock alum and Tina
Fey protege, whose
Getting ready for
Universal comedy
the director’s chair,
Blockers opens April 6
did you look to
after a March 10 SXSW
anyone for inspiration
premiere. “I read it in
and guidance?
the middle of the night, I’m inspired by female
while he was sleeping.”
directors like Beth
The R-rated comedy
McCarthy-Miller;
follows three girls who I worked with her at 30
form a pact to lose
Rock and she directed
their virginity on prom
at Saturday Night
night — and the parLive for years. I’m a big
ents (John Cena, Ike
fan of Ava DuVernay,
Barinholtz and Leslie
so I was reading
Mann) who try to stop
anything she wrote
K
↑ Leon
describes this
Mickey-print
gown as
“glam meets
sport.”
about [directing]. The
advice she gave was
that she changes her
socks in the afternoon,
and I was like, “Wow, I
think I want to do that!”
But I don’t really wear
socks. I’m more of
a loafers kind of gal.
Any surprising
experiences on set?
My assistant would get
me breakfast [each
day], and the chef
in the truck would just
be like, “What does
he want?” You know,
assuming the director is a man. He just
couldn’t wrap his head
around it. And he never
tried to learn my name.
If you could go back
and give yourself
advice at the start
of production, what
would it be?
When I was starting up
writing, Tina got me
SXSW
HIGHLIGHTS
March 9 John
Krasinski directs
wife Emily Blunt
in fest opener
A Quiet Place;
HBO’s Bill Hader
comedy, Barry,
also premieres.
March 10
Kenya Barris
and W. Kamau
Bell talk race,
comedy and
Trump; Darren
Aronofsky
keynotes; Lena
Dunham plumbs
authenticity
in media.
March 11
Barry Jenkins
keynotes; Arnold
Schwarzenegger
talks American
politics.
Anne Lamott’s book
Bird by Bird [about
writing], and that was
her advice, to take
writing one line at a
time, one joke at a time.
Don’t get overwhelmed
by the whole thing.
I’m going to keep saying that until I die.
Crustacean Redo Includes the Famous Fish
After an eight-month, $10 million
renovation, Crustacean Beverly
Hills (468 N. Bedford Drive),
which first opened in 1997, bows anew March
13 with an airy new look and refreshed menu.
Friends-and-family dinners have hosted execs
including Jim Berk, and Emma Stone and
Women in Film’s Cathy Schulman hosted the
group’s pre-Oscars soiree there March 2 (restaurant owners the An family also announced
an annual gift to support a WIF fellowship for
Dining
Scene
“a female student who is a first- or secondgeneration immigrant,” says WIF’s Kirsten
Schaffer). As part of the nip/tuck, the entrance
now is on Bedford Drive, and the restaurant’s
signature “Walk on Water” fish pond has doubled in size and runs the length of the dining
room. During renovations, the resident koi
were kept at a local fish hotel, and while they
were not on display during the pre-opening
parties, the Ans say they’ll be ready for their
close-up at the grand opening. — RAMONA SAVISS
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
32
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Fish will return to the pond at Crustacean, where the new menu
offers this vegan “crab cake” (inset), actually hearts of palm, $16.
BLOCKERS: QUANTRELL D. COLBERT/UNIVERSAL PICTURES. SKETCH: COURTESY OF OPENING CEREMONY. LEON, LIM: MONICA
SCHIPPER/WIREIMAGE. FEY: JIM SPELLMAN/WIREIMAGE. CRUSTACEAN: WONHO FRANK LEE (2). KOI, PIN: ISTOCK (3).
People, Places,
Preoccupations
CONGRATULATIONS
FROM
ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - JAMES IVORY
SPIRIT AWARDS WINNERS
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - SAYOMBHU MUKDEEPROM
BEST MALE LEAD - TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
A FANTASTIC WOMAN
(CHILE)
ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
SPIRIT AWARDS WINNER
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
THE RIDER
SPIRIT AWARDS WINNER
BONNIE AWARD
DIRECTOR CHLOÉ ZHAO
LOVELESS
(RUSSIA)
CÉSAR AWARDS
BEST FOREIGN FILM
About Town
Yes, I Did Say That!
Quotes
A look at who’s saying what in entertainment
Compiled by Brian Porreca
CHARLIZE THERON
The actress, revealing to E! News why
she decided to stop smoking marijuana.
“Fake tattoo
proofreading
position available.
Experience
with apostrophes
a must.”
EMMA WATSON
The actress, tweeting a joke
help-wanted ad after the
grammatically incorrect fake tattoo
she wore to the Oscars — it read
“Times Up” instead of “Time’s Up”
— drew jeers on social media.
SIR ELTON JOHN
The singer, kicking a too-touchy
fan offstage during a performance
of “Saturday Night’s Alright
for Fighting” in Las Vegas. John
regularly invites audience
members onstage for the song.
BOB IGER
The Disney CEO, hinting
at a Morgan Stanley
conference that a Black
Panther theme park
ride is being planned.
“I look like I’ve
been electrified.” JENNIFER LAWRENCE
The actress, joking on Ellen about
trying to keep her composure
at the Red Sparrow premiere after
getting drunk on Andy Cohen’s
and Stephen Colbert’s shows, where
both hosts served her alcohol.
CHLOE KIM
The gold medalist, tweeting at
Frances McDormand after the
actress compared winning an Oscar
to “what Chloe Kim must have felt
like after doing back-to-back 1080s
in the Olympic half-pipe.”
Not everyone was cheering for Oscar winners Gary
Oldman (accused and cleared of domestic violence
in 2001) or Kobe Bryant (charged with sexual assault
in 2003). “Guess Time isn’t up for Gary Oldman,”
tweeted author Roxane Gay. Actor Dylan Minnette
posted a simple “Fuck Gary Oldman.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
BRIAN DUNKLEMAN
The comedian (and first-season
American Idol co-host),
taking a swipe at Ryan Seacrest
on Twitter for posting a selfie
just before E!’s Oscar red carpet
show. Seacrest has been publicly
accused of sexual harassment.
“I’m sure there
are people who are
working on it.”
“Fuck off!”
“Hey Frances
let’s go
snowboarding
sometime.”
OSCAR
WINS
SPARK
WEB
FIRE
“How’s it
going so far?”
34
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
“Forrest Gump
served more time
than you and
he had leg braces.”
JOSH GAD
The actor, ripping Donald Trump’s
lack of military service in a
tweet responding to the president’s
claim that he would have “run in” to
the high school in Parkland, Florida,
unarmed to protect students.
THERON: DONATO SARDELLA/GETTY IMAGES FOR PORTER MAGAZINE. JOHN: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. KIM: EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES FOR VANITY FAIR. GAD: JESSE GRANT/GETTY IMAGES FOR NAACP. OLDMAN: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
“I would just
stand in front
of my fridge.”
About Town
Heard Around Hollywood
chosen. “I know that they feel
really grateful to step into a piece
of his legacy,” says Changnon.
“Our hope is that Robert, looking
at this, is pleased and proud that
we’re adding to an incredibly talented team representing his love
of classic movies.”
DuVernay wouldn’t have pulled her punches had Selma come out during this awards season.
Rambling Reporter
By Chris Gardner
Ava’s About-Face on Her Selma Critics
Director Ava DuVernay says she wishes she had responded differently to
criticism of Selma, her 2014 Oscar-nominated movie about Martin Luther
King Jr. that was attacked for its unflattering depiction of Lyndon B.
Johnson. At Loyola Marymount University’s Hollywood Masters interview series Feb. 21, she said that some critics posed “a very privileged,
pedestrian argument … that the black people on the ground in Selma
were wrong in their memory.” DuVernay said she should have responded:
“ ‘This is our point of view, and other people experience it in a different
way.’ … [Instead], I said things like, ‘History is open to interpretation
from all people,’ sound bites to preserve what I wanted for David Oyelowo
[who played King] … that Oscar nomination.” She added: “It was a great
lesson, because I will never let it happen again. I shackled myself and I
didn’t speak my true line.” — STEPHEN GALLOWAY
Help Find Dana Walden’s Dog
Fox chairman and CEO Dana
Walden’s family dog Bailey has
gone missing. The
black lab mix ran away
during a Feb. 21 hike
on Kanan Dume Road
in Malibu after being
Walden
spooked by mountain
bikers. Walden has received loads
of support from Fox colleagues
↓ The flyer says that Bailey is “shy and
frightened” and rescuers shouldn’t chase her.
and friends as they join her in putting the word out on social media
and blanketing Malibu with flyers.
At the time of her disappearance,
Bailey was wearing tags that read
“Bandit,” the name of Walden’s
other dog, and despite being
chipped, she has yet to be found.
Walden is offering a reward and
has not given up hope of finding
her beloved pooch.
Robert Osborne’s
Replacements
After the death of Robert Osborne
a year ago, Turner Classic Movies
executives have taken their time
replacing the host who helped
define the channel. (He was also
THR’s Rambling Reporter from
April 1983 to June 2009.) TCM’s
Pola Changnon tells THR that
Alicia Malone, a host on Turner’s
streaming service FilmStruck,
and Dave Karger, Today correspondent and co-host of TCM’s
31 Days of Oscar, have been
↑ “Robert established a very high bar,”
says TCM exec Changnon of new host
picks (above) Malone and Karger.
Transparent Sets Go Date
Two weeks after Amazon Studios
announced that Jeffrey Tambor
would not return to Transparent
after sexual harassment claims,
THR has learned that production on the Jill Soloway comedy
is now scheduled to begin at
the end of the year, possibly in
December. (The series had been
slated to resume production
and air in 2018.) It’s unclear if
Soloway plans to recast Tambor’s
Maura Pfefferman or write her
out. The new start date comes
as Amazon transitions to a new
studio head, NBC’s Jennifer
Salke, tapped in February after
Roy Price was ousted following a sexual harassment claim
in THR. (Salke has yet to officially begin but, sources say, is
already involved in pitches.) In
November, Tambor (who has
won two Emmys for his role) was
accused of acting inappropriately toward former assistant Van
Barnes and Transparent actress
Trace Lysette. He has maintained
his innocence.
L.A. Times Insider Gets Candid
on Tronc Mess
Los Angeles Times columnist Robin
Abcarian described staff cuts,
publisher Ross Levinsohn’s exit
amid resurfaced sexual harassment claims and management
clashes at her paper as “being on
Got tips? Email rambling@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
36
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
the inside of a pinball machine,”
while accepting a Society of
Professional Journalists award at
the Omni on March 1. (THR’s Kim
Masters also received one of six
awards.) Abcarian called out Lewis
D’Vorkin, who was briefly editor
of Tronc’s Times, which was on the
verge of laying off “a quarter of
our staff” (already reduced to 400
from 1,200) when it was sold to
billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong
in February. “Our last editor
began his tenure by threatening
legal action after someone in the
newsroom released a recording
of his first newsroom meeting to
The New York Times,” she said.
“Imagine an editor threatening
to prosecute his own staff for
disseminating about a newsworthy event. People like this do
not belong at newspapers.”
How to Do Elton, Says Elton
Cameras don’t start rolling for a
few months on the Elton John
biopic Rocketman starring Taron
Egerton, but the Kingsman actor
already has been laying down
tracks for the movie. John’s husband and producer, David Furnish,
tells THR he was with Egerton,
28, when the actor recorded three
songs at London’s legendary
Abbey Road Studios. Furnish says,
“Elton has told Taron, ‘Don’t copy
me. Don’t think you have to sing
it exactly the way that I sang it.
Don’t think you have to perform
it the way I performed it. It’s the
challenge for the actor to embody
the spirit and not do an impersonation.’ ” Egerton performed
John’s “I’m Still Standing” in
Universal’s 2016 animated movie
Sing. — MARC MALKIN
Egerton
Hitched, Hatched, Hired
Power Dining
Inside the industry’s celebrations and news
Waithe
K. Huvane
Lena Waithe checked out
Lamill Coffee in Silver Lake.
... Brothers Kevin Huvane
and Chris Huvane shared
a booth at Craig’s. ... Over
at Sunset Tower, Jennifer
Aniston walked into Tower
Bar with Courteney Cox.
Armie Hammer and wife
Elizabeth Chambers
stopped by. Calvin Klein sat
with Vera Wang. Timothee
Chalamet, Peggy Siegal
and Kiernan Shipka were
also in, separately. ...
Milo Ventimiglia reunited
with Mandy Moore at
Rossoblu. ... Beck Bennett
and Vanessa Bayer had
breakfast at Little Dom’s.
... Selena Gomez popped
by Tocaya Organica in
West Hollywood. ... Sharon
Stone lunched at Ivory on
Sunset at the Mondrian
Hotel. ... Larry David was
at Republique.
2
1
Engagements
David Kuba, senior
NEW
HO T
T
REST
AU R A
N
vp development
at Shed Media, and
TV writer Jaydi
Samuels became
engaged Feb. 16.
Births
Actors Jeffrey Dean
Morgan and wife
Hilarie Burton welcomed a daughter.
SELMA: ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA/PARAMOUNT PICTURES/PATHÉ/HARPO FILMS. BOXER: ISTOCK. DUVERNAY: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. MALONE: STEFANIE KEENAN/
GETTY IMAGES. EGERTON: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. WAITHE: TARA ZIEMBA/GETTY IMAGES. HUVANE: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES. INKO: FRANK LEE. WALDEN: AMANDA
EDWARDS/WIREIMAGE. LOST: COURTESY OF FOX. KUBA, DEVANEY, EMANUEL, MAYERSON, SALTZMAN, WILLIAMS: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. BETZ: COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS.
E! producer Noelia
Murphy-Devaney
Inko Nito
The Quick Pitch
A Japanese robatayaki concept lands in downtown
L.A.’s Arts District. The austere, high-ceilinged space
is sexy. But first-daters
beware: Many key offerings
(like corn on the cob covered in smoked chili butter)
aren’t dainty. Save room for
the charred coconut soft
serve presented with green
tea Pocky.
The Inside Dish
Arjun Waney, the Indian
business mogul behind
Inko Nito, launched his
international chain of fashionable Zuma restaurants
serving Japanese cuisine
after he couldn’t get a table
at London’s Nobu.
225-227 S. Garey St.
— GARY BAUM
and husband Brian
Devaney welcomed
son Flynn Michael
Devaney on Feb. 16
at Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center in
Los Angeles.
Congrats
DreamWorks
Animation tapped
Kelly Betz CFO on
Feb. 27.
Yallouz to executive
director March 1.
WWE promoted
Brian Flinn to chief
marketing and
communications
officer March 2.
3
1 Samuels
and Kuba
2 Flynn
Michael
3 Betz
Lewis Gilbert, the
Oscar-nominated
British director
behind Alfie and
three James Bond
titles, died Feb. 23.
He was 97.
Deaths
Paramount TV
named David Flynn
executive vp international strategy
Feb. 27.
MPRM
Communications
upped Caitlin McGee
to vp and Natalie
longtime production exec at 20th
Century Fox TV, died
Feb. 16 of cancer
in West Covina,
California. He was 64.
David Ogden Stiers,
who played Maj.
Charles Winchester
on M*A*S*H, died
March 3 of bladder
cancer in Newport,
Oregon. He was 75.
Benjamin Melniker, a
producer on Warners’
many Batman projects, died Feb. 26 in
Roslyn Harbor, New
York. He was 104.
Bruce Margolis, a
producer and former
Richard Glickman,
Showbiz Lawyers Set Up Shop
Ryan Murphy’s rep among group moving to Paul Hastings
Emanuel
Mayerson
op Hollywood dealmakers Craig Emanuel, Mickey Mayerson,
Stephen Saltzman and Susan Zuckerman Williams, who
have been featured among the best attorneys in the business
on THR’s annual Power Lawyers list, are leaving Loeb & Loeb for
the L.A.-based Paul Hastings law firm. Emanuel represents such
A-list talent as Ryan Murphy, who Feb. 13 signed an overall deal with
Netflix reportedly worth $300 million, while Mayerson, Saltzman
and Zuckerman Williams are major players in corporate dealmaking
(recent clients include China’s Huayi Bros., CIT Bank and The
Weinstein Co., which just sold for $500 million amid the Harvey
Weinstein fallout). Says Loeb chairman Kenneth Florin, “These are
well-respected partners, and we wish them well.” — ASHLEY CULLINS
T
To submit, send email to hhh@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
37
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Saltzman
a member of the
Academy’s Sci-Tech
Awards committee
for more than 25
years, died Feb. 18 in
Sherman Oaks. He
was 91.
Harvey Schmidt,
Zuckerman
Williams
the composer of The
Fantasticks, history’s longest-running
musical, died
Feb. 28 in Tomball,
Texas. He was 88.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM TWENTIETH
“A TRIUMPH. THINK THE GODFATHER,
ONLY WITH COPS. IT’S THAT GOOD.”
—STEPHEN KING
“INTENSELY HUMAN IN ITS TRAGIC
DETAILS, POSITIVELY SHAKESPEAREAN
IN ITS EPIC SWEEP – THE FORCE IS
PROBABLY THE BEST COP NOVEL
EVER WRITTEN.”—LEE CHILD “A STUNNER OF A COP
NOVEL . . . WINSLOW WEAVES
A COMPLEX STORY AROUND A
DETECTIVE WHO WANTS TO STAY CLEAN
EVEN THOUGH HE’S ALREADY DIRTY.”
—JANET MASLIN,THE NEW YORK TIMES
“GRAND IN SCOPE AND EQUALLY
GRAND IN EXECUTION.”
—BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
“[AN] EPIC NOVEL OF DEVASTATING MORAL COMPLEXITY.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
CENTURY FOX AND DIRECTOR JAMES MANGOLD
“AN INSTANT CLASSIC, AN EPIC,
A GODDAMN WAGNER OPERA . . .
BASICALLYGAME OF THRONES WITHOUT THE DRAGONS.”
—JASON SHEEHAN, NPR
“INCISIVELY-RESEARCHED
DETAILS, GUT-WRENCHING
PLOTLINES, AND INFINITE HEART.”
—DANEET STEFFENS, BOSTON GLOBE
“DON WINSLOW’S INTOXICATING NEW CRIME
THRILLER, THE FORCE,
“ONCE EVERY FEW YEARS, A BOOK COMES
ALONG THAT STANDS HEAD AND SHOULDERS
ABOVE ITS GENRE . . . DON WINSLOW’S
THE FORCE . . . IS SUCH A BOOK.”
—BRUCE TIERNEY, BOOKPAGE
“A PIERCING, PROFANE,
IS A RIVETING RIDE ALONG.” MORALLY COMPLEX EPIC.”
—#### USA TODAY
—JOHN WILKENS,
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
“HEARTBREAKINGLY
BEAUTIFUL AND UNFORGIVING.” “A MOLOTOV COCKTAIL
—ROBERT ANGLEN, ARIZONA REPUBLIC
“AN INTOXICATING COMBINATION
OF PASSION, AUTHENTICITY
AND GRANDEUR.”
—BILGE EBIRI, VILLAGE VOICE
“A BIG, FAT BOOK OF FAST-MOVING
FICTION . . . RIVETING AND SCARY.”
—NEELY TUCKER, WASHINGTON POST
“THE IMMERSION INTO THE WORLD OF THE
NYPD IS SO BRUTAL AND HONEST
THAT IT’S DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THAT
WINSLOW WAS NEVER A POLICEMAN.”
—JEFF AYERS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
OF COPS AND CORRUPTION.”
—ABIGAIL JONES, NEWSWEEK
“THE FORCE ISN’T JUST ONE OF THE GREAT
NEW YORK CITY COP NOVELS EVER WRITTEN.
IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT NEW YORK
CITY NOVELS EVER WRITTEN.”
