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The Hollywood Reporter - May 09, 2018

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May 9, 2018
MOONVES
HAS A BOSS
Why the revered
mogul will never win
full control of CBS
TV UPFRONTS
PREVIEW
• ‘Comedy is heading to
a dangerous place’
• The battle for $9B in
network ad sales
• Producer of the Year
David E. Kelley
ROSE
RENEWED
Six months after helping topple
Harvey and ignite a movement,
McGowan goes on the road
with THR and reveals her life as
an actress-activist fleeing the
‘Hollywood bubble,’ confronting
the critics and a polarized
public opinion: ‘I do torch things’
PLUS
Jeffrey Tambor:
‘Lines Got Blurred’
Oscar’s Polanski Purge
The only true
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Issue No. 16, May 9, 2018
FEATURES
50 ‘I Do Torch Things’
Six months after
igniting the #MeToo
movement, Rose
McGowan opens up
about how she helped
torpedo her story
on NBC News, why
she’s decided to leave
Hollywood and her
budding new romance.
56 12 Ways to Lead a
Writers Room
Top TV showrunners
unload on pitch
meetings, political
storylines and
the future of funny.
64 ‘Lines Got Blurred’
Jeffrey Tambor opens
up in his first interview since getting fired
from Transparent, one
of the murkiest cases
of the #MeToo era.
50
“If I was Reese Witherspoon,
would I be treated like I am? The
answer is no,” says McGowan,
photographed May 2 at Industria
in Brooklyn. To watch her
discuss her fight to push against
the Hollywood “power structure,”
go to THR.com/video.
On the cover: Versace jacket, Sunspel
T-shirt, Levi’s jeans, Ellery earring.
This page: Levi’s jacket.
Photographed here and for the cover by Wesley Mann
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
4
M AY 9, 2018
NO BRAINER.
AT&T AUDIENCE® NETWORK AND SONAR ENTERTAINMENT
PROUDLY CONGRATULATE
DAVID E. KELLEY
ON BEING NAMED THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’S
TV PRODUCER OF THE YEAR.
Issue No. 16, May 9, 2018
48
River and city views
from 1 Brooklyn Bridge
Hotel, with eco-luxury
amenities and a private
screening room.
THE REPORT
STYLE
13 Oscar’s Code of
Conduct Dilemma
42 Hollywood’s Egalitarian
Ofices (Sort Of)
ABOUT TOWN
23 Person of Interest:
Ali Wong
The Netflix star’s new special
delivers a subversive take on
parenthood.
THE BUSINESS
32 Creative Space:
Alex Gibney
The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who
skewered Enron, WikiLeaks
and Scientology will tackle
two fraught new subjects:
Fox News founder Roger Ailes
and the FBI.
Taking visual cues from
tech, two redesigns reflect
a “creative environment
that stimulates conversation,”
says Ron Howard.
23
Don’t label Wong a “mom
comic.” “We’re just talking
about our lives,” says the
stand-up, photographed
April 24 at Hayden in L.A.
46 Where to Eat & Meet
at NY’s TV Week
46
Amid the upfronts uproar,
sample the new restaurant row and the city’s power
tables of the moment.
A Metropolitan with
Ford’s Gin, Italicus Rosolio
di Bergamotto, cranberry,
lemon and marmalade from
NYC’s Legacy Records, $17.
REVIEWS
77 Summer Book Bonanza
Must-reads include
Bill Clinton’s debut novel,
a dishy Sumner Redstone
bio, an unusual David
Lynch memoir and a pageturner about sex and
murder at a boarding school.
32
34 Leslie Moonves Has
Power and Influence —
and a Boss
Michael Wolff on the CBSViacom tug-of-war and
why Shari Redstone will
come out on top.
“I got a lot of nasty
‘You’re going to hell’
letters,” says Gibney,
photographed May 1
at his NYC ofice, of
his hot-button docs.
THIS WEEK ON THR VIDEO
Watch the creative forces of TV reveal
how their writers might describe them.
Wong Photographed by Shayan Asgharnia
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
6
M AY 9, 2018
GIBNEY: DUSTIN COHEN. BROOKLYN: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. DRINK: ROBIN LEHR.
After booting Bill Cosby and
Roman Polanski from the
film Academy, the board is
grappling with whether to
further purge its ranks for
past behavior.
Matthew Belloni
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↑ Business
Spotify Effect
More music giants are
plotting IPOs. p. 14
The Re ort
Games
Behind the Headlines
Leveling Up
A hit league aims to bring
players to (huge) arenas. p. 16
Heat Index
Kim Yutani
The Sundance veteran scores
the festival’s director of
programming job, making her
one of the most important
gatekeepers in the independent film world.
HUDSON: DAVID M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES. EK: GARY GERSHOFF/GETTY IMAGES FOR SPOTIFY. YUTANI: SONIA RECCHIA/GETTY IMAGES. SPIEGEL: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY
IMAGES FOR BERGGRUEN INSTITUTE. GLOVER: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES. SCHNEIDERMAN: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES FOR JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER.
Evan Spiegel
The Snap CEO’s messaging
app misses revenue and
growth expectations as the
company swaps out its
current CFO with Amazon
finance veteran Tim Stone.
Donald Glover
The Atlanta auteur’s SNL
host gig spikes ratings as his
alter ego Childish Gambino’s
incendiary new video “This Is
America” racks up 37 million
YouTube views in 72 hours.
Next: Solo in theaters May 25.
Eric Schneiderman
The New York attorney
general, a #MeToo advocate
and foe of The Weinstein Co.,
resigns three hours after
The New Yorker publishes
abuse claims by four women.
Showbiz Stocks
$12.37 (+11%)
E.W. SCRIPPS CO. (SSP)
The operator of TV stations
says quarterly revenue
grew 28 percent on strong
results from digital oferings
like Newsy and Bounce TV.
$47.44 (-4%)
SONY (SNE)
Analysts at UBS argue the
stock is fully valued after
shares of the parent of Sony
Pictures and PlayStation
advances 38 percent in a year.
Oscar’s Criminal Purge: ‘What Is
Personal and What Is Business?’