—MIKE LUPICA, DAILY NEWS
“WHAT TRULY SETS WINSLOW APART, ASIDE
FROM HIS GUT-PUNCH PROSE AND
DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE CRIMINAL
WORLDS HE INHABITS, IS HIS ABILITY TO
PERCEIVE THE GREATER TRUTH BEHIND THE
GUNS AND DRUGS AND DEATH.”
—STAYTON BONNER, ROLLING STONE
The Story Factory
The Business
Creative Space
Kyncl and Maany
Peyvan published
Streampunks: YouTube
and the Rebels
Remaking Media last
September.
A model of the
Dubai skyscraper
Burj Khalifa given to
Kyncl by Mohamed
Alabbar, chairman of
the building’s owner,
Emaar Properties.
A vacation souvenir
from Rio de Janeiro,
where Kyncl and his
family visited the
favelas (slums) to see
the Project Morrinho
art installation.
Following in their
father’s footsteps as a
former professional
cross-country skier,
Kyncl’s daughters
are competitive
athletes in tennis
and rowing.
Kyncl was
photographed
March 1
at his Playa
Vista office.
Somo, a yellow
lab, is a regular at
the office, while
the family’s other dog,
13-year-old Lhasa
apso-bichon frise mix
Rex, stays home.
A toy car that his
mother saved from
his childhood in
Czechoslovakia. “It’s
a great reminder of
where I come from,”
says Kyncl.
Robert Kyncl
YouTube’s top L.A. exec on policing the
world’s largest video platform and
branching out into original content
By Natalie Jarvey
Photographed by Gizelle Hernandez
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
40
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
GROOMING BY APRIL BAUTISTA FOR DEW BEAUTY. KATZENBERG: ANGELA WEISS/GETTY IMAGES FOR GLSEN.
G
rowing up under communism in Czechoslovakia,
Robert Kyncl saw his
first-ever Hollywood movie via
a pirated copy of The Terminator
dubbed into Czech by a single
voice actor. Today, Kyncl, 47, presides over all business aspects
of YouTube, including its relationship with advertisers and
creators. “I imagine if I had
YouTube growing up, how cool it
would be,” he says.
But in the past year, the wonders of YouTube’s cornucopia of
video entertainment have been
overshadowed by the Googleowned company’s challenges
policing the 400 hours of content uploaded every minute. As a
result, several brands pulled
their ads from the platform, part
of a larger cutback in digital ad
spending that led P&G to slash its
2017 budget by $200 million. In
January, those concerns became
worldwide news after a video
showing a suicide victim was
posted by one of the platform’s
biggest stars, Logan Paul, and
it became a top trending video.
“We’re spending every day
thinking about this,” Kyncl says.
The father of two teenage
daughters with wife Luz AvilaKyncl, a wellness coach, Kyncl
oversees close to 1,000 employees in 32 countries for YouTube,
which eMarketer estimates
will earn over $4 billion in U.S.
ad revenue this year. He has
set his sights on further growing subscription service YouTube
Red and skinny bundle YouTube
TV. There have also been hints
of adding a paid music service.
“Coming soon,” he says when he
sits down with THR at YouTube’s
dog-friendly Playa Vista campus.
Let’s start with Logan Paul.
Who? (Laughs.)
Some critics thought you were
initially too lenient with Paul.
Explain the thought process behind
how you responded.
His video was regrettable and
our hearts went out to the family
of the individual in it, but it did
not violate policies [that would
ban him from] the platform. We
issued a strike, in accordance with
our process. We also put all of
our original projects [with Paul]
and December, the algorithms
have done the job of 180,000
people working 40 hours a week
just on violent extremism videos. This is where technology is
our friend. People can provide
the input to the machines to
make sure there is the right context, but the only way to scale
that is through the machines.
Kyncl was honored
at the 2015 GLSEN
Respect Awards with
Jeffrey Katzenberg,
student Emery Vela
and YouTube
star Gigi Gorgeous.
on hold. The subsequent demonetization came because of repeated
behavior. He’s been cooperative in
the process and making sure that
his videos and his behavior support the whole creator ecosystem.
After several right-wing YouTube
channels were accidentally
removed, some have accused
YouTube’s moderators of political
bias. How do you respond?
Did you learn anything from
the controversy?
We should have done better. We
were fast on our PR response,
but we were slow on our social
response. I think that is what we
got flagged for — and rightly so.
Will this be how YouTube punishes
creator missteps going forward?
It’s a good indicator of the things
we’re thinking about. We’ll have
more on that later in the year.
Does the YouTube algorithm
encourage creators to make bigger,
crazier videos for better traffic?
It’s a bit of a fallacy when people
try to optimize for [the algorithm]
in order to get some kind of
desired effect, like get on this page
or that page. If it works, it won’t a
few months from now, because it’s
a living and breathing organism.
Two of YouTube’s biggest
constituents — creators and
advertisers — have spent most
of the past year mad at you.
Looking back, do you wish you
had done anything differently?
We have four freedoms under
which YouTube operates: freedom
of expression, freedom of opportunity, freedom to belong and
freedom of information. They
truly become our North Star
during difficult times. For me,
having come from a place that
didn’t have freedom of information and freedom of expression,
they’re extremely important. Our
message is that we absolutely are
leaning in to freedom of information and freedom of expression,
subject to our community guidelines. We don’t intend to be on one
side or another.
As a content-focused executive,
how do you balance the tension
between being a tech platform and
a media company?
When anybody can have a voice,
there are some people who may
not have good intentions. To
tackle that on the scale at which
we operate is not possible to do
with people only. It is also not
possible to do it with machines
only. A great example of that is
this stat: Between July of last year
Advertisers were not happy with
us and creators were not happy
with us because they both thought
we were favoring the other. That
was not a great place for YouTube.
But we were doing everything
that we could for advertisers and
everything that we could for creators, all at the same time. We’ve
done the absolute human best
that we possibly could. If I had to
go back, we couldn’t have done it
differently. It’s all just hindsight.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
41
RÉSUMÉ
CURRENT TITLE
Chief Business Officer,
YouTube
PREVIOUS JOB
VP content,
Netflix
BIG HIT
The first episode of
YouTube Red original
Step Up: High Water
has 10 million views
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
With so much content available,
how do you ensure your
originals aren’t getting lost
on the platform?
YouTube makes its money off of
selling impressions to advertisers all around the world. If we’re
telling advertisers to come here,
it would be quite odd if we were
not actually the best example
of how to market on our platform.
It doesn’t mean we don’t market
off YouTube, we do. But the thing
we have to be absolutely best at
is marketing on YouTube. Because
we have 1.5 billion logged-in
monthly users, we don’t necessarily have to go and look for the
audience in many other places.
Netflix will release 700 original
projects this year. What is the
right number for YouTube Red?
We’re thinking somewhere
between 20 and 30 projects
a year. The reason that we don’t
have to do what the other companies do is because we have a
vast amount of content on
YouTube as it is. Our service isn’t
just for a few original projects.
Our service is all of YouTube ad
free, with offline functionality
and with originals.
Will you ever disclose how many
people subscribe to YouTube Red?
Two billion. (Laughs.) Not yet.
You were a professional skier
in your youth. How have you
carried that part of your life into
your career?
I did cross-country skiing all
my life. It’s big in Eastern
Europe. I started in fourth grade
and did it one year after high
school. We practiced two, three
times a day. The only day off
was Sunday. So I had to live a very
structured life. That in itself is a
great preparation for a job like
this. It’s phenomenal preparation
for life.
The Business
Television
ANALYSIS | MARISA GUTHRIE
New Economics of an Old Idol:
Loss Leader or Smart Synergy?
ABC takes on TV’s former ‘Death Star’ with Disney’s playbook and surprisingly
strong ad sales even as singing shows struggle and host Ryan Seacrest faces
a harassment claim: ‘We stand by the results of the investigation’
Marisa Guthrie is the East Coast television
editor for The Hollywood Reporter.
pulling down $20 million; Seacrest, Idol’s sole
constant, was making $15 million). The actual
cost of the show was commensurate with a
network drama, about $2 million an episode,
say insiders. But the network was saddled
with escalating fees that ballooned the budget.
By the end of its run, Fox was paying a premium of $1 million for every episode beyond
a certain threshold of about 30 hours a season;
there were seasons when Fox aired as many as
60 hours of Idol. (ABC has ordered 19 episodes,
which will air over 38 hours on Sunday and
Monday nights.) All of this, the media narrative went, had transformed what was once
TV’s most invincible property from a money
minting machine (at its height, it was commanding more than $600,000 for a 30-second
commercial spot) to a red-ink-laden drain on
Fox’s bottom line.
Will ABC make money on the reboot? It has
surely streamlined its fees, though talent
salaries — $25 million for Katy Perry, a little
more than $10 million for Seacrest — are as
eye-popping as ever. ABC and FremantleMedia
executives insist Idol will not be a loss leader.
“We’re running a business here, so we
certainly are always looking for things to be
profitable,” says Dungey.
For the Disney-owned network, Idol is a
company-wide play: ABC kicked off auditions
at Disney Spring, the entertainment complex
at Disney World in Orlando, and contestants
are expected to make promotional stops
on ABC’s Good Morning America and Live With
Kelly and Ryan. In Idol’s heyday, GMA and
rival morning program Today — which both
Diminishing Returns (and Ratings)
KEY
Idol’s performance episodes average compared with Fox’s ad rate
Viewers
31.2M
30-sec
ad rate
35M
25.7M
30
30.1M
27.3M
28.8M
26.3M
21M
25
25.8M
22.9M
$518K
$1.3M for
finale
19.8M
$658K
$466K
16M
20
15
Idol’s massive advertising
power peaked relatively early in its
run, but the show remained a
powerful revenue driver until the end
— multiple times generating
more than $800 million a season.
12.1M
10
11.9M
10.3M
11.5M
$341K
“mid$100s”
5
S1
S2
S3
S4
S5
S6
S7
S8
S9
S10
S11
S12
S13
S14
S15
Source: Nielsen; Katar
Illustration by Luke McGarry
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
42
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
RICHIE: ABC/ERIC LIEBOWITZ. LOPEZ, AIKEN: FOX NETWORK/PHOTOFEST. FROT-COUTAZ: MICHAEL LOCCISANO/GETTY IMAGES. DUNGEY: ABC/CRAIG SJODIN.
T
he swan song for American Idol was
supposed to be two years ago. That’s
when more than 13 million viewers
watched host Ryan Seacrest sign off from the
Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the final time.
But as many suspected, Seacrest’s cryptic
“Goodbye — for now” was prophetic.
Now ABC, which quickly snapped up Idol
despite its age and high production cost, prepares to relaunch TV’s one-time “Death Star”
March 11 into a primetime landscape that has
only become more challenging. And it will do
so with an entirely new and untested judging
panel and a host at the center of allegations
of sexual harassment from a former stylist at
NBCUniversal’s E!
ABC Entertainment president Channing
Dungey and Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of the
show’s producer, FremantleMedia, voice support for Seacrest. “We stand by the results of
the investigation,” says Dungey,
referencing the independent
inquiry E! commissioned that
cleared Seacrest. Adds FrotCoutaz: “I’ve known Ryan now
Dungey
for almost 16 years. I stand by him.
Obviously it’s unfortunate. I’m not privy to
the details. He seems to be very robust in his
defense. And we’ll see where it all goes.”
ABC is investing significantly in the Idol
franchise, part of a synergistic play among
several ABC/Disney properties. But Idol
had, like much of broadcast television, hemorrhaged viewers by the end of its 15-year
run. Facing intense competition — including from NBC’s The Voice — the show had
plummeted nearly 70 percent in the ratings
during the four seasons before a somewhat
rejuvenated final season. (In 2003, more than
38 million people watched Ruben Studdard
win season two. The series finale in 2016
was watched by 13.3 million people — at the
time, Idol’s best showing in three seasons.)
Yet talent salaries in the final seasons had
ballooned to $45 million (Jennifer Lopez was
Season-two contestants Clay Aiken (left) and Studdard.
stage outdoor concerts during the summer —
battled to land eliminated contestants. And
Kelly Ripa’s daytime show also was a “very
desirable booking,” notes one Fox source. “Now,
it’s extremely organic.”
ABC also will use Radio Disney to promote
the show, and there are myriad platforms
for shortform spinoff content. “We’ve talked
about [whether we can do] a digital show following some of the winners,” adds Rob Mills,
ABC’s head of alternative programming.
ABC’s ratings expectations are in line
with the current climate. According to media
buyers, the network is guaranteeing a 1.8 rating in the key 18-to-49 demographic, which
seems achievable with seven days of delayed
viewing factored in. ABC is averaging a
1.45 rating (through mid-February) in the
demo, putting it in fourth place among its
broadcast competitors and down 12 percent
from last season. Still, media buyers have
been bullish on Idol, a broad family-friendly
program, and are ponying up
nearly $200,000 for a 30-second
spot, compared with a high of
$150,000 on Fox during the last
season. According to Dungey,
Frot-Coutaz
the premiere is sold out, while the
rest of the season is 75 percent sold.
Idol was a pioneering program for product
integration and sponsorship. In 2002, CocaCola signed on as an initial sponsor — to
the tune of $10 million for Fox. ABC has lined
up less sexy sponsorship pacts with retailer
2018
2016
Idol past and present (from left): Keith Urban, Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Seacrest at Fox; Richie, Perry, Seacrest and Bryan at ABC.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
43
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Macy’s and Johnson & Johnson allergy medication Zyrtec, with the companies paying
reported integration fees of up to $1.5 million.
Zyrtec also is a sponsor on Seacrest’s other
show, Kelly and Ryan. And Macy’s distributes
Seacrest’s Distinction Clothing menswear line. All of this will help ABC amortize
its investment.
“Disney as a whole has a lot of ways to help
monetize Idol: Disney Radio, theme parks,
concerts, cruises,” notes David Campanelli,
director of national TV for Horizon Media.
But executives at ABC and Fremantle seem
irked (and perhaps rightly) by the persistent
questions about Idol’s financial viability.
“If you want a cheap show, don’t make
American Idol,” says Frot-Coutaz. “Don’t make
America’s Got Talent or The Voice or X Factor.
If you want a cheap show, order something in
a genre that’s inherently cost-effective. The
worst thing you can do is take something that
needs a certain amount of budget investment
and try to do it at half the price. Because that
will fail.” Frot-Coutaz adds that Idol on ABC is
not more costly than other broad competition
shows, and sources say it’s not setting ABC
back any more than a typical hourlong drama
(those come in between $3.5 million and
$4.5 million these days).
Producers say the format will largely be the
same, but ABC is subtly imprinting its DNA
on Idol. There is no designated bomb thrower
a la Simon Cowell; indeed, the first episode
of the show made available to media features
barely a discouraging word from new judges
Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. “They’re
not pushovers, there is no one mean judge. But
they are honest judges,” says Mills.
As ABC readies Idol, Fox is doing its best
to blunt the premiere of the show. It will
unveil O.J. Simpson’s infamous “If I Did It”
interview — which was set to air in 2006
before an uproar caused the network to pull it
— opposite the Idol bow. “It’s very good counterprogramming,” admits Frot-Coutaz. “Idol
is a story of hope, aspiration, the American
dream. And then you’ve got O.J. Simpson. So
we’ll see what mood people are in.”
CONGRATULATES
Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC
On the 2018
Oscar® for
Best Cinematography
BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography
ASC Award for Outstanding
Achievement in Cinematography
in a Theatrical Release
Blade Runner 2049
HOLLYWOOD
ATLANTA
HONOLULU
UTAH
TEL 323-469-2774
TEL 770-559-3377
TEL 808-484-5706
TEL 801-978-9292
www.ottonemenz.com
www.ottonemenz.com
www.hawaiimedia.com
www.redmanmovies.com
Style
Nyong’o
Beauty
Kidman
Shahidi
Barely-there blush
Chastain
MAKEUP: COURTESY OF BRAND (6). CHASTAIN: JON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC. NYONG’O: MIKE MARSLAND/WIREIMAGE. BROWN: @MILLIEBOBBYBROWN/INSTAGRAM. WASHINGTON: TOMMASO BODDI/WIREIMAGE. BACKGROUND:
ISTOCK. SHAHIDI: DAVID CROTTY/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES. GAGA: DAN MCMEDAN/WIREIMAGES. GAGA NAILS: AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC. WILLIAMS, KIDMAN: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Heavy bronzer and contouring take a back seat
to a hint of flush. Seen on: Nicole Kidman at
the Golden Globes and Jessica Chastain at the
Critics’ Choice Awards. Try it: Bobbi Brown All
Over Glow in Sole; $39, at Bobbi Brown Studio,
Beverly Hills, and Chantecaille Philanthropy
Cheek Shade in Grace; $40, at Nordstrom
From dramatically extended to subtly drawn out,
cat eyes are on fleek. Seen on: Lupita Nyong’o at the
BAFTAs and Yara Shahidi at the Critics’ Choice
Awards. Try it: Pat McGrath Labs Perma Precision
Liquid Eyeliner; $28, patmcgrath.com
Best in Glow
From dramatic lips to matchy-matchy tips,
these four awards-season trends will sizzle
on through the spring By Meg Hemphill
Brown
Bold lips
Williams
Gaga
A color-coordinated
look works with black,
white, pinks and reds.
Seen on: Lady Gaga
at the Grammys and
Millie Bobby Brown
at the Screen Actors
Guild Awards. Try it:
Smith & Cult Nailed
Lacquer in 5th Ave
Fortress; $18, at Saks
Fifth Avenue
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Making a strong statement extends to power pouts in reds and
pinks. Seen on: Kerry Washington at the Costume Designers
Guild Awards and Michelle Williams at the Governors Awards.
Try it: Giorgio Armani Beauty Ecstasy Shine in Freesia; $38, at
Barneys, and Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick Spring Look 2018 Limited
Edition in 657 Romantic; $35, at Neiman Marcus
45
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Style
Travel
‘An Antidote to Oscar Season’
Whether your idea of post-awards relaxation is beach, city or mountains, THR’s top
decompression spots are vetted by winners (Sam Rockwell) and awards strategists
By Beth Landman
fter months flooded by lights and targeted by lenses, those on
the awards-show circuit are more than ready to shed their black
gowns and black ties and retreat for a week or two. Original
song nominee Common tells THR he’s hoping to get to Tucson, Arizona’s
Miraval Spa for “a little air and a little relaxation.” Guillermo del Toro has
even more ambitious plans. The double Shape of Water Oscar winner says
he’s planning to visit Italy, Spain and Belgium — for a couple of weeks
each, at least. “I’m taking a whole year from directing off, and I plan to
stick to that,” he says. Here are suggestions from insiders on where to
escape by sea, city or mountain.
A
TURKS AND CAICOS The Caribbean
archipelago famed for white sand
beaches and turquoise waters is
where 2016 Oscar host Chris Rock
recently enjoyed a wind-down at
The Shore Club (theshoreclubtc.com,
rooms from $925). Opened in 2017,
it features palatial rooms and
villas and three restaurants and is
the only hotel on stunning Long
Bay Beach.
It’s also where Oscar winner
Sam Rockwell and partner Leslie
Bibb recently got some R&R,
staying at the sleek Gansevoort
(gansevoorthotelgroup.com, rooms
from $555), which offers beachfront yoga and an Exhale spa.
“My sister and I both work for
Paramount, and after the awards,
we always volunteer in Turks at
Potcake Place, where visitors can
foster dogs for an afternoon on
the beach,” says awards consultant Lea Yardum, who had been
working on the I, Tonya campaign
this season. “It’s an antidote
to the glitz and pressure of Oscar
season.” Others who love to visit
this British territory include
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew
Broderick, Sony Music CEO Rob
Stringer, Superb Entertainment
president Meryl Poster, Gwyneth
Paltrow (who owns land on one
of the Ambergris cays) and Fox
Searchlight vp national publicity Barry Dale Johnson, who’s
3
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
2
1 A view of the main pool in Turks and Caicos at Parrot Cay, where Willis is in the process of
buying a second retreat. 2 The penthouse at the Shore Club, the newest entry to Turks’ luxury
roster. 3 A pavilion at Amanyara, where the staff knows everyone by face and preferences.
hoping to head there after finishing Oscar campaigns for Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
and The Shape of Water.
Asian-inspired Amanyara
(aman.com, rooms from $1,450)
is where Brad Pitt found solace
after his split from Angelina Jolie.
Open-air pavilions float on dark
landscaped pools, and its western location is prime for diving.
Other great resort options
include Point Grace (pointgrace
.com, rooms from $720), a magical, low-key spot where notables
go unnoticed in its cottages
and on the lush grounds; and
the Grace Bay Club (gracebay
resorts.com, rooms from $1,280),
a favorite of Jane Fonda and
Gayle King, where every room has
an ocean view, private concierge
and butler. Adds Yardum, “I love
The Tuscany [the-tuscanyresort
.com, rooms from $950] because
46
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
it’s quieter.” At The Tuscany,
each suite has a kitchen and
huge terrace.
The newly renovated Parrot
Cay (parrotcay.com, rooms from
$925) is accessible only via a
half-hour boat ride from the main
island of Providenciales. Bruce
Willis has a villa there that he
rents out (from $14,000 a night),
and Justin Bieber
played soccer there
with locals before
meeting homeowner
Keith Richards at the
Rockwell
resort’s bar.
If you go off resort,
luxury travel consultant Gen Hershey
suggests
snorkelRock
ing in Chalk Sound,
heading to Providenciales’
Thursday fish fry for live music
and taking the Little Water Cay
cruise to Iguana Island. “It’s the
PARROT: MARTIN MORRELL. SHORE, AMANYARA: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. ROCK: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES. ROCKWELL: TIBRINA HOBSON/GETTY IMAGES.
Beach
1
Style
only place to see the endangered
rock iguana in its natural habitat,’’
she says.
JetBlue, Delta and United have
direct, under-four-hour flights
from New York; L.A. flights go
through East Coast cities, and
there are two private airports
on the islands. “Be sure to get VIP
Flyers Club,” says Hershey of the
local service, $200 each way. “It’s
fast track in and out and includes
usage of a private lounge.”
Travel
Nadja Swarovski, who makes the
Academy Awards stage curtain out
of her crystals.”
1
in the middle of the Eiffel Tower.”
For the latest in luxury flights
to the City of Lights, Air France
opened a new business class
lounge at Charles de Gaulle this
winter. It has an open kitchen,
private saunas, facials and a detox
bar, where you can be pampered before snuggling into your
reclining airline seat. Round trip
business class starts at $10,307.
Sienna India’s director client
will stay at the Eiffel Tower suite
in the Plaza Athenee (25 Avenue
Montaigne, dorchestercollection
.com, rooms from $1,400). “The
view of the tower from there is
amazing,’’ she says. The Ritz
(15 Place Vendome, ritzparis.com,
rooms from $1,242) and Hotel
de Crillon (10 Place de la Concorde,
rosewoodhotels.com, rooms from
$1,185) were recently redone.
“The two high-profile openings
have lit Paris back up; Crillon
is now so stylish, and the spa at
the Ritz is a new addition to its
five-star experience,” says Forbes
Travel Guide CEO Jerry Inzerillo.
Last year’s best actress
winner Emma Stone and Ryan
City
PARIS France’s capital has a
strong siren call. Natalie
Portman, Jennifer Lawrence and
Naomi Watts were all at the city’s
recent fashion week. “I love Paris
and usually go after the awards,’’
says Oscar strategist Lisa Taback.
Reports Jaclyn Sienna India
of high-end travel consultancy
Sienna Charles: “A major Oscarnominated director wanted to
go to Paris for his daughter’s
birthday. He wants family time,
so I arranged a private cooking
class with Alain Ducasse’s team,
a treasure hunt and lunch
2
1 The Peninsula Suite at Paris’ Peninsula,
where Witherspoon stayed in December
when her daughter was presented at the
Bal des Debutantes. 2 Balcony view of
the Eiffel Tower from the Plaza Athenee.
3 The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana.
Gosling stayed at The Peninsula
(19 Avenue Kleber, paris.peninsula
.com, rooms from $1,675) while
promoting La La Land, and Reese
Witherspoon was a guest when her
daughter, Ava, was introduced to
society at the Bal des Debutantes.
La Reserve (42 Avenue Gabriel,
lareserve-paris.com,
rooms from $1,200)
gets a nod from
Quintessentially’s
Kelly Grumbach. “It’s
Kruger
unlike any other property — only 49 rooms and the
most upscale luxury experience
you will have in Paris,’’ she says.
Andrew Saffir, founder of New
York’s Cinema Society, recently
returned for a glam trip there.
“Diane Kruger took us to dinner
at Kong in a glassed-in conservatory,” he says. “For Sunday night
dinner, when many places are
closed, classic L’Auberge Bressane
was recommended to us by
Catherine Deneuve. We also had
dinner at Ralph’s, as buzzy and
happening as the Polo Bar in New
York, and enjoyed drinks in the
Hemingway Bar of the Ritz with
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M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
MONTANA AND MEGEVE
“Sharon Stone wants to decompress with her boys, and she was
asking me about The Ranch at
Rock Creek in Montana [theranch
atrockcreek.com, rooms from
$900],’’ says Inzerillo. “A lot of studio execs with kids love it because
it’s all privacy. You can have fun
with riding and rodeos, but then
you are really pampered. A lot of
actresses like it for girls trips.’’
A fave of Paltrow and Gwen Stefani,
it’s the only ranch with a Forbes
five-star rating.
In the French Alps, Hershey
recommends Benjamin and Ariane
de Rothschild’s new Four Seasons
in Megeve (fourseasons.com, rooms
from $1,500). “It’s located 44
miles from Geneva International
Airport,” she explains. In addition to traditional skiing, the hotel
has adventure activities such as
heli-skiing, dog sledding and glacier snowshoeing. Adds Hershey,
“I had one client, an Oscar nominee this year, call me to plan a trip
with her brother for March to get
their last ski in of the season and
hopefully celebrate.”
PENINSULA, PLAZA, RANCH: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. KRUGER: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Mountains
A DV ER T I S EM EN T
How many Oscar®-listed films show smoking?
o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree
o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree o Smoking o Smokefree
THREE HINTS:
#1 | 2018 Oscar-listed films featured more than
1,280 tobacco incidents and delivered at least
6.2 billion tobacco impressions to domestic
theater audiences.
# 2 | Churchill’s cigar makes Darkest Hour an
easy call. But why do invented smokers outnumber
actual smokers in 2018 bio films 7-to-1?
#3 | Six Oscar-listed films are rated PG or PG-13.
Which three films feature tobacco imagery?
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smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu
ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES
From left: Best supporting actor
winner Sam Rockwell (in Prada), best
actress Frances McDormand (in
Valentino), best supporting actress
Allison Janney (in Reem Acra) and
best actor Gary Oldman (in Prada).
The 90th
Academy
Awards
No flubs! Someone stole an Oscar (and Tiffany Haddish
and Maya Rudolph stole the show) as Jimmy Kimmel
expertly presided over a woke anniversary ceremony
that celebrated legends even as ratings tanked
1
BEST
DRESSED!
The Dresses
1 NICOLE KIDMAN
The presenter stood out in shimmery
cobalt Armani Prive with more than
84 carats of Harry Winston diamonds.
2 MARGOT ROBBIE
The I, Tonya nominee and newly
minted Chanel ambassador donned an
embroidered Haute Couture gown that
took 550 hours and seven seamstresses
to create. Says Robbie’s stylist, Kate
Young: “I love the plastic embroidery on
the dress — it feels fancy without being
heavy or old.”
3 LUPITA NYONG’O
The presenter wowed in Atelier Versace
with Niwaka jewels. “It felt like the
perfect dress on the heels of our Black
Panther press tour,” says Nyong’o’s
stylist, Micaela Erlanger. “The chainmail
is strong, confident and powerful.”
4 EMMA STONE
The presenter eschewed a gown in
favor of a pink-and-red Louis Vuitton
satin tuxedo teamed with crystalembellished pumps.
5 GAL GADOT
“We threw it on and the magic was
there. I also loved the silver with Tiffany’s
ice blue necklace — and I’m proud that
Gal was first to wear Clare Waight Keller’s
Givenchy Couture to the Oscars!” says
Gadot’s stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, of the
presenter’s crystal fringe and 27-carat
aquamarine necklace with more than
1,000 diamonds.
6 SAOIRSE RONAN
“Pink seemed iconic. Matching Saoirse’s
nail polish and shoes [to her dress] made
the look even more authentic, fun and
timeless,” says Ronan’s stylist, Elizabeth
Saltzman. The Lady Bird nominee’s
Calvin Klein by Appointment, paired with
Cartier jewels, had a dramatic bow back.
“It was a magnificent piece of work.”
KIDMAN: VALERIE
MACON/AFP/
GETTY IMAGES.
ROBBIE: NEILSON
BARNARD/
GETTY IMAGES.
NYONG’O:
KEVIN MAZUR/
WIREIMAGE.
STONE: ANGELA
WEISS/AFP/
GETTY IMAGES.
GADOT: STEVE
GRANITZ/
WIREIMAGE.
RONAN: KEVORK
DJANSEZIAN/
GETTY IMAGES.
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3
4
5
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53
M A R C H 7. 2 01 8
1
2
The Dresses
1 LAURA DERN
The presenter topped a flawlessly fitted
silk crepe Calvin Klein by Appointment
column with Atelier Swarovski crystal and
diamond drops.
2 JENNIFER GARNER
The presenter was a knockout in
electric blue Atelier Versace with
Piaget diamonds and sapphires. Garner
hashtagged a glam video on her
Instagram, #ThisMorningIWasNormal.
3 JENNIFER LAWRENCE
The presenter glittered in a liquid
metallic sequined Dior gown with
Niwaka diamonds.
4 GRETA GERWIG
“This is a dream come true,” says the
Lady Bird director of being an Oscar
nominee. She dazzled in a beaded
marigold Rodarte gown with a Tiffany &
Co. diamond, sapphire and moonstone
necklace from the jeweler’s archives.
5 MERYL STREEP
The Post nominee looked regal in
crimson Dior Haute Couture and vintage
Fred Leighton gems. Says Streep stylist
Erlanger: “We loved the bold color and
feminine silhouette. It was an added bonus
that the gown was designed by a woman,”
Maria Grazia Chiuri.
6 ZENDAYA
The Greatest Showman actress was
statuesque in custom Giambattista Valli
Haute Couture with Bulgari art deco
diamond pendant earrings and bracelets
(circa 1930).
DERN: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES. LAWRENCE: KEVORK
DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES. GERWIG, ZENDAYA: VALERIE MACON/
AFP/GETTY IMAGES. STREEP: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC. GARNER:
MATT BARON/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK.
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M A R C H 7. 2 01 8
The Arrivals
1
1 Nominees Octavia Spencer (left)
and Sally Hawkins.
2 Nominees Daniel Kaluuya (left)
and Timothee Chalamet.
3 The Shape of Water’s Doug Jones.
4 From left: Mira Sorvino and presenters
Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek.
5 Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley
with husband Raymond Fitzpatrick.
6 Universal Pictures’ Jeff Shell
and wife Laura Shell flanked
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos (second
from left) and NBCUniversal’s
Ron Meyer.
7 Walt Disney Studios’ Alan Horn
and wife Cindy Horn. “I love
coming to the Oscars — fun is fun,”
he told THR.
2
8 Faces Places’ co-directors
Agnes Varda (center) and JR with
Varda’s daughter Rosalie Varda.
6
9 Presenter Jane Fonda and Strong
Island director Yance Ford.
10 Sony Pictures’ Tom Rothman
and wife Jessica Harper. “This is
my 30th time at the Oscars,” he said,
“and it never gets old.”
11 Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman.
12 From left: Chris Messina,
Matt Ross and supporting actor
winner (for Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri) Sam Rockwell.
13 I, Tonya supporting actress winner
Allison Janney.
14 Dunkirk director-producer
Christopher Nolan and wife and
producer Emma Thomas.
15 Presenter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
16 From left: Producer Julie
Glucksman with Warner Bros.’
Toby Emmerich and Veronika
Kwan Vandenberg.
5
13
12
14
3
4
7
10
9
8
11
16
15
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SPENCER: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE. KALUUYA: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES. UTLEY, HORN, ROTHMAN, EMMERICH: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. SHELL: ALEX J. BERLINER/ABIMAGES. ROCKWELL, JUDD, FONDA, BOSEMAN: ERIC MCCANDLESS/ABC. JANNEY: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. NOLAN, JONES, VARDA: RICK ROWELL/ABC. MIRANDA: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES. BRYANT: REUTERS TV/REUTERS/NEWSCOM.
OSCAR EDITION
R AMBLING
REPORTER
BY C H R I S GA R D N E R
O S C A R T H I EF AT T EN DED
L A ST Y E A R’S BA L L , T O O
Best actress winner Frances McDormand
didn’t wait to recover her Oscar that was
stolen at the Governors Ball (a Facebook
video by alleged thief Terry Bryant bragging, “This is mine,” was followed by his
arrest). Instead, she decamped to Vanity
Fair, arriving at 11:30 p.m. with husband
Joel Coen and son Pedro but without the
little golden man, which Fox Searchlight’s
Barry Dale Johnson recovered and handdelivered after midnight. Bryant, whose
Instagram profile says he’s a “TV, film and
music producer, editor, actor, TV host
and U.N. Ambassador,” apparently had a
ticket to the ball, which wasn’t his first:
A24’s Nicolette Aizenberg posted a photo
on Instagram of her with Bryant holding a
Moonlight Oscar at
last year’s ball. “I
just found out that
I posed with the
Oscar thief (and
Oscar himself)
last year and was
on his Instagram
feed which is perhaps the funniest
Bryant holding
thing I’ve ever
McDormand’s Oscar at
the Governors Ball.
seen?” she wrote.
T I F FA N Y ’S BIG W EEK
Three days before the Oscars, Brad Pitt
stood outside Chateau Marmont’s sixthfloor penthouse — where Gersh celebrated
nominated clients Allison Janney, Sam
Rockwell and Richard Jenkins — and
fielded a barrage of questions. “Do you
recognize me now? Do you know who I
am?” asked Tiffany Haddish, the breakout
star of Girls Trip. “You haven’t seen it?”
Pitt seemed amused by the inquisition.
Haddish also photobombed Alfre Woodard
at her Sistahs Soiree on Feb. 28; joked
with Sarah Silverman at Cadillac’s Chateau
Marmont event March 1 after scooping
up an Essence award over lunch; danced
at Charles D. King’s Macro party at
the Underground Museum the same night;
pitched Meryl Streep for Girls Trip 2 at
Common’s Toast to the Arts on March 2;
and presented at the Oscars with Maya
Rudolph on March 4. The duo’s “Are the
Oscars too black now?” bit was so successful, many on Twitter proposed that
they host in 2019. Told of the notion at the
Governors Ball, Haddish replied, “Well, I
The Arrivals
1 “I’m here to enjoy the night,”
said Disney’s Bob Iger (center) with wife
Willow Bay and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
2 Darkest Hour best actor winner
Gary Oldman, with wife Gisele Schmidt.
“To win for playing Winston makes it
doubly special,” the star said backstage
of British prime minister Churchill.
“It’s been an unforgettable experience.”
3 Jordan Peele, best original screenplay
winner for Get Out, and his wife, comedian
Chelsea Peretti.
4 From left: The Square star Elisabeth
Moss and director Ruben Ostlund with
partner Sina Gortz.
5 Husband and wife nominees Kumail
Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.
1
6 Presenter Rita Moreno wore her gown
from the 1962 Oscars — when she won
best supporting actress for her role as
Anita in West Side Story — to the
90th show at the Dolby.
4
6
7 From left: Diane Warren, Common and
Andra Day were nominated for their song
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall.
8 Universal Pictures’ Donna Langley
— who told THR “I have absolutely no idea
who will win” best picture — and husband
Ramin Shamshiri.
5
9 Mudbound’s Jason Clarke, Rob Morgan
and Garrett Hedlund.
10 Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes and partner
Lisa Carco.
11 Comcast’s Brian Roberts and wife
Aileen Roberts.
12 Presenter Matthew McConaughey and
wife Camila Alves.
13 Double nominee (for supporting actress
and song) Mary J. Blige.
14 “We’ve got 27 nominations and I’m super
proud,” 20th Century Fox Film’s Stacey
Snider told THR.
15 Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison and
director Drew Denny.
10
9
11
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R AMBLING
REPORTER
CONTINUED
agree with those people!” As for Pitt, he
assured her, “I’m going to see [Girls Trip]
now” as they boarded the elevator to the
Chateau lobby.
2
OLY M PI A NS ON O S C A R N IGH T
7
8
14
15
13
BEZOS, LANGLEY: ALEX J. BERLINER/ABIMAGES. MOSS, OLDMAN. DAY, ALVES: ERIC MCCANDLESS/ABC. GORDON, MORENO, CLARKE, PEELE: RICK ROWELL/ABC. BEWKES, ELLISON, SNIDER, ROBERTS: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. BLIGE: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/GETTYIMAGES.
3
“The Oscars are the Olympics of
Hollywood,” quipped bronze medalist Adam
Rippon, who hit the carpet with fellow figure
skater Mirai Nagasu (her bronze medal was
tucked into her clutch). While both, along
with fellow Olympian Lindsey Vonn, were
thronged with admirers, the Moschino
leather-harnessed Rippon was focused on
meeting only one star: Meryl Streep. “She
should be aware because I don’t know
what my reaction will be,” he said at Vanity
Fair (Streep never showed). Nagasu’s Oscar
dream? “If we could get invited to [Beyonce
and Jay Z’s] or Madonna’s party, that would
be amazing.”
JAY A N D BE Y ’S S OI R EE
Gold was the theme at Jay Z and Beyonce’s
uber-exclusive afterparty in the Chateau
Marmont parking garage, with about 150
guests hand-picked to hang with Mary J.
Blige — who arrived via SUV from Vanity
Fair with Diddy, French Montana and
Naomi Campbell. Days before, even hotel
staffers weren’t aware who was hosting. “I
gave my dress size, so I know I’ll be wearing something just for this party,” one told
THR. Get Out’s Lil Rel Howery didn’t
receive confirmation of the address until
Saturday. “The invite arrived in this secretive way, and it read like, ‘Yo, you’re invited
to this party and you’re coming,’ ” he
told THR. Good Time filmmakers Josh and
Ben Safdie, who directed Jay Z’s video for
“Marcy Me,” attended along with Jordan
Peele, Drake, Tiffany Haddish, Tracee Ellis
Ross, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire,
Shonda Rhimes, Usher, Mindy Kaling, BJ
Novak and Angela Bassett.
K I M M EL’S SW EET SER ENA DE
As he did when he hosted the 2016 Emmys,
Oscar emcee Jimmy Kimmel treated
friends and staffers to an afterparty fit for
a foodie at The Lot, with stands from hotspots including L.A.’s Animal and Lucques;
Austin’s APL; San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery;
Brooklyn’s Frankies 457 Spuntino; and
Philadelphia’s Vetri. Around midnight, he
interrupted the band to lead revelers
(Matt Damon, Jennifer Aniston and Miley
Cyrus among them) in a “Happy Birthday”
for wife and head writer Molly McNearney,
whose 40th was March 5.