Booting Cosby and Polanski raises the possibility of more expulsions at the Academy
(Spacey? Ratner?) even as members worry about becoming ‘moral police’ BY SCOTT FEINBERG
O
n May 3, the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences revealed that its
board of governors had voted to
oust Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski
from its membership ranks “in
accordance with the organization’s
Standards of Conduct.” But the
timing of the expulsions — seven
days after Cosby was found guilty
by a Pennsylvania jury of sexual
assault and 41 years after Polanski
pled guilty to sex with a 13-yearold girl in 1977 — has confused
many Academy members who’ve
been privately whispering about
what comes next.
If such expulsions for past
behavior become the new normal,
these members ask, would they
become a regular event? Will the
Academy get more attention
for the members it expels than
those it invites to join? And if
so, how many more complaints
could the Academy currently be
considering?
Academy insiders stress that
such extreme disciplinary measures are not expected to become
regular occurrences and that,
while even the organization’s officials don’t know what complaints
may be awaiting review — since
the process is designed to be highly
confidential, any complaints
brought to the Academy are treated
as such — there is not a backlog
of complaints awaiting adjudication. Academy officials denied
interview requests.
Academy chief executive Dawn
Hudson and Bailey.
Illustration by Ryan Inzana
April 30-May 7
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
13
M AY 9, 2018
Highlighting the thorny issues
raised by the new process, on
May 8, Polanski’s attorney Harland
Braun sent a letter to Academy
president John Bailey threatening to sue the organization for
depriving the director of a “fair
hearing” before the expulsion.
(Polanski was awarded the best
director Oscar for The Pianist in
2003, decades after his guilty plea.)
Many members THR spoke
with are happy that Polanski, 84,
and Cosby, 80, are out. “If there
is no conviction, then you’re expelling based on an opinion, and I
don’t think that’s fair,” says Rod
Lurie, a member of the directors
branch. “But both of these guys
were convicted, and I think that
having a conviction raises the
credibility of an expulsion.”
Other members question the
wisdom of the Academy wading
into matters unrelated to filmmaking. “I feel like taking away
[Polanski’s] Academy membership
The Report
its existing membership and
administration committee,
which is currently headed by casting director David Rubin, to review
complaints lodged against members and evaluate any appeals. The
is wrong,” says Rutanya Alda, a
committee forwards its findings
member of the actors branch
on to the board of governors for a
who worked with the director on
final decision. Thus far, the only
Rosemary’s Baby. “He was a member of the Academy because he was claim known to have come before
Rubin’s subcommittee, which
an outstanding filmmaker.” Stu
operates in top secrecy, was one
Zakim, a public relations branch
against Bailey. The subcommitmember, agrees with the sentiment. “This was absolutely not
tee decided it was unfounded
the right way to handle it,” he says.
— but only after it was leaked to
“I’m not standing up for what
the press — and the board disCosby did in any way, shape or
missed it in March.
form — I think he’s a piece of shit.
The question now is whether
But what is personal and what
the Academy, having banished
is business?” Until Oct. 14 of last
three members, will have to rule
year — when Harvey
on other members
who have been accused
Weinstein was expelled
of various degrees of
following an emergency
sexual misconduct. In
meeting of the board
Members ejected
resigning as a member
of governors after the
in the Academy’s
90-year history
of the board of govermogul’s history of
nors in April, producer
alleged sexual assault and
and former studio chief Bill
harassment was reported — only
one person had ever been
Mechanic lodged a litany of critiexpelled from the Academy in its
cism, including his belief that
90-year history. That was actor
the Academy’s board had “decided
to play Moral Police.”
Carmine Caridi, who was tossed
While there is no evidence that
out in 2004 for the “crime” of
any specific complaints about
loaning screeners.
these men have been brought to
Then, in January, the Academy
the Academy, Oscar winner
adopted a new code of conduct
and created a subcommittee of
Kevin Spacey has been accused
Behind the Headlines
4
of, and denies, multiple allegations of sexual assault; producer
Brett Ratner has been accused
of, and denies, multiple allegations
of harassment and misconduct;
Oscar winner Casey Affleck was
accused of sexual harassment
by two women but settled with
them in civil suits; and actor
Stephen Collins acknowledged on
tape that he had touched minors
but was never charged.
Meanwhile, industry veterans
Robert Blake, who in 2005 was
found liable in a California civil
court for the wrongful death of
his wife, and James Toback, who
currently is facing hundreds of
allegations of sexual misconduct — cannot be expelled, if only
because neither is an active member. Both have failed to pay dues
— since 2003 and 2008, respectively — and so have lost their
membership status. As for Woody
Allen, one of the highest-profile
filmmakers to be accused of —
and deny — sexual misconduct,
the Academy is off the hook:
Allen has always declined invitations to become a member.
The Academy’s current position is that it has not one but two
“avenues” through which it can
sanction members: The first is
through Rubin’s subcommittee,
which will review a member’s
Harrison Ford presented Polanski with the
Oscar for The Pianist in 2003 in France.
conduct if a claim is formally
registered; the second is through
the board itself, which can initiate expulsion procedures for
cause even if a claim has not been
registered. An appeals process is
provided only for cases examined by Rubin’s committee; if the
board takes the initiative to vote
for an expulsion on its own — and
an expulsion requires a two-thirds
vote of the 54-member board —
there is no appeals process.
As the Academy attempts to
navigate the new terrain in which
it, and its members, are being
held to a higher standard, one
thing remains true: Once
awarded, Oscars are inviolate,
the Academy confirms. In other
words, neither Weinstein nor
Polanski will be asked to return
his Academy Award.
A Post-Spotify Boom for Music IPOs?
now the time for the next wave of music IPOs?
IhavesSpotify’s
April 3 debut on the market may
whetted the appetite of investors for music
company stocks in a sector that mostly features privately held firms or businesses hidden
inside bigger conglomerates, like Sony or Apple.
China’s largest music streamer, Tencent
Music, which is majority-owned by Chinese social
media giant Tencent and has a 7.5 percent
stake in Spotify (which in turn owns 9 percent
of Tencent Music), is reportedly planning an
IPO by the end of the year, targeting a U.S. stock
exchange as its home and eyeing a valuation
of $25 billion. The company has 700 million-plus
monthly users, including an estimated 15 million
paying subscribers.
And French conglomerate Vivendi is exploring an IPO of Universal Music Group, led by
CEO Lucian Grainge. The company says that a
May 17 board meeting will include a discussion
of “diferent hypotheses” for how “capital might
evolve.” Universal Music Group, with 2017 reported
earnings before interest, taxes and amortization
of $912 million, “could be a decently sized” small- or
midcap stock, meaning one with a market value
of up to $10 billion, says RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall.
Music Giants’ Market Values
$30B
Tencent Music’s
valuation could
be $25 billion, close
to the $28 billionplus market value
of Spotify.
$25B
$20B
$15B
$10B
$5B
SiriusXM
Spotify
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Live
Nation
14
Pandora Entercom
M AY 9, 2018
On Wall Street, it has been a mixed bag
for music-centric stocks, with streaming giant
Pandora Media and radio network
Entercom Communications down
35 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in the past 12 months, while
satellite broadcaster Sirius XM
Grainge
Holdings and events promoter Live
Nation have climbed 40 percent and 43 percent,
respectively. Spotify is up 5 percent since it went
public April 3.
“We believe recent music headlines would make
now a good opportunity to IPO the music business,” Liberum Capital analyst Ian Whittaker said
in a report. He estimated that an IPO of a 25 percent stake in UMG could raise at least $6.2 billion.
“It remains early days in the global adoption of
streaming,” a group of Morgan Stanley analysts
argued in an April 30 report. “The near-term investment outlook is bullish.”
GRAINGE: CINDY ORD/WIREIMAGE. POLANSKI: TONY BARSON/WIREIMAGE.
Universal Music Group and China’s Tencent Music are testing the waters for public
offerings as analysts forecast a ‘bullish’ outlook for the sector BY GEORG SZALAI
F
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Y
O
U
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E
M
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Y
®
C
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N
S
I
D
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A
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OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
I
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N
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Pro Video Gaming Muscles
Into the Mainstream
Overwatch League, streaming on Twitch in a $90 million deal, has global reach,
big-name backers and its sights set on arena-size events BY PATRICK SHANLEY
T
his summer, two teams will battle it out
inside Barclays Center for their shot
at a league title and a piece of a $1.4 million prize pool. It’s not the NBA or NHL taking
over the 19,000-seat arena, home to the
Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders, but
— for the first time — the year-old e-sports
organization Overwatch League.
After its inaugural season, with viewership
topping 10 million in the opening week and
averaging 408,000 viewers per minute during
matches, the league is betting on a breakout
moment when its finals take place July 27 to 28
at the New York venue, which has hosted the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony
and WWE’s SummerSlam. “Barclays Center
is in the big event business, and we consider
hosting the first-ever Overwatch League
championship as no different,” Keith Sheldon,
senior vp programming for the stadium’s
operator, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment,
tells THR.
Overwatch, the game, is a first-person
shooter with a cast of colorful characters
developed by Activision Blizzard-owned
Blizzard Entertainment and released in 2016.
Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will host the e-sport finals in July.
Where ABC’s Big Swings Landed
6
W
American Idol’s reception, to
be sure, has not been a story of
runaway success. The pricey show
has delivered on its promised ratings to advertisers, averaging a
2.1 rating among the adults 18-to49 demographic and lifting ABC’s
long-suffering Sunday primetime block, but its numbers don’t
make much of a case for judge
Katy Perry’s $25 million salary.
Roseanne has fared better at
a much cheaper cost. Nielsen’s
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
4
Rating
Roseanne
American Idol
March 27
Roseanne set a
four-year high
for TV comedies
5
As the season winds down, the Disney network is getting a
momentum boost from two risky revivals BY MICHAEL O’CONNELL
hat shape would ABC
be in right now without
Roseanne and American Idol?
That’s a question the network
probably won’t ask publicly at
its May 15 upfront in New York —
where the narrative is expected
to focus on the pair of recently
renewed revivals, one of them a
juggernaut that’s only gradually lost steam and another that
has managed to hover right
around expectations.
The title already has generated more than
$1 billion in sales revenue and boasts 35 million players worldwide. Overwatch, the league
(OWL), launched in January with financial
backers who include New England Patriots
owner Robert Kraft and Sacramento Kings coowner Andy Miller, Hollywood veterans like
former Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore
(who manages OWL’s L.A. Gladiators) and
such sponsors as HP, Intel, Toyota and T-Mobile.
Regular season matches are held at the 450seat Blizzard Arena, which sits on a soundstage
at Burbank Studios that once housed Johnny
Carson’s Tonight Show and now features a towering LED display.
“Activision Blizzard has built
a better mousetrap. They
recognized and addressed a fundamental opportunity within
Nanzer
the market to level up,” says Peter
Levin, president of interactive ventures and
games at Lionsgate and a board member of
OWL’s L.A. Valiant team. League matches
— aimed at young men who are abandoning
traditional TV offerings — are streamed on
Amazon’s Twitch platform as part of a two-year
deal valued at a reported $90 million.
Blizzard Arena is OWL’s only stadium, but
plans are in place to expand into cities across
the U.S., Europe and Asia where the league’s 12
teams are based. Says Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer, “That’s really the next
big phase for us — giving millions of fans
around the world the opportunity to engage
with this content live.”
3
April 29 Kicking of live shows
brought a two-month high for Idol
2
1
March
11
18
24
April
27
1
3
8
10
May
15
22
22
29
1
6
Source: Nielsen live-plus-7 and live-plus-same-day; adults 18-49.
live-plus-7 returns give the red
state-skewing sitcom an average
6.8 rating in the key demo and
23.3 million viewers. That makes
it broadcast’s No. 1 show — but,
for last-place ABC, it regrettably occupies only four and a
half hours of programming.
16
M AY 9, 2018
Post-premiere fatigue also has
many skeptical about its longevity. “It’s more commentary
on what’s going on in the world
than what’s going on in TV,”
says Horizon Media director of
national TV David Campanelli,
“but a hit is still a hit.”
OVERWATCH: ROBERT PAUL/BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT. NANZER: JAY P. MORGAN/BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT. BARCLAYS: STEPHEN LOVEKIN/GETTY IMAGES. PERRY: ABC/ERIC MCCANDLESS. ROSEANNE: ABC/ADAM ROSE.
Overwatch League boasts a young online audience:
The average age of its viewers is just 20.