The Parties
1 Best picture and best director winner
Guillermo del Toro (left) with his Mexican
compatriot (and two-time best director
winner) Alejandro G. Inarritu at the Ray
Dolby Ballroom Governors Ball. Sometime
after midnight, del Toro made his way to
the 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight
afterparty at Tao, where he obliged a
nonstop barrage of selfie-seeking fans
and fellow filmmakers, including Kong:
Skull Island helmer Jordan Vogt-Roberts,
before heading out to the street, where
he stopped to greet more well wishers
braving the cold.
1
2 Jamie Foxx took the stage at Byron
Allen’s second annual Oscar viewing party,
which also feted Entertainment Studios’
25th anniversary, to drum up donations
for Children’s Hospital L.A. The Beverly
Wilshire gala raised $1.5 million.
2
3
3 From left: Amy Adams, Regina Hall
and Rashida Jones at Vanity Fair, held for
the fourth year at the Wallis Annenberg
Center for the Performing Arts.
5 Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer and wife
Laurie Demarest.
6 Best actress Frances McDormand,
with son Pedro McDormand Coen, got
her trophy engraved (before it was
swiped by a quickly apprehended thief)
at the Governors Ball.
4
7 From left: Lionel Richie, Elton John,
Miley Cyrus and Ricky Martin at the
iconic rocker’s 26th annual viewing party
at West Hollywood Park. The evening
raised $5.9 million for the Elton John AIDS
Foundation, including $10,000 from
Cyrus — split into two $5,000 donations
due to a “drunken ‘spell-check’ ” error, she
explained via a text displayed on screens
throughout the venue.
8 Emily Blunt in bird-adorned Alexander
McQueen at Vanity Fair.
8
5
6
7
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DEL TORO, IVORY, FELTHEIMER: ALEX J. BERLINER/ABIMAGES. FOXX: DYLAN KING/ZANA INC. ADAMS: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE. MCDORMAND: TROY HARVEY/©A.M.P.A.S. JOHN: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES. BLUNT: TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC.
4 Call Me by Your Name’s Timothee
Chalamet (right) celebrated with best
screenplay winner James Ivory (sporting a shirt with a hand-painted portrait of
the star) at the Governors Ball.
The Parties
1
1 Darkest Hour’s best actor winner Gary
Oldman hit the Oscar engraving station
at the Governors Ball.
2 Keegan-Michael Key (right) took to
Twitter to congratulate his former Key
& Peele “partner in laughs” before he and
Jordan Peele, who won best original
screenplay for Get Out, met up in person
at Vanity Fair.
3 Netflix’s Scott Stuber and wife, model
Molly Sims, at the Governors Ball.
4 From left: Janelle Monae, Sarah Jones,
Angela Bassett and Tracee Ellis Ross
caught up at the Vanity Fair festivities,
where guests noshed on In-N-Out burgers
(1,700 were served) and Bouchon mini
sugar doughnuts (made on the premises
by chef Thomas Keller).
3
5 Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o (left)
and Danai Gurira at Vanity Fair. Stars of
the Disney blockbuster (including Get
Out best actor nominee Daniel Kaluuya)
flooded red carpets throughout Oscar
weekend, eliciting cries of “Wakanda
Forever!” at events from Alfre Woodard’s
Sistahs Soiree to the Spirit Awards. At
the Essence Black Women in Hollywood
Awards on March 2, Nyong’o presented
an award to Gurira, who said from the
podium, “We’ve found the source of our
power. Sisters are the vibranium.”
2
4
6 Katy Perry, in Versace, performed
some of her hits plus a few songs from
her latest album, Witness, at Byron
Allen’s Beverly Wilshire viewing party.
7 Directors Ron Howard and Ava
DuVernay were among the many A-listers
who hit the Vanity Fair soiree.
8 Presenter Emma Stone, who pointedly cited “these four men and Greta
Gerwig” when announcing the nominees for best director from the Oscar
stage, swapped her ceremony tux
for an afterparty minidress (both by
Louis Vuitton) at Vanity Fair.
6
8
OLDMAN: TROY HARVEY/©A.M.P.A.S. PEELE, MONAE, HOWARD: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE. SIMS: ALEX J. BERLINER/ABIMAGES.
GUIRA: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES. PERRY: DYLAN KING/ZANA INC. STONE: TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC.
7
5
62
oudl
r
P
We
y Congratul
ate
GUILLERMO
DEL TORO
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST PICTURE
from your friends at
Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman llp
The Night
Before
1 Sam Rockwell with Leslie Bibb at the
Motion Picture & Television Fund’s annual
Night Before party at Fox Studios. Accepting
the supporting actor Oscar the next night,
the star thanked his partner — “You light my
fire, baby. I love you” — along with “anyone
who’s ever looked at a billboard.”
2 More than $5 million was raised in support
of the MPTF, which provides social services,
counseling and financial assistance to entertainment industry members of all ages. “It is
not only the largest fundraiser each year for
the MPTF, having raised over $80 million over
the 16 years,” said WndrCo founder Jeffrey
Katzenberg (left, with Leonardo DiCaprio).
“It is also the perfect way to bring the industry together in the spirit of a community that
truly takes care of its own.” Other execs
in attendance included Amazon’s Jeff Bezos,
Disney’s Bob Iger and Netflix’s Ted
Sarandos.
1
3
2
3 Laura Dern at the soiree sponsored by
THR along with Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor
Company, L’Oreal, Target and YouTube.
4
4 From left: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell,
Judith Light and Josh Gad.
5 Greta Gerwig — a triple nominee for Lady
Bird — with Jon Hamm.
6 Black Panther’s Danai Gurira.
7 Baby Driver’s Ansel Elgort (right) with
Kobe Bryant, who became the the first NBA
player to win an Oscar when he and Glenn
Keane took the animated short prize for
Dear Basketball. “I feel better than winning
a championship,” Bryant said backstage.
6
7
ROCKWELL, KATZENBERG, DERN, LIGHT, GURIRA, BRYANT: GEORGE PIMENTEL/GETTY
IMAGES FOR MPTF. HAMM: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR MPTF.
5
The Night
Before
1 George Clooney (left) and Jack Black
celebrated the MPTF’s 96 years, along
with Oscar nominees Guillermo del Toro,
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani,
Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas,
Jordan Peele, Daniel Kaluuya, Gary
Oldman and Greatest Showman songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
2 Allison Janney went on to win the
supporting actress Oscar for I, Tonya.
“I did it all by myself,” she joked from the
podium, before thanking screenwriter
Steven Rogers, who wrote the role of
mom LaVona Golden with her in mind.
2
3 I, Tonya’s Sebastian Stan posed with
Target’s bull terrier ambassador.
3
4 Amy Adams (right) with Gal Gadot,
who helped Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel
with a surprise mid-telecast stunt: handing out Red Vines, hot dogs, six-foot
submarine sandwiches and other snacks
to a theater full of movie viewers across
the street from the Dolby.
5 Richard Jenkins, a supporting actor
nominee for The Shape of Water, hit
the soiree along with co-star and best
actress nominee Sally Hawkins.
6 Elisabeth Moss.
7 I, Tonya best actress nominee Margot
Robbie, who also produced the film,
with The Post director and best picture
nominee Steven Spielberg.
1
8 Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos
(right) with wife Ann Gianopulos and
Shawn Mendes.
6
4
5
8
GADOT, CLOONEY, JENKINS, ROBBIE: GEORGE PIMENTEL/GETTY IMAGES FOR MPTF. MOSS: JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES FOR
MPTF. JANNEY, MENDES: KEVIN MAZUR/ GETTY IMAGES FOR MPTF. STAN: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES FOR MPTF.
7
1
Spirit Awards
1 Returning hosts John Mulaney (left) and
Nick Kroll were joined onstage by Kristen
Wiig, dressed as an elderly woman who could
not read the teleprompter at the 2018 Film
Independent Spirit Awards on March 3 in
Santa Monica.
2 First-time helmers Greta Gerwig, who won
best screenplay for Lady Bird, and Jordan
Peele, who took home the best director prize
for Get Out. “We are in the beginning of a
renaissance right now where stories from the
outsiders are being honored and recognized
and celebrated,” Peele said from the podium,
after being announced by Black Panther star
Chadwick Boseman.
3
2
3
3 I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie and editor
Tatiana S. Riegel, who won for her work on the
film. “You’re given the space to be creative
without all the other elements coming in,” she
told THR about the freedom of independent
filmmaking.
4 Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily V. Gordon
won best first screenplay for their semiautobiographical comedy, The Big Sick.
5 Aubrey Plaza took home a trophy for Ingrid
Goes West as a producer on the film (she also
starred), which was named best first feature.
4
5
6
AFCI Brunch
7
7 Physical production heads from major
studios and streamers compared notes on
the challenges of filmmaking amid a shifting
Hollywood landscape at a March 1 panel, part
of the Association of Film Commissioners
International’s first-ever AFCI Week, a fourday series of events for producers, film
commissioners and distributors. Led by (from
left) THR editorial director Matthew Belloni,
panelists including Cory Bennett Lewis of
J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, Amazon’s Mary Ann
Marino, Annapurna’s Jillian Longnecker,
Warner Bros.’ Bill Draper and Paramount’s
Lee E. Rosenthal discussed how physical
production has changed. “The last 13 years,
I feel like the pictures we’re making in the
studio space have gone to extremes. They’re
either extremely big or these niche, smaller
films — and the movies in the middle are
tougher to greenlight now,” said Rosenthal at
the W Hollywood gathering. Bennett Lewis
noted the necessity for improvisation. “We do
a lot in-house — we’ve turned offices into
apartments,” she said. Joked Rosenthal, “You
could point out on the DVD, ‘That’s actually
J.J.’s office!’ ” — BRYN ELISE SANDBERG
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
68
M A R C H 7. 2 01 8
MULANEY, PEELE, LEE: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES. GILLESPIE: JOHN SHEARER/GETTY IMAGES. PLAZA: PHILLIP FARAONE/GETTY IMAGES. NANJIANI:
MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY IMAGES. BELLONI: PRESLEY ANN/GETTY IMAGES.
6 Ava DuVernay and Spike Lee.
CAN SILICON VALLEY
SAVE SILICON VALLEY?
“Their running joke is about
how this is the one show
where when the stand-ins go
in, the show gets betterlooking. It’s always, ‘Oh that’s
a handsome bunch, why
don’t we shoot those guys?’ ”
says co-showrunner Alec Berg
of stars (from left) Nanjiani,
Woods, Middleditch and Starr,
who were photographed
Feb. 12 at Quixote Studios
in Los Angeles.
Styling by Sharon Williams
On Nanjiani: Topman suit, vintage
shirt, Bruno Magli shoes. On Woods:
Vince sweater, vintage shirt, Asos
pants, Cole Haan shoes. On
Middleditch: Vintage turtleneck, Dolce
and Gabbana pants, Cole Haan shoes.
On Starr: Topman shirt, vintage
vest and pants, Allen Edmonds shoes.
ON SET WITH HBO’S SAVAGE STARTUP
SATIRE AS THE CREATORS CONTEND
WITH A ‘DARKER SIDE’ OF TECH CULTURE
AND STAR T.J. MILLER’S MESSY EXIT:
‘T.J. WASN’T LEBRON’
BY LACEY ROSE • PHOTOGRAPHED BY SAMI DRASIN
M
Mike Judge sits perched before a pair of monitors, his
fingers wrapped around his shaved head in a pose of high
anxiety as camera operators and head-setted assistants
swirl around him.
It’s a Thursday afternoon in early February, and the
55-year-old perfectionist behind such cult hits as Office
Space, Beavis and Butt-Head and this one, Silicon Valley,
is back on the cavernous soundstage in Culver City, trying
once more to nail the opening scene for his HBO comedy’s
fifth season — and its first without breakout star T.J. Miller.
The actor who portrayed the series’ blowhard entrepreneur Erlich Bachman exited at the conclusion of season
four, and then promptly gave a vicious, rambling and
widely dissected interview to The Hollywood Reporter in
which he torched the “one-note” show and at least one of
the “fucking idiots” behind it.
On cue, Miller’s former castmates — Thomas Middleditch,
35, who stars as Pied Piper’s brilliant but addled founder
Richard Hendricks, and his nerd entourage of Gilfoyle
(Martin Starr, 35), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani, 40) and Jared
(Zach Woods, 33) — file onto set, a sharply lit, soulless
office, and begin riffing.
NANJIANI You want us to work here? This is like a place
they keep detainees awake for three days at a time and
then they waterboard them. It’s a fucking black site!
STARR A black site would be better because at least we’d be
protected by the Geneva Convention.
NANJIANI I’ve spent my entire time in America trying to
avoid places like this! I’ve had family members die in here!
STARR The good news is you’re not brown in here. You’re
more of a neutral gray.
NANJIANI So it’s not all bad …
By the time they’re done, Judge’s hands have relaxed
into his lap, and he’s hissing with laughter so loud
you wonder whether it will distract the actors. It is precisely the kind of comedic firepower that he and fellow
show runner Alec Berg, 49, the aforementioned Harvardeducated “idiot,” are eager to display when the HBO
“BELIEVE IT OR NOT,
I’M ACTUALLY INTO COMPUTERS.
YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN TO
A FEW LAN PARTIES IN MY DAY.”
MIDDLEDITCH
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
72
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
PREVIOUS SPREAD: SET DESIGN BY LIZZIE LANG AT WALTER SCHUPFER MANAGEMENT. MIDDLEDITCH GROOMING BY SYDNEY SOLLOD FOR DR. JART AT THE WALL GROUP. STARR GROOMING BY MARIA ALEJANDRA GARCIA.
comedy — until recently, the network's second-mostwatched behind Ballers, and second-most-decorated
behind Veep — returns March 25 for what is likely to be
its penultimate season.
In the half-decade since the wry study of startup culture premiered, the ground has shifted beneath it
— the public perception of the tech industry has dimmed
considerably, as has the general appeal of a TV show
built around five single bros. But rather than dwell on
the increasingly charged climate or the departure of a
beloved character, those still involved with Silicon Valley
argue that a shake-up is exactly what a show entering middle age needs to feel fresh. “The truth is it can
be pretty easy to get stuck in the formula and revisit
the same rhythms, especially in a comedy,” says Nanjiani,
who picked up an Oscar nomination for co-authoring
his own, The Big Sick, between seasons. “This forces the
show to be different — and after four or five years, that’s
not such a bad thing.”
Let’s get it out of the way now. The decision to cut ties
with Miller, 36, had been a long time coming. While
nearly everyone associated with the series is loath to speak
publicly about the events that led to the actor’s departure,
several make veiled references to his “demons” and the
fact that he’s been known to self-medicate with alcohol
and other substances. Miller hasn’t been shy about those
vices either, wearing them at times like a badge of honor
— or at least a solid launchpad for comedy, with bits that
have hinged on his propensity to “drink till [he] passed
out.” There had been stretches when, multiple show
sources say, he looked to have things under control, and
others when he’d show up seemingly under the influence,
if he showed up at all.
“There are a lot of different ways you can find out somebody doesn’t want to do the show anymore,” says Judge,
seated now in his cluttered office on the Sony lot, a short
walk from the set. “And it’s not fun to work with someone
who doesn’t want to be there, [especially when] they’re one
of the main people and you’ve got however many crewmembers and extras and people who are [not paid as well]
and they’re all showing up before 7 a.m., and then are just
like, ‘Oh, OK, we’re not shooting today.’ ”
Table reads would start late as the cast and crew waited
on the untamable actor, and when he did arrive he typically
hadn’t cracked open the script. Schedules would regularly
have to be rejiggered, and sources from the set recount tales
of Miller falling asleep between takes, leaving cast and crew
to nudge him awake. And though everybody involved with
the series praises his raw talent — some even employing the
word “genius” to describe him — many say it had become
impossible to predict which Miller would show up on a given
day. “There was almost a danger to having him around,”
says one insider. “He was explosive, and there were moments
where you’d go, ‘Whoa, that’s not where I thought that was
going at all, but that was fucking awesome’ … but it was a
trade-off.” In the end, all parties involved decided it was
best if he moved on.
“It just wasn’t working,” says Judge, who, in consultation with his producers and HBO, presented Miller with
an offer: He could return for the series’ fifth season,
but only for three episodes, as a sendoff for the character.
(The writing team hadn’t settled on a specific storyline,
though Judge says it probably would have involved Erlich
and his foil Jian Yang on a road trip through China.)
But Miller wasn’t interested. Instead, he decided, he’d
“They all feel the same
way — that they’re
doing something that’s
saving the world,”
Starr says of the tech
world Silicon Valley
satirizes. “And
perhaps some of them
are. But as a whole,
a lot of technology is
moving in the wrong
direction.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
73
finish out season four (with Erlich waylaid at a Tibetan
opium den), and that would be it. Sure, he’d be walking
away from a beloved character and a few more paychecks,
but at the time, he already had plenty on his plate between
a burgeoning film career, including roles in Steven
Spielberg’s Ready Player One and Fox’s Deadpool sequel,
and his stand-up. (In December, those prospects diminished after an allegation of sexual assault by a former
college classmate.)
Reached by phone in Alabama, where he was doing a set
that night, Miller says in response: “In real life, I’m not
always high like Erlich is. And this will blow your readers’
minds, but I’m not high when I work because it gets in the
way of the comedy. I also am not a guy who’s blackoutdrunk, bumping into things on set. … What was occurring
was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant
I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It’s pushing myself to do too much.”
Even before Miller’s departure, the character had started
to become problematic for the show’s writing staff, which
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
WHEN LIFE IMITATES ART
NO LONGER JUST TALKING THE TALK, SILICON VALLEY’S
STARS ARE INVESTING IN STARTUPS THEMSELVES
←
Crew (left)
and
Middleditch
Aherself in the position of having to answer questions about the tech industry’s
s one of Silicon Valley’s only female castmembers, Amanda Crew too often found
“woman problem” without having any firsthand knowledge. But over the past few
years, Crew has been busy lining up meetings and, in a handful of cases, financially
backing female-led companies. Among her investments: NetworkBe (a media company) and Darling magazine (a women’s mag with a “no retouching” policy).
Thomas Middleditch has become an increasingly active investor, too, taking
regular trips to Northern California to expand his portfolio, which is focused in
two areas of personal interest: aviation and the environment. To date, his investments include plant-based meat-substitute company Beyond Meat, electric
aviation startup Wright Electric and solar desalination company WaterFX. And
though Middleditch says his experiences haven’t impacted the way he plays his
character, he jokes that he now understands what his character is saying “half
the time.” (With Middleditch’s encouragement, Martin Starr has begun to dabble,
too, putting money into WaterFX.)
The series’ showrunners suggest they’re considerably more risk-averse. Despite
Judge’s prior stint in the tech world (he worked for a startup in the late ’80s),
he’s kept his money largely out of the sector, with one recent exception. Though he
declines to name the company, he says he invested in a New York-based startup in
the live video space, and he’s enjoyed being privy to the inner workings of a startup
for reasons other than research: “It’s a little different to have a bit of skin in the
game.” As for Berg, he’s steered clear of startups, but reveals he’s followed in the
footsteps of his brother, a Microsoft exec and “ginormous Bitcoin guy,” and put
some money in the cryptocurrency. Spoiler alert: The latter also will be featured in
a storyline this season. — L.R.
was running out of ways to keep him involved in Pied
Piper. Plus, losing Erlich’s large footprint would not only
force ingenuity but also open up opportunities for other
members of the show’s ensemble. The clean slate has Berg
genuinely excited.
“These guys are the Golden State Warriors of comedy,”
Berg says, seated on a couch in his office with Wired magazine cover portraits of those actors hanging above. “So,
it’s like, yeah, we’ve lost Andre Iguodala but we still have
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and
some other guy on the Warriors whose name I don’t know.