First rule of thumb in practicing law:
always, always promise the client
millions and millions of dollars.
It’s good business.
– Denny Crane
Congratulations to our friend and client
David E. Kelley
on being named THR’s
Television Producer of the Year
(and for helping us keep Denny’s promise)
GENDLER & KELLY
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Box Office
Broadcast TV
Cable TV
Domestic
International
Gross Cume % Chg Gross Cume
18-49
Live+3
Viewership
Live+3
Avengers: Infinity War DISNEY
114.8 453.1(2) -56 162.6*54 714.6 1.17B
1.
The Big Bang Theory CBS
3.2
15.2M
1.
Fear the Walking Dead AMC
3.9M
Overboard PANTELION
14.7 14.7(1)
N/A
2.
Young Sheldon CBS
13.9M
2.6
2.
The Good Witch HALL
3.0M
3.
Grey’s Anatomy ABC
2.5
9.2M
3.
Westworld HBO
2.6M
4.
American Idol (Sun.) ABC
9.9M
2.3
4.
Suits USA
2.1M
2.
N/A
14.7
The MGM-Pantelion Films remake, starring
popular Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez and
Anna Faris, scored the highest opening to date
for Pantelion, a label targeting Hispanic auds.
5.
Empire FOX
2.2
6.8M
With a year-over-year drop of
36 percent, recently renewed Empire
now narrowly trails Ryan Murphy’s
9-1-1 as the network’s highest-rated
scripted series.
3.
A Quiet Place PARAMOUNT
7.8 160.1(5) -30 4.1*57 95.4 255.5
4.
I Feel Pretty STX
5 37.9(3) -38
3.2*11
9.1
Tully FOCUS/UNIVERSAL
- 200K*1 200K
3.3 3.3(1)
6.
3.5
The dramedy marks the second box-ofice
disappointment in a row for Charlize Theron,
behind Gringo, an Amazon Studios-STX
release that bowed to $2.7 million in March.
The Last O.G. TBS
2.0M
8.
8.
The Voice (Tues.) NBC
10.3M
1.8
Into the Badlands AMC
1.8M
9.
9.
Mom CBS
1.8
The Terror AMC
1.6M
10. Silicon
1.7
10.3M
8.
Truth or Dare UNIVERSAL
1.89 38.2(4) -42 5.1*46
11.
20.4
58.6
12.
American Idol (Mon.) ABC
1.6
8.8M
Super Troopers 2 FOX
1.87 25.5(3) -50 90K* 835K
26.3
13.
S.W.A.T. CBS
1.5
1.8
14.
Life in Pieces CBS
1.5
7.6M
81.1
15.
Star FOX
1.5
Blockers UNIVERSAL
1.75 56.2(5) -41 1.6*35
12.
24.9
1.5M
Fire NBC
8.8M
Chicago Med NBC
9.1M
1.6
N/A
Suits USA
2.0M
7.
11.
Samaritan ELECTRIC
1.76 1.76(1)
N/A
6.
The Voice (Mon.) NBC
1.9
9.7M
Black Panther DISNEY
3.2 693.2(12) -31 390K*32 645.6 1.3B
10. Bad
Homeland SHO
2.1M
7.
7.
9.
5.
Survivor CBS
2.0
10. Chicago
Valley HBO
One to Watch
8.0M
Killing Eve BBCA
BBC America credits good word of
mouth for the dramatic rise of its
assassin dramedy, with viewership up
33 percent from episode one to four.
4.8M
Ready Player One WARNER BROS.
1.3 133.1(6) -48 6.1*56 433.4 566.1
Isle of Dogs FOX SEARCHLIGHT
807K 28.5(7) -44 2*27 21.9
13.
Traffik LIONSGATE
794K 8.3(3) -52
50.4
14.
15. RBG MAGNOLIA
578K 578K
(1)
N/A
38K
8.7
Closer
Look
Disney Leads ’18 Top Grossers
The studio has two billion-dollar global titles so far
1. Black Panther DISNEY
-
N/A
N/A
2. Avengers: Infinity War DISNEY
578K
3. Operation Red Sea MULTI
The doc about U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg earned more in its first
weekend than any doc has during an entire run
in 2018, besides Warner Bros.’ Pandas ($964K).
4. Ready Player One WARNER BROS.
5. Detective Chinatown 2 MULTI
6. Rampage WARNER BROS.
7. Fifty Shades Freed UNIVERSAL
Black Panther rules
the 2018 global box
ofice to date.
Indie distributors are unveiling
a growing list of releases
centered on women pushing
societal boundaries
s #MeToo and Time’s Up nab
A
headlines, a wave of films
depicting married female characters
6.
9.4M
Female Leads
Break Free in
New Films
BY KATIE KILKENNY
47
Rampage WARNER BROS.
4.6 84.8(4) -36 14.1*63 294 378.8
5.
Meghan Markle (back seen here) got
a wedding warm-up with her April 25
Suits swan song, an episode that also
said goodbye to co-star Patrick J.
Adams and hit a season high.
↑ From left:
Disobedience,
Tully and On
Chesil Beach.
8. Monster Hunt 2 MULTI
9. Peter Rabbit SONY
10. Pacific Rim Uprising UNIVERSAL
$1.34B
$1.17B
$579.2M
$566.5M
$544.1M
$378.8M
$368.3M
$361.7M
$327.3M
$288.4M
Source: Box Ofice Mojo
unhappy with domestic roles are
arriving in theaters.
Within a four-week span, audiences are getting Disobedience
(April 27), starring Rachel McAdams
and Rachel Weisz in an extramarital afair; Tully (May 4), with Charlize
Theron as a mom at her wits’ end;
The Escape (May 11), featuring
Gemma Arterton as a mother fleeing
her husband; and On Chesil Beach
(May 18), with Saoirse
Ronan’s character pursuing an annulment.
“Distributors
and
financiers see that
Karlsen
there’s a rapt audience out there,” says On Chesil Beach
producer Elizabeth Karlsen, who
also is bringing Keira Knightley’s
Colette — about the French novelist whose husband took credit
for her work — to theaters Sept. 21.
For Disobedience producer Frida
Torresblanco, this moment in film
is about finding “voices that have
been silenced for so long.” Escape
writer-director Dominic Savage
adds, “Women are feeling diferently
about what they can feel and do and
be.” Karlsen, who produced 2015’s
Carol, which raked in $40 million
worldwide, credits it and 2017’s Lady
Bird, which grossed $75 million, for
paving the way for these characters.
Unlike studio tentpoles, “more intimate dramas can very quickly and
concisely capture a societal moment
in time,” notes comScore analyst
Paul Dergarabedian. “You can ride
the crest of that wave.”
Box-ofice source: comScore; estimates in $ millions; ( )Weekends in release; *Territories. Broadcast source: Nielsen, live-plus-3, week of April 23. Cable TV source: Nielsen, live-plus-3 scripted series, week of April 23.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
18
M AY 9, 2018
DISOBEDIENCE: COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET. TULLY: KIMBERLY FRENCH/FOCUS FEATURES (2). CHESIL: ROBERT VIGLASKY PHOTOGRAPHY/BLEECKER STREET. EMPIRE: CHUCK HODES/FOX. SUITS: IAN WATSON/USA NETWORK.
EVE: NICK BRIGGS/BBC AMERICA. KARLSEN: JOE MAHER/GETTY IMAGES FOR NESPRESSO. FILM, SYMBOL: ISTOCK. OVERBOARD: DIYAH PERA/MGM. RBG: COURTESY OF SUNDANCE. BLACK: COURTESY OF MARVEL STUDIOS.
1.
Total
Audience
Live+3
Let's be Upfront.
Your TV plan needs
to work harder.
Add Entercom.
Consumers are 35% more aware of your TV ad
when they hear your brand's message on Radio.
Maximize your media plan with Entercom, the
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content in the country.
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Source: Nielsen Audio, Radio (Re)discovered: A Brand Managers Guide To Radio, 2017
The Report
7 Days of DEALS
Who’s inking on the dotted line this week
AFTER CR EATOR SCANDALS, YOU TU BE
R ETU R NS TO TR ADITIONAL A-LISTERS
James
Chopra
Smith
With concerns about brand safety on YouTube at an
all-time high, the company is putting more emphasis than ever on big names that advertisers trust.
The Google-owned platform’s new slate of adsupported original series, announced May 3 during
its annual Brandcast pitch to advertisers, includes
projects from Will Smith, Priyanka Chopra and LeBron
James. Kevin Hart ’s What the Fit? workout series
has been renewed for a second season, and Demi
Lovato also is returning to the platform with a new
series following the release of her documentary
Simply Complicated in 2017.
This isn’t the first time YouTube has courted
traditional stars — it gave more than $100 million
in 2012 to such names as Amy Poehler and Ashton
Kutcher through its short-lived original channel initiative — but the renewed focus comes after a rocky
year for the relationship between YouTube and
its homegrown stars. In early 2017, the company cut
ties with top creator PewDiePie (62 million subscribers) after he posted a series of videos featuring
anti-Semitic jokes. YouTube’s subsequent changes
to its advertising tools, an effort to assure brands
that their spots would not appear alongside such
unsavory videos, caused a number of creators to see
a dip in ad earnings, a period dubbed the “ad-pocalypse.” The platform came under fire again earlier
this year after creators took issue with how it doled
out punishment to Logan Paul (17 million subs)
after he posted a video of a suicide victim.
A YouTube spokeswoman says that more than
two-thirds of its subscription and ad-supported
shows feature creators in front of and behind the
camera, adding, “We’ll continue to invest in featuring YouTube creators in our originals.” But while
top YouTubers Tyler Oakley and Anna Akana took the
Brandcast stage, new series from talent endemic
to YouTube were largely absent from the event. (The
only creator project touted was The Super Slow Show,
which has been renewed for a second season.) “Some
creators are frustrated,” says one rep. “But in the
same way that creators are diversifying their businesses and leaning in to other mediums, we can’t
blame YouTube for doing the same.” — NATALIE JARVEY
Philipps
“With
openness
comes
challenges,”
YouTube
CEO Susan
Wojcicki
admitted at
Brandcast.
ITV America Thinks Vertical Realignment
ITV America wants to give
buyers two things they’re
Big
anxious for: crime shows
Deal
and clarity. Under new CEO
David George, the stateside
arm of the U.K. TV giant is moving away
from being a format broker and toward better defining its many labels as buckets
for specific genres, including the launch of
Good Caper Content, a shingle dedicated to
crime programming.
“I’ve got all these diferent production
companies, and the marketplace needs to
know what each is best-in-class at,” says
George, who took the reins in January. “We
need to define what ITV means in the U.S.”
Good Caper will cater to an aggressively growing segment of the market, one
that prompted Oxygen to rebrand as a
crime-exclusive network in 2017. Veteran
unscripted producer Kathryn Vaughan
(Oxygen’s Cold Justice) will serve as president, running point on all of the company’s
crime and investigation programming,
starting with A&E series Marcia Clark
Investigates the First 48 and Discovery’s
Killing Fields, two series originally developed by other ITV-owned labels.
Those labels will now exclusively serve
their own verticals, with Leftfield Pictures
(History’s Pawn Stars) a resource for
male-skewing eforts, ITV Entertainment
(Netflix’s Queer Eye)
focusing on formats with
broad appeal, Sirens
Media (Bravo’s The Real
Housewives of New Jersey)
targeting women, and
George
High Noon (HGTV’s Fixer
Upper) operating in the lifestyles and
home space.
George, who also just named former
Mark Burnett executive Alex Dundas exec
vp ITV Entertainment, is still plotting on how
to better define other ITV labels — which
include Thinkfactory Media (WE’s Mama
June) and Outpost Entertainment (History’s
Forged in Fire). — MICHAEL O’CONNELL
Rights Available! Hot new books with Hollywood appeal
FILM
Scott Eastwood (UTA,
LBI, Stone Genow), Caleb
Landry Jones (ICM,
Untitled, Bloom Hergott)
and Orlando Bloom (ICM,
the U.K.’s Independent,
Lighthouse, Felker Toczek)
will star in Millennium
Media’s Afghan war film
The Outpost, based on
Jake Tapper’s 2012 book.
Mandeville Films/TV has
signed a first-look deal
with Universal Pictures after
20-plus years at Disney.