But I don’t feel like we can’t win championships anymore
because we’ve lost …” He pauses there, and then rephrases,
mixing his NBA superstars into a metaphoric cocktail:
“T.J. wasn’t LeBron.” For what it’s worth, Miller takes no
issue with Berg’s assessment, and, after requesting that it
be repeated twice more, he laughs uproariously. “Oh, that’s
great,” he says. “And it makes me like him more [because]
he’s so good at being an asshole.”
Below, left: Miller, right,
with Matt Ross (Gavin
Belson), in his final
episode. He says now
the character had
taken a toll on him: “I’d
go home and I’d just
feel bad for the guy.”
Right: Berg (far left)
and Judge with the
cast at an April 2017
FYC event.
W
hen Silicon Valley premiered in the spring of
2014, Uber was still a controversy-free ridesharing service and Facebook had yet to taint
a presidential election. Back then, entrepreneurs were
just starting to become celebrities, and celebrities entrepreneurs, and an HBO sendup — as Entourage had been
to Hollywood — would solidify the shift from opaque subculture to pop mainstream.
Erlich Bachman was perfectly positioned as the tech
world’s answer to Ari Gold, and every major member
of the current ensemble, save Middleditch, read for the
part. While each offered a compelling take on a Valleyarea archetype, none imbued a bombastic churlishness
as expertly as Miller. “I saw T.J.’s silhouette coming
down the hall for his audition, and just that was funny,”
says Judge, who’d worked with him on the 2009 film
Extract. Still, those other actors — all of them comics,
too — had impeccable timing and laugh-out-loud delivery, so Judge, himself a former engineer, fashioned roles
for many of them. The other parts came easier: Richard
Hear the Silicon Valley cast sound off on who is the least tech savvy in real life at THR.COM/VIDEO
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
74
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Says Nanjiani (left),
“I’ll never forget
it: My agents called
and they said, ‘They
wrote a part for you,
a new character, do
you want to do it?’
And I was like, ‘When
is the earliest that
I can say yes and not
seem desperate?’ ”
Hendricks had been written with Middleditch in mind,
and the late Christopher Evan Welch was a shoo-in for the
part of oddball angel investor Peter Gregory.
That left Gregory’s head of operations, Monica, for a
time the series’ sole female castmember. As the role was
initially written, Amanda Crew feared she’d be playing
more of a morally ambiguous seductress than the harddriving venture capitalist that her Monica ultimately
became. “I almost canceled my audition,” she says, recalling her unease. In truth, HBO, which had been actively
looking to line up a Valley-set series at the time, almost
bailed on the project, too. The original pilot from Judge
and his King of the Hill collaborators John Altschuler and
Dave Krinsky had hung its narrative on two gold-digging
women from Los Angeles who head to Silicon Valley in the
hope of snagging the next Steve Jobs. HBO’s executives
were underwhelmed, if not altogether put off, by what
came in. “We wanted women,” says one, “but not like that.”
As the story goes, Altschuler and Krinsky were unwilling to move forward without the women’s storyline, and
“THERE’S A TENDER
QUALITY TO THESE GUYS.
I’M AMONG MY TRIBE
OF, LIKE, BETA MALES.”
NANJIANI GROOMING BY KIM VERBECK AT THE WALL GROUP. WOODS GROOMING BY SONIA LEE FOR CHANEL
PALETTE ESSENTIELLE AT EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS. SILICON: COURTESY OF HBO (2). BERG: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC.
WOODS
HBO was unwilling to do so with it. Silicon Valley would
die there. Then came word from Judge. He’d understood
HBO’s concerns and was interested in taking another
crack. In the months that followed, Altschuler and Krinsky
exited the project, though not without retaining a createdby credit, and Berg, who’d honed his comedic chops on
Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, was brought in to help
Judge reconceive the series. “We reshot half the pilot,”
recalls HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys,
who was running the comedy division at that point. “And
what those guys turned in was a comedy that was genuinely funny and also had something to say.”
The fawning among critics was close to universal. Time
called it “the funniest out-of-the-box pay cable comedy
in a good while,” and USA Today said it was “smart, true,
authentic and emotionally resonant.” THR laid it on even
thicker, describing the network’s new half-hour as “flatout brilliant … the best, most wide-appeal show that HBO
has had in ages.”
Four seasons in, reviews have remained generally kind,
aside from a persistent critique
about the show’s scarcity of female
characters. And though it regularly indulges in plenty of crude
language and once devoted an
entire episode to an elaborate
dick joke (yes, really), it’s remained
surprisingly prudish with regard
to nudity and sex. In fact, the
series’ only remarkable sex scene
involved horses rather than people. Those unwritten rules about
R-rated content come primarily
at the directive of Judge, who even
insisted that a stripper in the
show’s second episode be clothed.
When asked about those decisions, Judge shrugs. “It all just
makes me feel creepy and
uncomfortable.”
That discomfort dates back to
the late 1990s, he says, when he
was making his live-action directorial debut on Office Space. Judge
was all set to shoot the film’s
already awkward sex-dream sequence when he learned that
nobody had told the woman cast
as Jennifer Aniston’s leg double
what she’d been hired to do that
day. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” he says now. “And
then there were camera assistants being all creepy and saying
things. … So, the whole thing,
I just don’t want anything to do
with it.” While on the subject,
Judge lets slip that something similar had happened on Silicon Valley,
where two non-HBO employees
on his set were caught making
inappropriate comments about a
guest star on the show. To his
knowledge, the pair was fired.
Continued on page 94
THE
ANTITRUST
SHOWDOW N
OF THE
CENTURY
On March 19, the trial to determine whether AT&T can acquire
Time Warner for $85 billion begins. Does the government
have a case? Is Trump just pissed at CNN? Legal experts say the biggest suit of
its kind since Microsoft in the ’90s could call into question everything from
Amazon’s growth strategy to Disney’s planned purchase of
Fox assets: ‘It opens up a Pandora’s box’
Illustration by Mario Wagner
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
77
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
BY ERIQ GARDNER
It’s 2019, and winter has come. Tens of millions of Game
of Thrones fans tune in to HBO to find out whether the
Starks, Lannisters or Targaryens will take the Iron Throne.
But in a shocker, 85 percent of those expecting to watch the
conclusion of TV’s biggest series suddenly can’t. The final
episodes are available only on DirecTV or HBO’s streaming
service — with an AT&T broadband subscription.
That might sound far-fetched, but it’s the
scenario more or less imagined by the U.S.
Department of Justice in suing to block AT&T’s
proposed $85 billion deal to acquire Time
Warner. In its suit, the government specifically
points out that Game of Thrones would be under
AT&T’s thumb, not to mention Warner Bros.
movies, CNN town halls and Turner sporting events like NCAA March Madness. If the
deal goes through, the DOJ contends that AT&T
would gain the “ability and incentive to substantially lessen competition by withholding”
content or raising the price.
As the trial is set to begin March 19, legal
experts and insiders are evaluating the stakes
for perhaps the biggest antitrust showdown
since the Microsoft case in the 1990s and
certainly the most significant in Hollywood
since the Paramount Decrees upended the
industry in the ’40s. The combination envisioned by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson
and Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes wouldn’t
just create a $225 billion colossus, it likely
would open the floodgates for a new wave of
media consolidation. By contrast, a scrapped
deal would call into question everything from
Amazon’s aggressive acquisition strategy
to Disney’s planned purchase of most of 21st
Century Fox. “I look at [AT&T-Time Warner]
and think, ‘If you are going to stop this merger,
do you also break up Comcast-NBC?’ ” asks
BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield. “Should
Disney be allowed to own Hulu? It opens up a
Pandora’s box.”
When the suit was first announced in
November, many speculated that President
Trump was so incensed by CNN’s coverage
of his administration that he interfered with
the DOJ’s merger review. Though politics no
doubt are important, today’s obsessions may
be clouding tomorrow’s outcome. In Trump’s
words, “too much concentration of power in
the hands of too few” could be a legitimate reason to stop the merger. And consultation with
scores of legal experts reveals the case is not
as clear as one might imagine.
First, the reason why the merger should be
allowed: Namely, the government has struggled to articulate a cogent theory on the need
to block this so-called “vertical integration”
— that is, a tie-up between a distributor and
supplier. AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company, but it doesn’t make
much content. Conversely, Time Warner produces Wonder Woman and The Big Bang Theory,
but, other than its nascent digital platforms,
it doesn’t directly distribute television to
consumers as AT&T does through DirecTV. The
merger won’t create a monopoly. It is only anticompetitive if AT&T gains enough
leverage in the market to unfairly
harm consumers or rivals. So,
would AT&T really yank Game of
Thrones at the peak of public interDelrahim
est? Greenfield is among those
who are highly skeptical that AT&T would risk
HBO licensing fees for the possibility of attracting customers from T-Mobile, Verizon, Comcast
and Dish. “It’s conceptually possible,” he says
before adding that the “math on extracting
incrementally more money is complicated. It’s
hard to imagine content would be held hostage
in hopes of driving people to DirecTV.”
But even if AT&T were to do so, is that
Time Warner’s Bewkes (left) and AT&T’s Stephenson
at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in 2016.
necessarily wrong? Nobody is forcing Netflix
to license Stranger Things to other distribution
platforms. In court papers, AT&T says it needs
Time Warner’s assets to “keep pace in an environment where cable is the incumbent market
leader and viewer preferences are rapidly tilting toward the direct-to-consumer platforms
of Netflix, Google, Amazon Prime, Facebook,
Apple, Hulu and others.” After all, CBS has
walled off its new Star Trek series and the Good
Wife spinoff on its CBS All Access subscription
streaming service. Should the government
meddle and force greater or cheaper access?
In a 2004 paper for The Columbia Journal of
Law & the Arts, DOJ lawyer Makan Delrahim
asked whether overzealous antitrust enforcement could hurt technological growth and
was supportive of those who refused to license
what they owned to competitors: “We should
support the rights of intellectual property owners to decide independently whether to license
their intellectual property to others.”
Delrahim was a member of the DOJ’s IP task
force. Today, he leads the Antitrust Division
and is the very individual in the Trump
administration who signed off on the lawsuit
to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal. That’s
BETTER TOGETHER?
Annual revenue at NBCUniversal has risen
30 percent since 2014, the first full year it was
under the control of Comcast, while Comcast’s
cable communications segment has risen
18 percent since then. Investors have reaped
the benefit of the growth, with Comcast stock
up 60 percent in four years. While AT&T-Time
Warner would be much larger than ComcastNBCU was back then, it remains to be seen
whether the former can marry distribution and
content as well as the latter has. — PAUL BOND
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
78
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
COMCAST 2014:
COMCAST 2017:
AT&T 2017:
$44.1B
$52B
$160B
NBCUNIVERSAL
2014:
NBCUNIVERSAL
2017:
TIME WARNER
2017:
$33B
$31B
$25.4B
Source: Company filings, Yahoo Finance and THR research
Will the U.S. Go After Comcast Next?
A least one senator is calling for a new probe of the 2011 NBCUniversal deal
as key conditions expire and an anti-media sentiment dominates Washington
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ironic, but there’s certainly a reasonable case
against the merger in 2018. Netflix is negotiating mainly with creative talent and production
companies and selling directly to consumers.
By contrast, AT&T is attempting to buy its way
into more market power and will be conducting
contract negotiations with rival MVPDs (satellite and cable companies) and other studios
(Disney, Viacom, Sony, etc.). John Bergmayer,
senior counsel at the Washington think tank
Public Knowledge, says he’s worried that even if
AT&T agrees to sell programming to rivals, the
company could raise costs or enforce restrictions on what another distributor can do with
its content. “Antitrust looks at your behaviors
and judges whether they are anticompetitive,”
he says. “You don’t get to say, ‘I am doing X,
but I didn’t need to do X, therefore I can do X
anticompetitively.’ ”
That might be true, though the theory on
what’s anticompetitive has evolved as economic
theories and political winds have shifted. There
have hardly been bright lines.
WHEN LAWMAKERS IN THE LATE 19TH AND
early 20th centuries went about crafting the
major antitrust laws — the Sherman Act and
the Clayton Act — they were targeting monopolies over railroads, oil and banks. They could
hardly imagine that fire-breathing dragons or
a college basketball tournament would be featured in a major antitrust showdown. But the
laws have vague language, so regulators and
courts must spell out the rules of competition.
A key issue in a merger analysis is whether
the combination is considered “horizontal” or
“vertical.” Here’s how it works:
Consider a universe where there are just
two automobile manufacturers. Antitrust law
would frown on a so-called horizontal merger
between the two companies, as the combined
entity would wield too much power. Nor could
those carmakers collude with each other to fix
prices. If there are more than two firms in this
universe, then a merger among a subset would
have regulators looking at size and measuring
market concentration. That can be a difficult
exercise, since defining the relevant market is
often complex: All motor vehicles? Passenger
cars only? Do SUVs count?
Now imagine a universe where there are
five automobile manufacturers and just one
tire supplier. If one of the carmakers attempted
to buy the sole tire supplier, this would be a
case of vertical integration, and the key antitrust question would be the prospect of
“market foreclosure,” whereby the other auto
manufacturers might be denied access to
an essential component in what they produce.
But what if there are five car manufacturers
even years ago, Comcast
made a deal with the
U.S. government to win
regulatory blessing for its
$30 billion merger with
NBCUniversal. At the time,
Comcast agreed to various conditions, including
fairly licensing NBCU cable
programming to rivals. In
February, many of those conditions expired. As a result,
the AT&T merger trial will
begin March 19 just as everyone gets to see what happens
when vertical integration
is fully unleashed upon the
media industry.
There’s good reason to
suspect that Comcast
will be careful — at least
at the outset — about
using its newfound powers.
In December, Sen. Richard
Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked
the Justice Department
to conduct a new investigation of the Comcast-NBCU
merger. In a letter to the
DOJ’s antitrust chief Makan
Delrahim, Blumenthal
wrote that “if your investigation determines that the
S
Comcast-NBCU acquisition
will produce anticompetitive
effects, even if the merger
conditions are retained,
you may need to consider
separating Comcast and
NBCU in order to fully restore
competition.”
In other words, it might
never be too late to unwind a
vertical merger.
Some antitrust observers believe that breaking
up an integrated company
is much harder than blocking a merger before the
honeymoon. Other antitrust
experts conclude otherwise, given the difficulty
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts (left) and Jeff Zucker, then president and
CEO of NBCU, at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee in 2010.
and three tire suppliers? Well, then integration could be beneficial because the carmakers
could eliminate markups in prices along
their supply chain and pass the savings on
to consumers, so the possibility of foreclosure may not be great enough to intervene.
Alternatively, a manufacturer who acquired
a tire company could choose to share just a
portion of the savings and keep the rest as
additional profit for itself.
The scenarios go on and on, and it should be
apparent why economists can disagree about
the benefits and harms of consolidation, especially since no one can predict the future in an
era of rapid technological change. AT&T and
Time Warner executives have touted efficiencies and played up digital competition, hitting
one theme pretty hard: The U.S. government
historically hasn’t blocked vertical mergers.
That’s true, but there have been court decisions — a unanimous 1962 Supreme Court
case called Brown Shoe Co. v. United States that
undid a vertical merger — as well as quickly
settled lawsuits, such as the one from the
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
79
of proving prospective
harms and the Justice
Department’s track record
in cases like the breakup of
the Bell System.
At the AT&T merger trial,
expect to hear about what
happened seven years
earlier. “The government’s
lawsuit didn’t point to any
specific problems that developed with Comcast-NBC,”
says BTIG’s Rich Greenfield
in noting a gap the Justice
Department may be forced
to confront. He adds,
“Hopefully, they’ll be consistent in expressing what
harms consumers.” — E.G.
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
government over the Comcast-NBCUniversal
merger in 2011. But even more notable is the
fact that the current players, AT&T and Time
Warner, were involved in two of the most
famous vertical integration proceedings in
American history. “The case does harken
back to the breakup of the original monopoly,
AT&T, which allowed competition in long
distance and other services to develop,” says
Stanford Law School professor Mark Lemley.
And Time Warner famously was swallowed by
AOL in 2000, one of the most disastrous mergers in corporate history.
In fact, Hollywood has a sordid history
with antitrust cases. Thanks to the landmark 1948 Supreme Court decision in United
States v. Paramount Pictures and the consent
decrees that followed, the major entertainment studios were forced to divest themselves
of ownership of movie theaters. In its decision, the high court examined how these giant
producer-distributors had created a bottleneck over motion pictures by fixing admission
prices, maintaining a system of clearances
that controlled what films played, forcing
independent producers into restrictive and
expensive renting arrangements and licensing
movies in bulk to exhibitors who didn’t always
get to see what they were buying.
The decision rewrote the rules of the
entertainment business. It eroded the vice
grip that studios held over talent, contributed
to new distribution practices and drove the
studios to reduce output and eventually focus
on big-budget pictures like Jaws, Star Wars
and today’s Black Panther. Even the high price
of movie theater popcorn can be traced to the
DOJ’s prohibition on studios owning their
own concessions.
Some antitrust observers have taken a
second look at the Paramount Decrees and
have come to surprising reinterpretations.
For instance, Stanford Law School professor
Doug Melamed, who ran the DOJ’s Antitrust
Division during President Clinton’s second
term, is hardly squeamish about enforcement — he helped develop the government’s
theories in the 1990s case that accused
Microsoft of monopolizing personal computer operating systems. Yet now he says, “My
impression is that the Paramount Decrees
were inefficient,” adding that settlements to
resolve problems in one era can amount to
a hindrance on progress in another when the
competitive dynamic changes. “The decrees
are still in effect. When I was in the Justice
Department, one of the things we attempted
to do was to make it easier for firms that
had been subjected to long-lasting decrees to
get them modified.”
In retrospect, the Supreme Court’s 1948
decision also has become curious in the lack
of any mention of television as a then-looming
alternative distribution platform. Indeed, it
was Paramount’s ownership interest in TV stations that helped convince the studio after the
ruling came out to finally give up the fight and
agree to theater divestiture.
Most important, around the time that the
old Hollywood giants were beginning to realize that antitrust laws wouldn’t save them
from new competitors who wished to both
produce and exhibit content, laws and regulations on vertical integration began to shift
thanks to the work of conservative economists
at the University of Chicago and Chicago
Theory legal scholars such as Robert Bork and
Richard Posner. “Prior to the 1970s, the theory
was that if you had big market share, you
could raise prices and transfer that power to
ancillary markets,” says Curt Hessler, a former
media executive who teaches antitrust and
information law at UCLA. “What economists
showed was even if you had that ability, you
wouldn’t use it because it would hurt your
overall profits. The logic swayed many and at
least created enough skepticism to cause
government officials to think hard about
enforcement actions.”
That wave of deregulation began in the
transportation industry during the Nixon
administration, but by 1993 it reached the
media business and resulted in the elimination of FCC rules known as “fin-syn” that
had blocked broadcast networks from owning primetime programming. That cleared
Microsoft’s Bill Gates testified during a Senate
Judiciary Committee hearing in 1998.
the way for mergers between CBS, NBC and
ABC with Paramount, Universal and Disney,
respectively.
So AT&T is correct that the U.S. government
— at least since the early 1980s — hasn’t done
much about vertical mergers. And when the
DOJ has done something, regulators have often
focused less on structural remedies like asset
selloffs and more on extracting behavioral
remedies. For instance, in the Comcast-NBCU
case, the DOJ reached a settlement in which
Comcast agreed to conditions ranging from
relinquishing management rights in Hulu
to assuring that NBCU’s channels would not be
exclusive to Comcast.
But the Trump administration has teased a
new approach. In a speech before the American
Bar Association in November, just days before
the AT&T lawsuit was filed, Delrahim signaled
his opposition to behavioral remedies. “If a
merger is illegal, we should only accept a clean
and complete solution, but if the merger is
legal we should not impose behavioral conditions just because we can do so,” he said.
If this philosophy holds, it will mean a lot
less regulation by negotiation. At the same
WHO’S BIGGEST IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER
In the race for ‘scale,’ a supercharged AT&T would become the largest media company and approach (but not pass) the digital-only behemoths
MARKET CAP
$900B
850
800
750
700
650
600
550
500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
$1B
2017 REVENUE
2017 NET INCOME
If AT&T is allowed to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion,
the entity would be considered the biggest U.S. media company,
but only if purely digital competitors are not counted.
The landscape is set
for more drastic
changes as Disney is
trying to purchase a
large chunk of 21st
Century Fox and CBS is
negotiating a potential
merger with Viacom.
Verizon, a telecommunications
company that dabbles in media, has
promised to do more in the future.
Apple
Google
Amazon
Facebook
AT&T-Time Warner
(combined)
Verizon
Comcast
Walt Disney
Netflix
21st Century
Fox
CBS
Viacom
Source: Company filings. Apple, Disney, Fox and Viacom operate on fiscal years. Viacom and CBS net earnings are from continuing operations.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
80
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
GATES: DOUGLAS GRAHAM/CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY/GETTY IMAGES. BUUILDING: COURTESY OF HBO.
time, the FCC is now removing M&A barriers by lifting certain media ownership caps
and opening the door to telecoms engaging in
online content discrimination via the rollback
of net neutrality rules.
Some legal observers are taking heed of
the dynamic and saying it makes sense then
for the DOJ to block any vertical merger with
so-called “prospective” harm. “This case is
interesting because the government is pushing a more aggressive theory of the problems
with vertical integration,” says Lemley.
“The two key differences between this case
and most others is that first, there isn’t robust
competition in pipelines, and second, consumers want a full range of offered content.
The combination of those two facts means
that vertical integration may give a locally
dominant ISP control over content that no one
can replicate, and therefore prevent competition from a new ISP.”
Of course, not everyone agrees that
addressing prospective harm is the answer in
a fast-changing industry. “If you gather 100
knowledgeable people in the media industry
and ask them to tell us what is going to happen
in the industry, you would get 100 different answers,” says Hessler. “I remember all the
fuss about the AOL-Time Warner merger. I
mention it to my students today, and they say,
‘What’s AOL?’ ”
WHEN THE AT&T–TIME WARNER TRIAL
begins, there’s the possibility of testimony
from Delrahim, a 48-year-old George
Washington University-trained lawyer who
was born in Iran, spent time in private practice
for clients including Comcast and now is
arguably the most influential person for the
future of entertainment who is not actually in
the entertainment industry.
In an unusual move, AT&T lead attorney
Daniel Petrocelli (whose clients have ranged
from Ronald Goldman’s family to Trump) is
seeking to call Delrahim to the witness stand,
though perhaps not for the reason that most
have assumed. With intense focus on Trump
and his unusual relationship with a Justice
Department investigating Russian influence in
the 2016 presidential election, many have suggested that AT&T’s lawyers wish to interrogate
Delrahim about White House interference in
the merger review. Not only has the judge indicated he’s skeptical of that theory, there’s also
a better and more straightforward reason why
AT&T would like to make its star witness the
guy who is spearheading the prosecution.
Delrahim, after all, comes across in his
past writings as a soft Chicago School thinker
— and it’s no accident that AT&T’s main
In Culver City,
HBO Delayed,
and Apple
Pounced
Unsure of its future,
the Time Warner network
opted out of a big move
H
BO’s decision to back out of
its new headquarters had
everything to do with the AT&TTime Warner deal, according
to sources familiar with the real
estate transaction. “With the
merger looming, HBO’s future is
uncertain right now, and this
resulted in them pulling out of the
Culver City deal,” says a source
familiar with the media company.
Last year’s announcement that
HBO would be the sole tenant at
Lincoln Property Co.’s four-story
project was hailed for adding
another big-ticket tenant in a city
A rendering of HBO’s planned headquarters
at Washington and National boulevards.
that has several (Amazon recently
took 280,000 square feet at Culver
Studios). For now, HBO’s West
Coast HQ will remain at Santa
Monica’s Colorado Center, where
its lease expires in 2019.
Once HBO backed out, Apple
“grabbed the building quickly,”
says the source, and is looking to
move in late 2019. It is widely
believed that Apple will house its
original content enterprise there
and expand the company’s Culver
City footprint (the Beats division has been there since 2014).
Located across the street from
Culver City’s Ivy Station, the
Gensler-designed mixed-use
development will include
4,500 square feet of ground-level
retail as well as expansive bicycle
parking. With HBO out, Culver City
vice mayor Thomas Small predicts
that Apple and Amazon will be
facing off for more square footage
in the district’s relatively small
market. — ALEXANDRIA ABRAMIAN
economics expert, Dennis Carlton, now works
at the University of Chicago. Delrahim tends
to favor flexible, contextual analysis instead
of rigid rules and is wary of the government’s
ability to mess around through intervention.
For example, in response to a New York Times
editorial in 2010 that criticized how President
Obama’s Justice Department approved the
merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation,
Delrahim wrote to the editors, “It is simplistic
to argue that ‘antitrust regulation still suffers
from an unwillingness to challenge vertical
integration.’ The antitrust laws, like any other
law, require enforcers to use prosecutorial
discretion, which means not taking bad cases
that will lead to bad precedents and actually hurting enforcement efforts. Although I
am not much of a fan of government intrusion in the conduct of business, the Justice
Department went as far as anyone could have
expected in spurring competition in the ticketing market.”
Although many believe that Trump nudged
the DOJ to block the merger, the popular view
among antitrust insiders is that staffers conducted the analysis and presented the case to
Delrahim, who had only two choices — block
or do nothing — given past criticism that
behavioral remedies amount to a power grab.
Nevertheless, it’s probably AT&T’s view
that Delrahim can make a case for the merger.
And if not, they’ll attempt to impeach him
by questioning why he once told a Canadian
newscaster how the AT&T merger with Time
Warner wasn’t as problematic as other media
combinations.
If Delrahim does reach the witness stand,
there will be plenty of powerful people
in media closely watching, and not just with
AT&T and Time Warner in mind. The DOJ
is still set to review Disney’s proposed
acquisition of the Fox assets — a $52.4 billion horizontal merger that will help Disney
diversify into online streaming, a vertical
play. What’s more, the DOJ could become the
administration’s leading bulwark against
competitive harm given the fervent deregulatory push throughout the rest of government
at the moment.
Although opinions vary on what the outcome of the trial will or should be, practically
everyone agrees that Delrahim’s position on
why this case was justified where others were
a no-go is a mystery. Maybe he’s just a huge
Game of Thrones fan, but Rutgers law professor
Michael Carrier can’t wait to tune in to the
real-life battle for domination. “We as a society
will benefit from a careful look at these issues,”
says Carrier. “Delrahim will have his chance to
explain the theory of the case.”
Prince Frederic von Anhalt, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ninth
and final husband, is a hustler
who bought his bloodline and says he made millions
selling titles to other wannabes.
As he preps the auction of his late wife’s estate,
he opens up about her final days, his dubious past
and why America is the perfect mark
By GARY BAUM
Photographed by ADAM AMENGUAL
he white Rolls-Royce
Corniche convertible was from Budget.
The driver and
bodyguard were two
UCLA students, hired earlier that
day at the Ralphs in Westwood
for $100 apiece. It was October
1982 and Hans Robert Lichtenberg
— who now called himself Prince
Frederic von Anhalt, Duke of
Saxony and Westphalia, Count of
Ascania — was newly arrived
in Los Angeles and ready to party.
His car pulled up to what
his concierge at the Beverly Hilton
had assured him was the soiree
of the evening: a black-tie affair
thrown by writer Sidney Sheldon
at his Maison du Soleil estate
in Holmby Hills. The Sinatras and
the Douglases would be there;
Rosemary Clooney, too.
But as he headed up the steps
in a dark green dress uniform
laden with epaulets and medals,
he encountered a possible
hitch — Sheldon’s wife, actress
Jorja Curtright (Love Is a ManySplendored Thing), stood at the
front door alongside her husband, welcoming invited guests,
which he certainly was not.
T
HOL LY WOOD
ROYA LT Y*
*No actual nobility included
“I wasn’t nervous,” von Anhalt
recalls. “Either it works or it
doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you go home.”
He approached Curtright, mustering his most regal manner.
“Your royal highness,” she said,
“Nice to see you again!”
“She never saw me in her whole
life!” says von Anhalt. “At that
point, Sidney bowed.” The faux
prince had found his perfect
dominion: Hollywood.
← “I needed a door-opener. It was a tool,”
says von Anhalt of his purchased title. He was
photographed Feb. 1 at his Bel Air home.
83
The first guest to approach the
then-39-year-old was Hungarianborn Zsa Zsa Gabor, then 65 and
famous for her own carefully
constructed persona. “We spoke
German, about our love of
Munich,” he says. Then he quickly
fled the party, worried he’d be
found out. “I said I had another
engagement.” She asked where
he was staying and the next day
called for him to visit her Bel
Air mansion. Four years later, he’d
become her ninth husband.
The shameless couple were
the original hateable duo, joyful
villains of the tabloid press. For
20 years, they titillated the ragreading masses with silly glamour
and scandal — like Zsa Zsa’s infamous 1989 slap of a Beverly Hills
cop — long before contemporary
famous-for-being-famous couples
like Heidi Montag and Spencer
Pratt monetized their own narratives through reality television
and social media. It lasted until
Gabor fell ill in the early 2000s,
when the gossip grew darker about
her alleged swindler husband and
his egregious care.
A year and counting since
Gabor died at age 99, von Anhalt,
74, is preparing their Bel Air mansion for a splashy April 14 estate
auction of her belongings — from
her extensive wardrobe of Chanel
and Valentino to the Steinway
piano her third husband, actor
George Sanders, painted gold after
he won best supporting actor for
1950’s All About Eve. Combing
through her things, von Anhalt
reflects on what he considers a
well-lived life, albeit one built on
a brazen history of chicanery. As
what is likely to be his most public
chapter comes to an end, von
Anhalt is finally willing to come
(mostly) clean about his singular
journey, which he views with no
small amount of pride.
Von Anhalt never told Gabor
he hadn’t been invited to the
Sheldons, he says, but he did soon
inform her of his staged theatrics;
he claims that she was delighted
by his audacity. “She felt, if somebody can do that, he can do much,
much more.”
1
ans Robert Lichtenberg
became Prince Frederic
von Anhalt, Duke of
Saxony and Westphalia, Count
of Ascania in 1979, when the
impoverished 81-year-old Princess
Marie-Auguste von Anhalt, daughter-in-law to the final German
kaiser, adopted him in exchange
for a 2,000-mark monthly pension. (She died in 1981.)
The deal was arranged through
Hans Hermann Weyer, a German
broker of nobility titles who
goes by the Count of Yorck and
who at that point had recently
been imprisoned in connection
with the sale of a phony academic credential. Weyer calls
the adoption “the most appalling” out of more than 500 he’s
executed. He says Lichtenberg
“came to my elegant office in a
jogging suit” and that he “owned
a gay sauna with connections to
the red-light district.” But Weyer
is most likely upset because he
still hasn’t received most of his
200,000-mark fee. (“Screw him:
He’s a crooked guy,” responds
von Anhalt.) Von Anhalt isn’t coy
about why he purchased his title.
“I needed a door-opener,” he says.
“It was a tool. This was a business
decision — show business.”
Born in 1943 in the provincial western German village of
Wallhausen to a strict bookkeeper
mother and a distant police
detective father, von Anhalt
concedes that making Gabor his
literal Jewish American Princess
was, among other pleasures,
“payback” against a father who
who was physically abusive
toward him.
H
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
2
1 Von Anhalt with Gabor at their Bel Air home in
1990. On the night they met he had rented a
Rolls-Royce and hired a student to be his driver. 2 For
their 25th anniversary, von Anhalt purchased a
44-foot billboard on Sunset Boulevard. 3 Gabor in
the early 1950s. 4 Surrounding Gabor’s remains
in an urn are her father’s cane and the judge’s gavel
from her 1989 trial for slapping a police officer.
4
Young Lichtenberg first saw his
future at a wealthy cousin’s wedding when he was 12 years old. A
professional cameraman had been
hired to memorialize the event.
While other family members
abashedly retreated, Lichtenberg
rushed forward, hogging the
frame, entranced by the camera’s
ability to turn him into entertainment, a person happily flattened
into a mere personality. “I was the
lead, next to the bride,” he says,
still smiling at the moment. “They
couldn’t get rid of me.” Notes his
younger brother Rolf, a winemaker
in the region: “He always tried
to be the center of attention, and
managed to.”
By his own account, von
Anhalt went on to become a serial
entrepreneur in Germany,
84
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
owning and operating a disco,
steakhouse and multiple saunas
around Dortmund. By the 1970s,
he says, he had settled into the
tony embassy neighborhood of
Munich, where he would engage
in loan-sharking: “Once you have
money, you have lots of brokendown people coming to you,” he
explains. “Somebody wanted
50,000 [Deutsche marks] and you
get 75,000 back. It was under the
table: easy coming, easy going.”
A THR attempt to confirm his
address found that a city phone
directory from 1980-81 shows him
residing in a less exclusive neighborhood, listing him as an “actor”
— a characterization that rankles
him. His talent, he says, is as an
“entertainment personality,” and
he explains the phone book entry
by noting at that time he had a
budding niche hosting live events
at discos. “I have always been able
to talk,” he says.
Meanwhile, German newspapers from that decade chronicle
a series of court proceedings and
reported convictions for assault,
burglary, fraud and theft. One
POOL: PAUL HARRIS/GETTY IMAGES. BILLBOARD: DAVID LIVINGSTON/GETTY IMAGES. VINTAGE: PHOTOFEST.
3
case involved an allegation by von
Anhalt’s insurance company that
he tried to get paid twice for losses
from a fire at one of his saunas.
In another, a 16-year-old boy testified in April 1982 that von Anhalt
paid him to steal a white leather
jacket, six crocodile belts, a walking cane and two shaving brushes
from a department store. Von
Anhalt says he’s guilty merely of
purchasing the teenager’s fenced
goods. Generally when confronted
with evidence of his criminal
record, he waves it away as longago misunderstandings.
With his newly purchased title,
von Anhalt got into the nobility
trade himself. He sold his name,
via brief sham marriages and his
own adoption of five adult sons,
who paid him for the privilege.
He also hawked dozens of knighthoods for between $50,000 and
$100,000. All told, according
to von Anhalt, he made more than
$10 million.
In 1979, von Anhalt became a
real head of state — just not for
a real country. He was named
Prince Regent of the Principality
of Sealand, a micronation established by tax dodgers in 1967 on a
World War II-era anti-aircraft
platform off the coast of England.
His princely duties mostly
included selling diplomatic passports, of which he would take a
cut. Von Anhalt insists this work
was aboveboard, but nevertheless quit after Germany tightened
financial regulations in 1983. “I
didn’t want to get in trouble,” he
explains. Today, the principality’s
website offers its own titles for
sale. A dukeship currently goes
for $734.99.
verything happened
in this room,” von Anhalt
announces in the breakfast annex of his estate, piled high
with yellowing copies of Hello!,
Bild and other publications that
covered his exploits with Gabor.
E
Jolie’s housekeeper called from
Palm Springs, explaining that
Jolie had suffered a heart attack
and Gabor was needed at the
hospital. Her daughter shrugged
and went on with the show.
“By the afternoon, we received
another call,” von Anhalt recalls,
amused. “Everything was fine.”
He’d finally found his ideal life
partner. Their marriage certificate
lists the groom’s paper parents
and the bride’s fictitious age. She’d
lopped off 13 years.
Plenty of jet-setting ensued.
In Manhattan, Gabor invariably
protested over her suite at the
Plaza Hotel. (“That’s when I met
Trump,” who then owned the
property, von Anhalt says; they
became casual acquaintances,
occasionally crossing paths in
Palm Beach, Florida.) On red carpets across the world, she’d swan
with him by her side, yet once
inside, she’d wilt. (“The events
were boring to her.”) There were
more local pleasures, too, like
washing their seven dogs, and
early bird dinners at Nate ’n
Al — where they’d kibitz with
such regulars as Milton Berle and
Larry King.
Marriage meant abiding
Gabor’s flaws, including her tendency to underscore her point in
an argument by throwing plates,
and cleaning up her messes. Rodeo
Drive fashion boutique Giorgio
professional honor was a Special
Golden Globe in 1958 for the
since-discontinued distinction
of Most Glamorous.)
Von Anhalt also consoled his
wife over what remained for
decades her greatest disappointment. She and sisters Eva and
Magda (along with mom, the
Kardashians of their day), had
finally convinced their reluctant
father to move to Los Angeles
from Budapest (he and Jolie had
previously separated), but when
he discovered that she’d converted
from Judaism to Catholicism to
marry Conrad Hilton, he moved
back. “She kept his cane,” he says.
“It was by her bed when she died.”
Von Anhalt has far less affection
toward his parents, who cut him
off. A few years after his departure
from Wallhausen, he returned
to his home on Christmas Eve,
only to have his mother turn him
away at the door. “She said she
didn’t want a fight with my father,”
von Anhalt says. “I didn’t have
enough money to go to a hotel. I
slept on the street for a week. It
was very cold.” His reaction to
the incident was a passion for the
holiday season.
In 1995, when von Anhalt and
Gabor couldn’t travel on their
annual trip to Europe, he surprised her with 30 tons of snow
on their property. “She was crying,” he says, his eyes misting. “I
“I N EU ROPE, T H E Y HOL D YOU AT A DISTA NCE.
[A M E R IC A NS] GI V E YOU A C H A NC E . T H E R E ’S
S O M U C H M O R E B L U F F I N A M E R I C A . ” von Anhalt
As he lovingly flips through their
tabloid journey, he conjures the
day in 1986 when her entourage
determined that the pair would
soon be hitched. “The room
was full of people — her lawyer,
her manager. All of a sudden Phil
Paladino, the press agent, came
to me and said: ‘We’ve decided
you’ll marry on the 14th of August.’
I thought, ‘That’s Hollywood.’ ”
Von Anhalt’s charm offensive
had won over Gabor and her team.
Still, her mother, Jolie, was a holdout. The morning of the wedding,
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
“would send three dresses for
Zsa Zsa to wear for an event. She’d
select one and then on Monday
they’d all go back: ‘Return it, I
don’t like it!’ she’d say. The woman
picking them up would say, ‘Wait
a minute, there’s some makeup
on this dress!’ I’d be left to argue.”
Most of her idiosyncrasies,
however, he simply found endearing, like her awards-show
balloting approach, based on
appearance and camaraderie, not
skill (perhaps unshocking from
an actress whose most notable
85
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
said, ‘If we can’t go to the snow,
the snow has to come to us.’ ”
Another thing he understood
about Gabor was the secret to
staying in his wife’s favor. “Those
other guys,” von Anhalt says of
the eight husbands who preceded
him, “when there was a fight,
they’d leave. Then they’d try to
apologize with a present. I didn’t
do that. We always talked it out
on the spot.” He adds, impishly:
“She loved to fight. She wanted
to show she’s the boss. I always
knew to give in.”
he couple’s power
dynamic inverted when
Gabor’s health began
its long decline after she was
seriously injured in a 2002 car
accident. Soon she’d become
further impaired by a stroke.
Von Anhalt portrays the 14-year
stretch until her death at 99
as one of selfless around-theclock spousal caregiving, an
emotionally depleting journey
unappreciated and misunderstood by all but perhaps the two
nurses who helped care for her
during daytime hours.