Transformers: The Last
Knight star Isabela Moner
(CAA, Peikoff Mahan) will
play a teenage Dora the
Explorer for Paramount’s
live-action adaptation.
Paul Giamatti (UTA,
Kipperman, Sloane Offer)
has joined Dwayne Johnson
in Disney’s Jungle Cruise.
BY ANDY LEWIS
“The Spy Who Came Home” (THE NEW YORKER, MAY 7)
The Lifters (KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, APRIL 24)
BY Dave Eggers AGENCY Gotham Group
BY Ben Taub AGENCY UTA
The McSweeney’s founder, who has had multiple novels optioned
and adapted Where the Wild Things Are, pens a supernatural children’s story, illustrated by Aaron Renier, about two young friends
trying to solve the mystery of why their town is sinking.
Fueled by a belief that protecting Americans starts at home, Patrick
Skinner in his mid-40s quit his CIA counterterrorism post abroad
to become a cop in his Savannah, Georgia, hometown, applying his
training to improve policing and community relations.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
20
M AY 9, 2018
JAMES: JASON MILLER/GETTY IMAGES. CHOPRA: SHAREIF ZIYADAT/GETTY IMAGES. SMITH: TONY BARSON/FILMMAGIC. PHILLIPS: WOJCICKI NOAM GALAI/GETTY IMAGE. GEORGE: COURTESY OF
ITV. RAE: AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC. MAJORS: GARY GERSHOFF/WIREIMAGE. T.I.: JASON KOERNER/ONE VOICE: SOMOS LIVE!/GETTY IMAGES. HOUSE: COURTESY OF SOTHEBY’S.
Deal
of the
Week
DIGITAL
Catherine
Zeta-Jones (WME, the
U.K.’s Independent,
Management 360, Ziffren
Brittenham) will star
in the Facebook dark comedy Queen America.
Rae
Swift bought the property for $3.55 million in April 2011.
Gidden Media is developing Donald Trump movie
The Apprentice with journalist Gabriel Sherman.
Jessica Chastain
(CAA, Mosaic, Hansen
Jacobson), Fan Bingbing
(CAA) and Lupita
Nyong’o (CAA, Del Shaw)
will star in spy thriller 355,
along with Marion Cotillard
and Penelope Cruz.
John Cena (ICM) will star in
Universal action-thriller The
Janson Directive from executive producer Johnson.
Issa Rae (UTA, 3 Arts,
Hansen Jacobson) is
joining Black-ish actress
Marsai Martin in the
Universal comedy Little.
Sarah Hyland (WME,
RKM, Gang Tyre) will star
in Lakeshore rom-com
The Wedding Year from
Legally Blonde director
Robert Luketic.
Helen Mirren (CAA) and
Danny DeVito (CAA,
Behr Abramson) will voice
characters for Disney’s
The One and Only Ivan.
Miramax has secured a
$300 million credit facility led by Bank of America,
Merrill Lynch and MUFG
Union Bank.
John Lithgow
(UTA, Anonymous,
Hansen Jacobson)
has joined Paramount’s
Pet Sematary remake.
TELEVISION
Carrie Coon (UTA,
Foundation, Peikoff
Mahan) will star in season
two of USA’s The Sinner.
HBO and Liz Garbus are
producing a Golden State
Killer docuseries based
on Michelle McNamara’s I’ll
Be Gone in the Dark.
Busy Philipps (ICM, Rise)
will host late-night talker
Busy Tonight for E!
Documentarian Glen Zipper
(CAA, Gotham Group)
has signed an overall deal
with Bad Robot.
ABC has renewed
American Idol. … Fox has
renewed The Resident
and Empire. … NBC has
ordered medical drama
New Amsterdam to
series. … FX has ordered
Jemaine Clement and
Taika Waititi’s What We
Do in the Shadows to
series. … HBO has renewed
Westworld for season three.
$
400M
Amount Warner Music Group
received after selling 75 percent of
Big
Number its Spotify holdings; Sony earlier
sold half its stake for $761 million.
Amazon and Jay-Z’s
Roc Nation are partnering on a docuseries
about incarcerated rapper Meek Mill.
Jason Watkins (the U.K.’s
United) will play Prime
Minister Harold Wilson in
Netflix’s The Crown.
Michelle Monaghan
(ICM, Circle of Confusion,
Ziffren Brittenham) will
star in Netflix’s Messiah.
Apple has ordered
Octavia Spencer drama
Are You Sleeping to
series. … CBS All Access
has renewed The Good
Fight for a third season.
… Hulu has ordered Mindy
Kaling’s Four Weddings
and a Funeral and Jerrod
Carmichael’s Ramy to series.
REAL ESTATE
Taylor Swift has sold a
Beverly Hills house in an ofmarket $4 million deal.
Rep
Sheet
T.I., a Tony nominee for
SpongeBob SquarePants:
The Musical, has signed
with APA .
Next
Big
Thing
Jonathan Majors
REPS CAA, Grandview,
Jackoway Tyerman
WHY HE MATTERS
Love, Simon’s Jorge
Lendeborg Jr., who will
star opposite Hailee
Steinfeld in Transformers
spinoff Bumblebee,
has signed with CAA .
YouTube star Grace
Helbig has left WME
for UTA .
Power stylist Micaela
Erlanger has signed
with PR firm ID, as
has Bruna Papandrea’s
Made Up Stories.
Majors, 28, will star
in the new drama from
Moonlight’s A24 and
Plan B, The Last Black
Man in San Francisco.
The up-and-comer’s
biggest feature to date
is Hostiles, but he is
set for roles in Matthew
McConaughey’s White
Boy Rick, Amblin
and Focus Features’
Captive State and
HBO’s Lovecraft Country
from J.J. Abrams and
Jordan Peele.
Our Pronto Buffet Lunch is a hit, now showing daily at Culina.
$
35 per person
11:30 am to 2:00 pm | Monday to Saturday
Call 310.860.4000 for reservations
PROMOTION
T H E H O L LY W O O D R E P O R T E R
TA K E S T H E
The Hollywood Reporter
is on the ground at the
Cannes International Film
Festival covering the
screenings, premieres
and events in print,
online and on social.