Aside from lunches at Caffe
Roma in Beverly Hills and daily
visits to his West Hollywood
gym, he contends he was at his
wife’s side, in a leather office
chair beside the state-of-the-art
hospital bed he’d installed in
the massive master bedroom.
There, day after day, even when
she lost her ability to speak and
could only signal with a point
of her finger or a squeeze of his
hand, they would watch hours
of TMZ (“She still wanted to know
the Hollywood gossip”) and
Days of Our Lives (“So boring, but
she loved it”).
The best entertainment of all,
however, would forever be anything featuring Gabor, whether
a film or talk show appearance.
Von Anhalt, aware of her limited
grasp of technology, enacted
again and again what he felt to
be one of his sweetest cons. He’d
play a tape from her personal
video archive and pretend he’d
discovered it by flipping through
channels: “‘Jesus! They’re still
showing it!’ Lili. Moulin Rouge.
Phil Donahue. She’d smile.”
Gabor’s sole child, Francesca
Hilton, a troubled actress/photographer/comedienne whom
her mother financially supported, was von Anhalt’s most
persistent critic. She took any
opportunity to lance him as
a foolish liar. (When the Berlin
Wall fell, she goosed him about
whether the family could now
tour his long-claimed East
German castles, forcing him to
concede he’d embellished.) She
T
2
1
1 A golden piano painted by Gabor’s third husband, George Sanders, could go for $10,000 to
$15,000 at auction. 2 Donald Trump, Gabor (center) and Ivana Trump at the 1988 Miss America
competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 3 Von Anhalt in the master bedroom of their Bel Air
home, where an estate sale will be held April 14. The pillow reads: Royal Pain-In-The-Ass. 4 Von
Anhalt with Gabor at a Beverly Hills doctor’s office in January 2010.
also relentlessly, openly challenged his sexuality, even working
it into the stand-up routine
she sometimes performed at The
Comedy Store: “My mother, Zsa
Zsa Gabor, always wanted to be a
princess, so she married a queen.”
Von Anhalt has long had a
reputation in West Hollywood
for his purported cruising. “Ask
any queen at his gym in those
showers or at the ‘gay Starbucks’
on Santa Monica Boulevard,” says
local interior designer Bobby
Trendy, a von Anhalt acquaintance who still finds it laughable
that von Anhalt once announced
at a press conference that he
might’ve sired the daughter of
the late queer glamour icon Anna
Nicole Smith, a close friend
of Trendy’s. This wasn’t the
first time von Anhalt appears
to have attempted to burnish
his hetero credentials by telling
the press he’d impregnated a sex
symbol: In 1986, he said he slept
with Csilla Molnar, a former Miss
Hungary, who died of a lidocaine
overdose soon after winning the
crown. Von Anhalt claimed it
was because he refused to marry
her. (He has no biological children but tells THR he intends to
soon offer $1 million to a woman
willing to produce his heir.)
While von Anhalt will offer an
unsolicited anecdote about how
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Merv Griffin, then married to
Eva Gabor, once made a fruitless
pass at him when they were alone
at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes
(“He said, ‘It doesn’t cost anything to try!’ ”) and will eagerly
show off a pair of underwear
Matt Damon gifted him from the
2013 HBO Liberace biopic Behind
the Candelabra — which shot
at the house while Zsa Zsa Gabor
was confined in ill health down
the hall — he refuses to directly
engage on the subject.
“I never talk about my sexual
life,” he says. “For 35 years, I’ve
been going to that gym in West
Hollywood. I get along with
everybody. I do my stuff. I go to the
sauna. Things happen. Who cares?
I don’t.” Still, he adds pointedly
of Gabor, “my wife was woman
enough to know what her husband
was doing and, believe me, she
wouldn’t have accepted a gay guy
in her bed.”
When her mother became frail,
Hilton’s disapproval of von Anhalt
grew over what she contended
were Gabor’s missed mortgage
payments, conspicuous isolation
and unacceptable sedation. He
chalks up the dissent to jealousy
and insists that his actions, often
viewed as self-serving stunts,
were meant as upbeat and affirming. He points, for instance,
to the headline-grabbing 25th
86
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
4
anniversary billboard he paid
$68,000 for on Sunset Boulevard,
which featured Gabor in a tiara
and him in House of Saxony finery. “Wasn’t that the best present
you could give somebody who’s
stuck in bed?” he plaintively asks.
“I knew she loved billboards.
I knew she’d see it on television.
Then, there it is: ‘You’re back
in the game.’ She never saw something like that. She giggled.” He
shakes his head at his thoughtfulness being so unappreciated.
“There was no reason to badmouth me for it.”
Hilton had other concerns, too,
most notably that Gabor required
a leg amputation as a result of
an infection that’d grown from an
inch to a foot in length due to,
Hilton believed, negligence. “Who
gets gangrene in Bel Air in the
millennium, anyway?” says Ed
Lozzi, Hilton’s then-publicist. A
high-profile battle resulted in a
WHEELCHAIR: SPLASH NEWS/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO. TRUMP: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC.
3
court-appointed conservatorship
of Gabor. Hilton died of a heart
attack in 2015 at age 67, months
after the legal saga ended. “It was
brought on by total stress,” says
Lozzi. “Francesca was a mess
toward the end. I believe there’s
nobody else more responsible for
her death than [von Anhalt].”
Gabor would never know that
her daughter predeceased her.
“I didn’t want to upset my wife,
because she loved Francesca,”
says von Anhalt. “She would have
gone out right away, exactly like
[her friend] Debbie Reynolds,”
who passed away a day after she
learned of the death of her own
daughter, Carrie Fisher. “When I
heard about Debbie, I was almost
in tears. I thought, ‘I did the right
thing not telling Zsa Zsa.’ ”
Hilton was hardly von Anhalt’s
only critic. Richard Heard, a
close pal of Gabor’s since the early
1980s who attested he regularly
spoke to her several times a day,
asserted in an affidavit that not
only did von Anhalt misappropriate her finances but “Frederic
disconnected or removed” Gabor’s
private and household phone lines
that “served as her only method
of communication with her friends
and the outside world.”
Heard’s affidavit, from Hilton’s
conservatorship case, also recalls
a scene from the mid-1990s, when
Gabor was said to have finally been
made aware of a decade-old New
York Post article published on the
eve of their wedding that referred
to her husband as “king of the
con men,” outlined his criminal
record and questioned his lineage.
By Heard’s recollection, Gabor
cried when she read it, then confronted her husband “in a rage I
had never seen before.”
Von Anhalt asserts that it’s
absurd to suggest that the presssavvy Gabor, with her phalanx of
Hollywood courtiers, wouldn’t
have been made aware of the Post
story at the time of publication.
“We’d been together for several
years before we were married,” he
reasons. “She knew about everything: She read the papers. She
got a thousand calls about me. I
was bad-mouthed left and right. I
remember once, she said into the
phone: ‘Well, he didn’t kill anyone, did he?’ That was it! End of
conversation.”
is body clock still on the
caregiving night shift,
von Anhalt remains
nocturnal, walking the streets of
Bel Air past midnight, planning
his next act: a second quixotic run
for California governor, following
a 2010 bid, that was cut short by
Gabor’s ill health. His Caffe Roma
buddy and fellow emigre Arnold
H
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Schwarzenegger inspired him.
A Trump fan, von Anhalt intends
to run as an independent under
the slogan “Make America Livable
Again” on a staunchly pro-development platform that he expects
will trickle down to the exploding
homeless population.
Returning to the giant house in
the small hours, he’ll head to his
computer, scrolling through clips
of his wife on YouTube. “If I watch
one, I have to watch 10,” he says.
“It holds me for hours. The time
goes fast.” He’s looking forward to
the slick new Century City condo
tower he soon expects to downsize
into after the “headache” of so
many years in the Bel Air property
(“I want to live with one key”). To
that end, he’s putting hundreds of
Gabor’s items up for auction, more
than 400 at last count, many of
which are on display in the home
in preparation for visiting bidders.
“I feel guilty that I’m giving away
too much,” he says. “I still see [her
possessions] each day when I go
about the house. They taunt me.”
Mainly, though, he’s wrestling
with what won’t be on offer,
the “private stuff,” hundreds of
videotapes (his wife on, say, safari
with her sixth husband, Mattel
executive Jack Ryan) and correspondence (a lustful letter from
Richard Nixon). “I take my time
[going through them], I do it slow,”
87
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
he says. “I don’t know if I should
throw it away, if I should keep it. I
always put it back in the drawers.
It’s awful.”
Some take a jaundiced view
of the von Anhalt-Gabor union. “I
think it was an arrangement of
mutual convenience,” says James
M. Pembroke, the former head of
security for Gabor, who lived on
her property when she began seeing von Anhalt. “She knew he was
gay. Everyone around them knew it
was a joke, that he wasn’t a prince.
But she was also difficult and just
happy, at that age, to find someone
who would be with her, who she
could use as a prop.”
Others interpret the same
perceived truths with more sympathy. “I’ve often said that if my
husband were to predecease me,
I’d probably marry a wonderful gay
friend who I could cuddle with,
watch movies, talk and ‘you do
your thing and I’ll do mine,’ ” reasons actress Ruta Lee, who visited
Gabor regularly in her final years
with mutual friend Alex Trebek. “I
can’t help but think that was Zsa
Zsa’s plot. She found a handsome
man who adored her, and I think
took extremely good care of her in
the end.”
At their wedding, after they
exchanged vows, Gabor addressed
the couple’s detractors, perhaps
some even in the room, in a
speech: “I don’t give a damn and
he doesn’t give a damn about
what people say.”
Von Anhalt still doesn’t give a
damn about what people say.
“We really loved each other,” he
says. “Yeah, we made noise. That’s
what people do. It comes with
the business.” He doesn’t specify
whether he means the business
of Hollywood or of marriage.
Unambiguous is his appreciation
for the country that enabled his
particular brand of entrepreneurship. “Here you can blindfold with
money, with looks, with power,”
says von Anhalt. “People fall for it.
In Europe, they hold you at a distance. In America, they give you a
chance, they take you for what you
are. There’s so much more bluff
in America.”
Reviews
Film
A Wrinkle in Time
ATSUSHI NISHIJIMA/DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.
Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of the classic children’s
novel is a disappointment: uninvolving,
visually disjointed and erratically acted By Todd McCarthy
Only the faintest glimmers of emotion
pierce through the layers of intense calculation
that encumber Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in
Time. Disney’s lavish adaptation of Madeleine
L’Engle’s fantastical 1962 book about a girl’s
journey through multiple dimensions to find
her missing father may provide enough
distractions to keep kids in the lowest doubledigits age range interested. All the same,
DuVernay’s first big-budget studio extravaganza after breaking through with Selma
and the great documentary 13th feels cobbled
together with many diverse parts, rather than
coalesced into an engaging whole. The film
fails to charm or disarm.
Thirteen-year-old Meg (Storm Reid) has
a black mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a white
father (Chris Pine) — a scientist who’s been
missing for four years — and a 6-year-old
adopted brother, Charles Wallace (Deric
McCabe). Then there’s the trio of otherworldly
overseers (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon,
Mindy Kaling), who facilitate Meg’s intergalactic search for her dad and utter endless
self-esteem-raising platitudes like “You can
do this!” and “You are a warrior!”
Despite the attentions of cute would-be
boyfriend Calvin (Levi Miller), Meg just hasn’t
been the same since Dad disappeared. When
the three women — Mrs. Which (Winfrey),
Mrs. Whatsit (Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who
↑ Winfrey (left) is an otherworldly mentor who helps
Reid find her father and her own inner heroine.
(Kaling) — suddenly materialize, Meg is
enlightened about the existence of something
called the tesser, a warp in time and space
that might enable her to find her father on the
other side, where he’s suspected to be trapped.
Charles Wallace and Calvin are not about
to be left behind, and so the journey begins.
The challenging events facing the
intergalactic explorers, both stemming from
the book and dreamed up by screenwriters Jennifer Lee (Frozen) and Jeff Stockwell
(Bridge to Terabithia), feel rote, random rather
than organic and, in the end, uninteresting.
Meanwhile, the three “Mrs.” characters, who
change makeup and wardrobe styles incessantly, are unequally balanced: Witherspoon
has far more dialogue and screentime than
the others and becomes annoyingly overbearing; Winfrey kind of floats through much of
it making banal pronouncements; and Kaling
has unfairly little to say or do.
The film is most tolerable when it remains
centered on the three kids. Meg is appealing
because you know that behind her reticence
lies a smart, resourceful girl who will one
day be able to fully assert herself without having to be told every five minutes that “you
just have to have faith in who you are.” Calvin
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
89
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
remains too blandly “nice” to be a compelling character but fills the bill as eye candy for
younger teen girls, while Charles Wallace is,
by the film’s modest standards, something of
a hoot as the preternaturally sharpest kid in
the neighborhood, be it on Earth or elsewhere.
As the film jumps from one unidentified
world to another, there are certainly sights to
behold — a flying dragon, weird and gorgeous
landscapes, an encounter with a rather unamusing character played by Zach Galifianakis
— but after impressing so with her earlier
work, what’s disconcerting here is DuVernay’s
inability to forge a strong or supple visual
style. Most scenes are dominated by too much
cutting between shots that bear no spatial
relationship to one another, to the point where
the compositions look arbitrary; it all seems
manufactured rather than crafted, with several scenes over-edited to indifferent effect.
As a result, one’s engagement with the likable-enough characters starts flagging in the
final third as the air escapes the balloon. On
top of that, the bromides about the primacy of
family and being true to yourself are signaled,
but not earned.
OPENS Friday, March 9 (Disney)
CAST Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling,
Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
DIRECTOR Ava DuVernay
Rated PG, 110 minutes
Reviews
Television
Rise
NBC’s series about
a high school theater
program eventually
finds its groove, despite
an off-putting lead
turn By Daniel J. Fienberg
NBC has been aggressively
pitching its new musical drama
Rise as the love child of Friday
Night Lights and Glee. There’s
some truth in that advertising,
but the show takes its sweet
time getting its act together.
All 10 season-one episodes
were made available to critics,
and by the end, Rise feels very
close to the series it clearly
aspires to be. Arriving there,
however, requires weathering at least a half-season of
choppy pacing, unconvincing
character introductions and
an unlikable ostensible hero.
Rise has been adapted by
Jason Katims (Friday Night
Lights) from Michael Sokolove’s
book Drama High, focusing on
the intrepid theater director at
a struggling high school in a
run-down Pennsylvania steel
town. Josh Radnor plays that
man, Lou Mazzuchelli, initially
an uninspired English teacher
failing to get his students to
connect with Steinbeck. For
reasons the show struggles to
articulate, and with no qualifications at all, Lou walks into
the principal’s office one day
and asks to be put in charge of
the theater department, even
though the department
is already being run by Tracy
Wolfe (a solid Rosie Perez).
Tracy’s sin is that she’s a
bit of a hack, comfortable
directing the same old musicals with the same old leads
(Amy Forsyth’s Gwen and
Ted Sutherland’s Simon). By
agreeing to work for less than
Tracy — and without bothering to consult his wife, Gail
(Marley Shelton) — Lou gets
the job and scraps Grease for
Spring Awakening. He also
bumps Gwen and Simon
down to supporting parts in
favor of Lilette Suarez (Auli’i
Cravalho), a girl from the
wrong side of the tracks,
and Robbie Thorne (Damon
J. Gillespie), whose status
as quarterback of the football team puts Lou in the
crosshairs of Coach Strickland
(Joe Tippett).
That’s before anybody starts
noticing that the text of Spring
Awakening is mighty mature —
but not before “Mr. Mazzu”
makes sure students and audience alike get just how neatly
Spring Awakening’s themes
of youthful rebellion and liberation tie into the themes of
the series.
Directed by Mike Cahill,
the pilot is a mess, around
AIRDATE 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 13 (NBC)
CAST Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez,
Auli’i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie
CREATOR Jason Katims
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
five episodes’ worth of plot
crammed into 42 badly edited
minutes that are also devoid
of narrative logic. Lou is
the protagonist, but strangely,
the pilot portrays him as a
villain: He steals a qualified
woman’s job, is neglectful
of his meek wife and troubled
son (Casey Johnson), and is
generally sanctimonious and
insufferable.
The role forces Radnor into
a performance that often plays
like the most self-serious
version of his How I Met Your
Mother character, but without the humor or ego-deflating
sidekicks. (The “straightwashing” of Lou, who comes
out of the closet in the source
material, is a concern —
but not an onscreen problem
like his obnoxiousness.)
Presumably, the series intends
for us to see Lou as a flawed
but dedicated figure — someone we’ll want to see grow and
90
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Radnor
(left) is a
theater
teacher
desperate
to inspire
his
students.
change. Instead, the show is
at its strongest when everybody
is angry at Lou.
Radnor aside, most of the
core cast is quite good, starting
with remarkable Moana star
Cravalho, whose personality
and charisma mesh nicely
with Gillespie’s much quieter
charm, decency and earnestness. As the season proceeds
and the writing and narrative
clarity improve, the ensemble
responds with attentiongrabbing performances; aside
from Tippett, Sutherland
and Johnson, Ellie Desautels
and Sean Grandillo also
impress as two key Spring
Awakening castmembers.
By the last few episodes, Rise
is offering some of the warmth,
cathartic tears and stirring
swells of inspiration that the
genre demands. There’s just
a lot of wanting to strangle Mr.
Mazzu that comes before you
get to all that good stuff.
NOTICE OF SALE AND DISPOSITION OF COLLATERAL
THR’S SOCIAL CLIMBERS
A ranking of the week’s top actors, comedians
and personalities based on social media engagement
across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more
This
Week
1
←
→ I
Last
Week
1
I
Millie Bobby Brown
All five — yes, all five —
of the top five posts by an
actor in the Feb. 21 to 27
tracking week came from
Brown, including an
Instagram post from the
BRIT Awards and a photo
showing off her appearance in Calvin Klein’s
newest global campaign.
RISE: PETER KRAMER/NBC. BROWN: JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES. NOAH: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. JORDAN: JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES FOR MARVEL. TAPPER: TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC.
This
Week
Actors
2
↑ I
5
I
Dwayne Johnson
3
↓ I
2
I
Will Smith
4
↑ I
-
I
Jennifer Lopez
5
↓ I
3
I
Kevin Hart
6
↑ I
16
I
Priyanka Chopra
7
↑ I
8
I
Dove Cameron
8
↑ I
9
I
Michael B. Jordan
The Black Panther actor’s
tweet responding to a
user who called him an
“adult man that loves anime
and lives with his parents”
was favorited 747,000
times, more than 300,000
above the closest tweet
by an actor, comedian or
TV personality.
Last
Week
Comedians
1
←
→ I
1
I
Kevin Hart
2
↑ I
3
I
D.L. Hughley
3
↑ I
7
I
Tommy Chong
4
↑ I
9
I
Tiffany Haddish
5
←
→ I
5
I
Joe Rogan
6
↑ I
-
I
Trevor Noah
Noah leaps back on the
chart with a 487 percent
boost in Facebook post
likes to 65,000 overall. The
Daily Show host promoted
an upcoming stand-up set
in Rochester, New York, and
reposted a photo he took
with the “radiant and regal”
actress Lupita Nyong’o.
7
↑ I
8
I
Marlon Wayans
8
↑ I
-
I
Bill Maher
9
↑ I
10
I
Colleen Ballinger
10
↑ I
-
I
Mike Epps
This
Week
1
↑ I
Last
Week
6
Dated: February 15, 2018
RUFUS-ISAACS, ACLAND & GRANTHAM, LLP
By: /s/ Alexander-Rufus Isaacs
Alexander Rufus-Isaacs, Attorneys for the Secured Party, Ariel Film Partners I, LLC
TV Personalities
I
Jake Tapper
Tapper reclaims the No. 1
spot with a 34 percent
bump in Twitter mentions. The CNN host lead
the network’s follow-up
coverage of the Feb. 14
Parkland, Florida, high
school shooting, including moderating the town
hall on gun violence.