FESTIVAL DAILIES | May 8-13
5,000 Print Dailies distributed each
day throughout the festival
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About Town
People, Places, Preoccupations
PERSON OF INTER EST
Don’t Call Ali Wong
a Damn ‘Mom Comic’
The Netflix star’s new special delivers a subversive
take on parenthood By Bryn Elise Sandberg • Photographed by Shayan Asgharnia
t’s very rare and unusual to see a female comic perform pregnant,” Ali Wong says in Baby Cobra, her
2016 Netflix special. The San Francisco native was
seven months along — and 10 years into her standup career, still putting her shows on Groupon to fill seats
— when she delivered the raunch-filled set, riffing on STDs
and even her own miscarriage. Fast-forward two years, and
Wong, 36, is selling out venues, has a book deal with Random
House, will voice a character alongside Tiffany Haddish in the
Netflix animated comedy Tuca & Bertie and will star opposite Randall Park in a rom-com she co-wrote for the streamer.
The former Fresh Off the Boat writer — who’s pregnant
again in her second stand-up special, Hard Knock Wife (out
May 13, Mother’s Day) — bristles against the “mom comic”
label: “Every male comedian of note who is over the age of
45 has a kid, and they talk about it and don’t get grouped as
‘dad comics,’ ” she says, rattling off names like Chris Rock
and Dave Chappelle. “We’re just talking about our lives.” Still,
she’s leaning in to the role for her next tour, headlining
shows over summer vacation and bringing her two daughters
(with tech exec husband Justin Hakuta) on the road with her.
“I’m going to be that person waiting for the double stroller
after the flight,” she says, “and it’s going to be ridiculous.”
I
HAIR BY MARCUS FRANCIS. MAKEUP BY COLLEEN CAMPBELL.
“Casting an Asian-American
into a bad role where they’re
shoehorned into these
stereotypes is worse than not
having cast them at all,” says
Wong, photographed April 24
at Hayden in Los Angeles.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
23
M AY 9, 2018
About Town
People, Places,
Preoccupations
One of my managers — manager
at the time, I should say — said
to me when he first saw me after
I gave birth, “I don’t know about
this breastfeeding material, it’s
not very relatable, and it’s not
as hip and hardcore as your dating and sex stories.” And I was
like, “Well, I’m not dating, and I’m
not having a lot of sex, and I think
childbirth is pretty hardcore …”
From left:
Probst, Penn,
Watson, Kim,
Cormac
Wibberley,
Appelbaum,
Marianne
Wibberley and
Rosenberg.
The Scribes Have Spoken
Writers battle for major stakes (think $8,000 dinners) in Survivor pools
with execs, former contestants and even Jeff Probst By Patrick Shanley
takes are high for the May 24 season 36
finale of CBS’ Survivor: Ghost Island, and
not just for the contestants. Screenwriter
superfans including husband-and-wife team
Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, Leverage and
Sleepy Hollow writer Albert Kim, Ready Player
One wordsmith Zak Penn, The Bold Type’s Sarah
Watson, and Midnight Radio partners Jeff Pinkner,
Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg and Josh
Appelbaum have been watching and betting on
the reality stalwart for years. “Our pool was born
out of the Alias writers room in the early 2000s,”
says Appelbaum. “There’s a $200 buy-in,” says
Rosenberg of the pool, which also includes actress
Lindy Booth. “The winner gets all the cash. Second
place picks a restaurant. The loser, the first who
gets knocked out, has to pay for the dinner,” and
the tab has run as high as $8,000.
“Our pool is all done online on a chat board plus
trash talking on Twitter,” explain the Wibberleys
via email, adding, “which we can’t do this year
since we are losing so badly.” Penn invites up to 25
S
“It’s disgusting
when people
just touch a
pregnant
woman’s belly
without
asking,” says
Wong. “It’s like,
why don’t you
just finger me?”
What can’t you joke about?
Nothing is off-limits. There’s
just some things I cannot crack.
Politics I can’t do. When I start
to talk about it, I just get really
angry and super sincere. I have
never found a way to craft all of
that absurdity into funny. I just
give money to the ACLU, and that’s
my contribution. (Laughs.)
As a woman in stand-up comedy —
You want to know if anyone’s cornered me and started jacking off?
Have you seen any changes since
#MeToo and Time’s Up?
No, and I’m shocked that treating women like garbage still
persists. But they think, “Oh, well,
I didn’t rape you, so I’m one of the
good guys.” I’m actually doing all
[material] about #MeToo right
now. Men have been confessing to
me their true feelings about it and
this whole idea of how it’s such
a scary time to be a man, which is
the most absurd thing I have ever
heard. So there’s a lot to cover.
guests to his house to watch — from Flight writer
John Gatins to The Bye Bye Man scribe Jonathan
Penner, also a three-time contestant on the show.
Contestants Tyler Fredrickson and Max Dawson
also have joined.
But only Rosenberg’s group boasts the host. “On
March 14, 2011 — I know it was then because I keep
a journal — I discovered my friend Todd Garner
was friends with Probst,” he recalls. At the next dinner, “in walks Jef Probst, and everybody just
shit their pants.” Probst, who has remained a member of the group, says “these dinners are a blast
but not for the faint of heart.” Probst also belongs
to a viewing group that includes writers Scott
Neustadter, Tim Dowling and Ali Adler, plus execs
Hannah Minghella and Amanda Palley. And he
says he’s fielded pitches for the show from the likes
of Jimmy Fallon and Tyler Perry; the latter’s idea
for “filthier” swimwear made it onto the screen.
“Next season we aren’t giving them swimming suits
at all, just a sewing kit,” jokes Probst. “Another one
of his ideas.”
THE PERFECT ENDING FOR A CEMETERY MOVIE
It’s not summer in L.A. without a trip to the cemetery. “It sounds weird at first,” says John Wyatt,
founder of Cinespia’s Hollywood Forever screening series, kicking off May 12 with The NeverEnding Story,
“but anybody’s who’s been understands.” He and creative director Alia Penner work with studios to secure films and talent
— Drew Barrymore to intro E.T. in 2016, Paul Reubens for PeeWee’s Big Adventure in 2008 (“He hadn’t done anything in
public in a long time — everyone went wild.”) The Beckhams,
Kendall Jenner, Emma Stone and Brie Larson were among
the thousands who took in a Saturday night flick in 2017. This
year’s July 4 film, the series’ buzziest (with fireworks), will be
Thelma & Louise, a pick that’s tailored — despite its lead duo’s
morbid end — to the Time’s Up moment. No word on Susan
Sarandon or Geena Davis, but Penner’s looking forward to celebrating “rebellious freedom with 4,000 people.” — MIA GALUPPO
Under
the Stars
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
24
M AY 9, 2018
Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosts
about 25 screenings each summer.