9
↑ I
12
I
Chadwick Boseman
10
↑ I
11
I
Lupita Nyong’o
11
↓ I
6
I
Finn Wolfhard
12
↑ I
17
I
Shay Mitchell
13
↓ I
4
I
Zendaya
2
←
→ I
2
I
Chelsea Handler
14
↑ I
-
I
Cara Delevingne
3
↑ I
4
I
Tyra Banks
15
↑ I
-
I
Nina Dobrev
4
↑ I
-
I
Trevor Noah
16
↑ I
18
I
Gaten Matarazzo
5
↑ I
8
I
Bill Maher
17
↑ I
21
I
Lily Collins
6
↑ I
7
I
Chris Hayes
18
↑ I
-
I
Reese Witherspoon
7
↑ I
10
I
Hoda Kotb
19
↑ I
25
I
Deepika Padukone
8
↑ I
9
I
Gordon Ramsay
20
↑ I
-
I
Sabrina Carpenter
9
↑ I
-
I
Stephen Colbert
21
↓ I
15
I
Robert Downey Jr.
10
↓ I
1
I
Joanna Gaines
22
↑ I
-
I
Zac Efron
23
↑ I
-
I
Lucy Hale
24
↑ I
-
I
K.J. Apa
25
↑ I
-
I
Gal Gadot
Data Compiled By
Source: The week’s most active and talked-about entertainers on leading
social networking sites Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter and
YouTube for the week ending date Feb. 27. Rankings are based on a formula
blending weekly additions of fans as well as cumulative weekly reactions
and conversations, as tracked by MVP Index.
91
This Notice of Sale and Disposition of Collateral (“Notice”) is given pursuant to the California
Uniform Commercial Code and other applicable law, if any (“UCC”); On April 6, 2018 at at 2:00 p.m.
PDT at the offices of Rufus-Isaacs, Acland & Grantham, LLP, 232 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
90210, Ariel Film Partners, LLC (“Secured Party”) or its designee/assignee will offer at public sale
for auction to the highest bidder the Collateral (as defined in the Security Agreement and Mortgage of
Copyright dated as of July 27, 2015 between the Secured Party and the Debtor, in which the Secured
Party has a security interest), including but not limited to all right, title and interest of the Secured Party
in and to all the collateral comprising, among other things, the motion picture entitled “Yoga Hosers” (the
“Collateral”), subject to the terms of this Notice. The sale will be subject to the liens on the Collateral
of SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America, West, to which the
Secured Party’s lien is subordinated.
Pursuant to a Security Agreement and Mortgage of Copyright dated as of July 27, 2015 between the
Secured Party and the Debtor (“Security Agreement”), the Debtor granted a security interest in the
Collateral to the Secured Party to secure the Debtor’s obligations under a Loan Agreement dated as of
July 27, 2015 between the Secured Party and the Debtor (“Loan Agreement”).
The Debtor is obligated to the Secured Party under the Security Agreement and the Loan Agreement
for payment of principal, interest, costs, fees and related items.
The Secured Party will accept bids on the Collateral upon the following terms and conditions:
1. All parties that intend to bid at the public auction sale must pre-qualify by providing to the Secured
Party a cash deposit or a letter of credit in the amount of $10,000 that is received by the Secured Party
on or before 5:00 p.m. PST on April 5, 2018. The form of the letter of credit must be acceptable to the
Secured Party and its counsel in their sole discretion. The cash deposit and/or letter of credit of the nonsuccessful bidders will be refunded and/or returned to such non-successful bidders. The cash deposit
or letter of credit of the successful bidder will be retained by the Secured Party and applied against the
successful bid, or in the event that the successful bidder fails to complete the sale, shall be forfeited to the
Secured Party.
2. The Secured Party reserves the right to postpone or renotice the time, date and/or place of the
sale. The Secured Party reserves the right to sell the Collateral in lots, bulk or as individual items. If
competing offers with different terms and conditions are submitted, the Secured Party reserves the right
to determine which offer shall be accepted, and its decision in this matter shall be final.
3. The Secured Party shall not be obligated to make any sale pursuant to this Notice, and reserves the
right to reject any and all offers at its sole discretion for any reason whatsoever.
4. The sale of the Collateral shall be made without warranties or representations of any kind by the
Secured Party, including, without limitation, any warranties or representations as to title, fitness for a
particular purpose, or any warranties or representations as to title, fitness for a particular purpose, or any
other facts or matters and shall be made on an “as is where is” basis.
5. The Secured Party reserves the right to bid at the sale or any continuation or adjournment thereof.
6. The sale will not be complete until the successful bidder delivers to the Secured Party or its counsel
cash, certified check or immediately available funds in the full amount of the successful bid. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Secured Party may, but shall not be required to, allow the successful bidder up
to two (2) business days to deliver the full payment as set forth above. In case the successful bidder fails
to complete the purchase within the time allowed, the Collateral may thereupon again be offered for sale
without further publication or notice. In the event of a failure to complete the purchase, the bidder will
not be relieved of liability to complete the purchase and the bidder’s deposit will not be refunded.
7. The above terms and conditions of sale may be supplemented or amended by the Secured Party at
any time prior to the sale.
For information regarding the sale, please contact Alexander Rufus-Isaacs of Rufus-Isaacs, Acland
& Grantham, LLP, counsel for the Secured Party, at 232 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210;
telephone number (310) 274-3803; facsimile number (310) 860-2430; e-mail aisaacs@rufuslaw.com.
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Backlot
Innovators, Events, Honors
Asia
Spotlight
N
↑ From left: India’s Secret Superstar has taken in $118 million
orth America remains the world’s
in China; Bad Genius, from Thailand, made $41 million; and the
largest box-office territory, but for for- Spanish crime thriller Contratiempo grossed $26 million.
eign-language films produced outside
of Hollywood, China can already offer vastly
Genius, a thriller about a high school girl who
more market potential for the right lucky title. devises a scheme to cheat on exams, totaled
The highest-earning foreign-language
$41 million last year, while Spanish thriller
release in North America last year
Contratiempo earned $26 million.
was Bollywood epic Baahubali 2: The
“There’s a growing demand for
Hong Kong
Film Festival
Conclusion, which brought in a subdiversity in the market in terms of
March 19 to
stantial $20.2 million. That, however,
genres, stories and styles,” says James
April 5
was just a fraction of the $193 million
Li, co-founder of Beijing-based film
Filmart
earned by Indian sports drama Dangal
industry market research firm Fanink.
at the Chinese box office in 2017.
“The Chinese audience has grown
March 19 to 22
Hong Kong
Produced by and starring Bollywood
up watching about half of their movConvention
Center
superstar Aamir Khan, Dangal struck
ies subtitled or dubbed — thanks to
Hollywood — so there is potential here
a surprising chord with the Chinese
for foreign-language films that never existed
audience, smashing every local record for
in North America.”
an imported non-Hollywood film. Khan was
Chinese buyers have responded on cue. At
quick to repeat the feat with his follow-up,
the Hong Kong Filmart, Asian and European
Secret Superstar. Another family drama —
genre fare with China-friendly themes is
this time about a rural Indian girl who dreams
expected to be the subject of keen interest and
of becoming a singer — Superstar has taken in
occasional bidding wars.
$118 million since Jan. 19, making it the biggest
The increased box-office potential has
imported film of the year in China, thus far
already created an opportunity for movies that
beating top Hollywood titles Jumanji: Welcome
traditionally would have had zero theatrical
to the Jungle ($77.9 million) and Star Wars: The
prospects outside their home country. Chinese
Last Jedi ($42.6 million).
theatrical rights to Spanish basketball film
And it’s not just Bollywood finding a footChampions were scooped up at Berlin’s recent
hold at the Chinese multiplex. Thailand’s Bad
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
92
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
European Film Market by Beijing-based Joy
Pictures, and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, a satirical Bollywood comedy, is said to have sold to
another Chinese company. China’s Bona Film
Group, meanwhile, picked up forthcoming
Belgian animation film The Queen’s Corgi in a
low-seven-figure deal in Berlin.
“Movies like Dangal showed us that certain
special cases can do really, really well,” says Li.
“The next step is for this to become a sustainable business model for more than just the
lucky few.”
NO LANGUAGE BARRIERS
AT CHINA BOX OFFICE
Top three 2017 releases in N. America, China
0
$10M
$20M
$30M
$40M
$50M $200M
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion India
$20M
Wolf Warrior 2 China
$2.7M
Foreign-Language
Releases in
North America
Non-Hollywood Foreign
Releases in China
The Salesman Iran
$2.4M
$193M
Dangal India
Bad Genius Thailand
$41M
Contratiempo Spain
$26M
Source: Box Office Mojo
GENIUS: COURTESY OF GDH 559/JORKWANG FILMS. SECRET: COURTESY OF AAMIR KHAN PRODUCTIONS. CONTRATIEMPO: COURTESY OF FILM FACTORY ENTERTAINMENT.
Why Foreign-Language Releases Are Thriving
in China Recent movies from India, Thailand and Europe
have struck gold in the Middle Kingdom By Patrick Brzeski
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SILICON VALLEY
Continued from page 75
Don’t expect to see issues of that
sort explored onscreen, however.
Though instances of harassment
and discrimination have surfaced
all over the tech industry, there
will not be storylines drawn from,
say, the various scandals at Uber
or Ellen Pao’s lawsuit against
Kleiner Perkins. “We certainly
aren’t like, ‘Oh, let’s not talk about
that,’ ” says Berg. “We talk about
it all the time. The lack of hitting it head-on just comes down
to the fact that we haven’t done a
great job of finding the definitive
satirical take on it.” So, for the
time being, the show will stick
to poking fun at the Valley’s
insidious bro culture — though
even that, which once felt forward-thinking, could seem out of
sync with the current moment, as
Judge was reminded at February’s
Directors Guild Awards.
“There I was losing at the DGAs,
and Amy Schumer makes this
long speech about how [there
are,] I don’t know, too many white
males and all that, and saying
that every show should be 50 percent people of color,” he says,
with a trace of exasperation in his
voice as he continues: “Well, if
you’re doing a movie about Nazi
Germany, you can’t do that. And if
you’re doing a TV show about tech
that’s satire, you can’t do it.” Judge
has made his case before: If you’re
going to make fun of this world
and the way it is, you have to show
the way it is. “I don’t think you do
any service by pretending [Silicon
Valley] is half female or half black,”
he adds. “And not to pin bouquets
on ourselves here, but I think we
brought some attention to the gender imbalance by doing this show.”
W
hile a vocal corner of
the internet, like much
of the entertainment
press, has focused on the saga of
Miller, Berg has been kept up at
night by a more vexing challenge
that the series was able to stave
off until now.
That challenge, he says, is success — or the lack of it. To him,
the appeal of Silicon Valley has long
rested on the writers’ ability to
conjure up ever more creative ways
for the Pied Piper gang to snatch
defeat from the jaws of victory.
In fact, Berg has often said in
interviews that the show ceases to
be compelling once the Bad News
Bears, as he describes Richard and
Co., have won. Judge isn’t quite
so hyperbolic, though he echoes
Berg's concerns. “It’s that fine
line of if they become super successful and they’re just rich and
it’s happily-ever-after, it’s not as
interesting or fun to watch,” he
says. “But if they keep failing, at
some point you’re going to go,
‘OK, screw these guys. I’m tired of
watching them screw up.’ ”
So, despite some misgivings,
the start of season five will
find Pied Piper flush with cash,
moving into big-league office
space and hiring aggressively
— the gang's first extended
experience with success since
the series debuted. The actors,
who share none of their boss’ reservations about their change in
fortune, are excited to play something other than losers for once.
to host tech award shows, appear
at product launches and, in a few
cases, invest in startups themselves (see page 74).
Plenty of doors in Hollywood
have opened as a result of
the show’s success, too — not
that you’d know it if you caught
the actors on set. (Between
scenes, the group can usually be
found playing Xbox in a grungy
lounge, which they’ve facetiously dubbed “the bone zone.”)
Nanjiani credits the HBO comedy for giving him the clout
to produce his Oscar-nominated
screenplay, and Middleditch
describes the series’ impact as
transformative. “Marvel’s not
knocking on my door to be SpiderMan or anything,” he says, “but
it literally went from the world of
aspiration to the world of tactical
selecting of projects.” He’s now
the face of Verizon’s ubiquitous
ad campaign and has been busy
lining up film roles during the
show’s hiatuses. (That at least a
“THESE CHARACTERS
ARE NOT MADE FOR SUCCESS.
WE’RE LOSERS.”NANJIANI
“Alec seems to think that if they
ever get their money, the magic of
being the underdog is gone,” says
Middleditch over coffee on his day
off, “but I think there’s plenty of
drama in there — it’s just a different kind of drama.”
Fortunately, a byproduct of
the series’ popularity among
the tech crowd is a deep well of
experts to ensure the verisimilitude of this phase and every
other in the startup life cycle.
Among those in the show’s
Rolodex: former Twitter CEO Dick
Costolo, who did a stint in the
writers room, and V.C. heavyweight Marc Andreessen, who’s
been known to send story ideas,
as well as bold-faced names like
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
(a Berg classmate from Harvard),
LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and Yelp
co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman.
The producers regularly take trips
to the Valley, too, where they’ve
been welcomed into the offices of
Dropbox, Quora and Google; and
the actors, who had varying levels
of industry knowledge coming
into the show, have been invited
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
few of them have been as a
romantic lead still tickles the
gangly actor, who jokes: “I’m
always like, ‘Who wants to see
me, this bird human, fall in
love?’ ”) Even Miller praises
Silicon Valley for jump-starting
his career.
The producers have found
themselves in heavier demand
as well, with Judge weighing
a few other opportunities and
Berg already splitting his time
between Silicon Valley and another
promising HBO comedy, Barry,
about a hitman (Bill Hader) who
wants to be an actor. With some
sheepishness, both men acknowledge that they’ve tried to pass on,
or at least share, showrunning
duties with members of their writing staff for a couple of seasons
now, but it hasn’t taken hold. “Part
of it is selfishness because I’m
like, ‘Wait, no, I don’t want somebody else to do it,’ ” says Berg.
“And part of it is that I came onto
this show as a writer, and creating a machine that runs without
you in the room is not something I’ve ever learned how to do.”
94
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
Staying put has forced the
pair to adapt to the everchanging technology industry
and how it collides with the
real world. “When we started,
the vibe was very much like,
‘We cracked the code — you’re
welcome, world,’ ” says Berg,
who with his writers got plenty
of narrative mileage out of
Silicon Valley’s “we’re not businesspeople, we’re altruists”
mind-set. But now, he surmises,
“the tech business as a whole is
starting to realize there’s a darker
side to what they’ve created,
and they have to be accountable.”
He rattles off examples including
“the realization that Twitterbots
may have shattered a fundamental pillar of our democracy,”
“smart-home devices may or
may not be listening into everything we’re saying,” and
“antitrust clouds are looming
over Google and Facebook.” What
this all means for Pied Piper is
something that he and Judge have
challenged themselves and their
staff to think about carefully.
Ultimately, Berg seems satisfied
with the new direction. “Our
protagonists are dreamers,” he
says, “and instead of dreaming
of monetary success, there’s actually starting to be a morality
to what they’re fighting for — in
a silly way, they’re actually trying
to save the world.”
When Silicon Valley returns
March 25, those dreamers will be
joined by a handful of new characters, including at least a partial
robot, and noticeably more of
Jian Yang, who’s poised to benefit most from Erlich’s exit. And
while the latter’s absence will
inevitably be felt, in part because
his elusive whereabouts are
played for comedy throughout the
season premiere, Judge insists
the show will go on, as it did years
earlier when they lost another
fan favorite, Peter Gregory, after
Welch’s untimely death from
cancer. “There is no question that
T.J. is really funny and that Erlich
was really funny,” says Judge.
“But I think there was only one
time in the room where it was
like, ‘Oh, that would’ve been a
good thing for Erlich.’ There have
been way more times where I’ve
said, ‘I wish we had Chris Evan
Welch back.’ ”
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*1 including prospective deals *2 overseas buyers
Booth at FILMART : JAPAN BOOTH 1D-C14
TIFFCOM Organizer's Office (UNIJAPAN)
email : inquiry@tiffcom.jp
Details :
http://www. jcs.tokyo/en/
89 Years of THR
Memorable moments from a storied history
1 9 94
4
199 9 5
1 9 966
1997
1 998
199
99
200
00
20
0 01
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
20088
20
009
2011 0
20111
20122
2011 3
20
0 14
4
In 2004, Disney’s First Wrinkle in Time Fell Flat
Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 sciencefantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time
might be beloved, but its filmed
adaptations haven’t gotten much
love from The Hollywood Reporter.
Critic Todd McCarthy offers a
less-than-glowing opinion of the
new Disney version directed by
Ava DuVernay and starring Oprah
Winfrey (see page 89). But his
review is sparkling compared to
the shellacking the 2004 TV movie
received from Ray Richmond.
If a critic notes in his opening
sentence that he’s “a huge fan” of
the original work, watch out. A
few paragraphs later, Richmond is
calling the ABC presentation that
starred Alfre Woodard and Alison
Elliott “hopelessly convoluted,
esoteric and just plain weird.” The
critic says the adaptation, shelved
for three years, “keeps going and
going and going, making sense
only intermittently.” The coup de
grace comes in a mention of the
then-in-production Harry Potter
film and says Wrinkle is what it
“might look and sound like in the
wrong hands.” But the movie got
a Writers Guild nomination for
best children’s script, and screenwriter Susan Shilliday says she
has “no regrets” about the project.
“It’s a beloved book, and maybe
beloved books should never be
adapted,” says Shilliday, who now
owns a bookstore in Montague,
Massachusetts. “Many writers had
taken this on over the years and
when I came along, the late, great
Frank Pierson [the Oscar-winning
screenwriter of Dog Day Afternoon]
said to me, ‘Oh, you’re the latest
victim of A Wrinkle in Time.’ ” Just
before the film aired, Newsweek
ran an interview with the then-85year-old L’Engle (she died three
years later). When asked if she’d
seen the TV movie, the author
said she’d “glimpsed it.” And when
asked if it met her expectations,
she replied: “Oh, yes. I expected it
to be bad and it is.” — BILL HIGGINS
The Hollywood Reporter, Vol. CDXXIV, No. 10 (ISSN 0018-3660; USPS 247-580) is published weekly; 39 issues — two issues in April, July, October and December; three issues in January and June; four issues in February, March, May, August and September; and five issues in November — with 15 special issues:
Jan. (1), Feb. (2), June (4), Aug. (4), Nov. (3) and Dec. (3) by Prometheus Global Media LLC, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., 5th floor, Los Angeles CA 90036. Subscription rates: Weekly print only, $199; weekly print and online, including daily edition PDF only, $249; online only, $199; digital replica of weekly print, $199.
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96
M A R C H 7, 2 01 8
ABC/PHOTOFEST
From left: Woodard as Mrs. Whatsit (played by Reese Witherspoon in the new version), Kate Nelligan as Mrs. Which (now Winfrey’s role) and Elliott as Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling’s role).
P R O U D LY C O N G R A T U L A T E S
EDITOR-AT-LARGE
Photographed by Koury Angelo
KIM MASTERS
ON RECEIVING THE
DISTINGUISHED JOURNALIST AWARD
BY THE GREATER LOS ANGELES CHAPTER OF THE
SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS
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