SURVIVOR, PROBST: ROBERT VOETS/CBS. PENN, KIM, WIBBERLEY, APPELBAUM: COURTESY OF SUBJECT (5). WATSON: SANTIAGO FELIPE/GETTY IMAGES. ROSENBERG:
CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES. KNOCK: KEN WORONER/NETFLIX. THELMA: MGM/PHOTOFEST. CINESPIA: RICH FURY/GETTY IMAGES FOR CINESPIA.
You joke about childbirth and breastfeeding, not typical stand-up
material. Do you get any pushback?
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About Town
Yes, I Did Say That!
Quotes
A look at who’s saying what in entertainment
Compiled by Seth Abramovitch
STORMY DANIELS
The adult film actress, to Alec Baldwin’s President Trump,
in a surprise cameo in a Saturday Night Live cold open.
“A half-hour
show will give me
the time to do a
higher percentage
of the comedy.”
“It’s critical that
we’re on the right
side of history.”
SUSAN WOJCICKI
YouTube’s CEO, addressing
the proliferation of inflammatory
and extremist videos on
the platform at the company’s
Brandcast event in New York.
“I think it’s a time
in our culture
where people love
to pretend they’re
offended.”
“It just occurred
to me that the plot
of Willy Wonka is
really messed up.”
CONAN O’BRIEN
ELON MUSK
MATT GROENING
The late-night host, in a
statement arguing why TBS’
decision to reduce his
show from 60 to 30 minutes
is a good thing.
The Tesla and SpaceX mogul,
in a series of tweets announcing
a new candy-making venture.
The Simpsons creator,
telling USA Today his reaction
to the wave of criticism
against the character Apu for
being an ugly stereotype.
“I felt like a
gymnast who did a
very solid routine
and broke her ankle
on the landing.”
“You’re seriously
missing out,
man. Take it from
someone who has
pride and thoroughly
enjoys pleasuring
women.”
TINA FEY
The comedian, sharing regrets on
David Letterman’s Netflix show about
SNL’s “sheet-caking” sketch,
which was interpreted as advocating
apathy after the clashes in
Charlottesville, Virginia.
RUDY’S
ROUGH
MEDIA
RIDE
EVAN RACHEL WOOD
The bisexual Westworld star,
responding on Twitter to
DJ Khaled’s comment that he does
not perform oral sex on his wife
(although he expects it from her).
Giuliani’s media blitz as Trump’s lawyer didn’t win
over the Hollywood jury. Andy Richter called him a
“skull-headed monster,” while Alan Cumming
went with “total dickhead.” Josh Gad, meanwhile,
recommended Trump “hire another lawyer to
defend him against claims by his current lawyer.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
26
M AY 9, 2018
“The truth
dipped in chocolate
brilliance.”
LENA WAITHE
The screenwriter and actress,
tweeting her reaction to
Childish Gambino’s bracing new
music video, “This Is America,”
which racked up 22 million YouTube
views in 48 hours.
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believe in climate change,
but a storm’s a-comin’!”
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for your production needs
around the globe, proudly
powered by the Association
of Film Commissioners
International (AFCI) and
The Hollywood Reporter.
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About Town
The Red Carpet
Met Gala
New York, May 7
2
Zendaya
3
From left: Donatella
Versace, Rihanna
and Katy Perry
1
Amal and
George
Clooney
10
Laura
Dern
8
6
From left: Gucci creative
director Alessandro
Michele, Lana Del Rey
and Jared Leto
7
Anna
Wintour
Darren Criss
and Emilia Clarke
Lupus LA Orange Ball
12
Beverly Hills, May 3
Fox
Networks’
Peter Rice
11
Storm Reid
and Niles Fitch
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
28
M AY 9, 2018
GLAAD Media Awards
New York, May 5
Party
Crawler
5
4
Chadwick Boseman
Sarah Jessica Parker
and Andy Cohen
9
From left: Anne Hathaway,
Valentino creative director Pierpaolo
Piccioli and Frances McDormand
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Holy Night
14
The fashion world found
religion at the 2018 Met
gala celebrating the
exhibit “Heavenly Bodies:
Fashion and the Catholic
Imagination.” Faithful to
the “Sunday Best” dress
code, Rihanna (3) arrived
as a pope, alongside
her gala co-chairs Amal
Clooney (1) and Donatella
Versace (3). Host of
the annual Metropolitan
Museum of Art Costume
Institute fundraiser Anna
Wintour (6) called herself “Cardinal Chanel” and
donned an all-diamond
rosary. Stars among the
pious included Gary
Oldman, Bradley Cooper,
Scarlett Johansson,
Lena Waithe and the allfemale Ocean’s 8 ensemble.
15
Ross Mathews
and Ava DuVernay
Gloria Carter (left)
and Robin Roberts
— RAMONA SAVISS
Utley Honored
16
Adam Lambert and
Melissa Etheridge
18
Alexis
Bledel
“As I’ve lived with this diagnosis for 27 years, it took
some time to grow from
fear and despair to acceptance and optimism,” Fox
Searchlight Pictures’ Nancy
Utley (13) told 500 guests
at the Lupus LA Orange
Ball, where she was honored
by Laura Dern (10). When
approached about receiving the award, Utley said
that she was at first reticent, but then “I became
intrigued about lending my
voice to the voice of those
who have had it far harder
than me.” Rheumatologist
and researcher Marc
Chevrier also was feted at
the Beverly Wilshire event.
— SCOTT HUVER
A Call for Inclusion
17
Laverne
Cox
19
13
Samira Wiley
(left) and wife
Lauren Morelli
From left: Jim Gianopulos,
Nancy Utley and Lupus
LA chairman Adam Selkowitz
“It’s important to have us
involved in every aspect
of the production,” Orange
Is the New Black’s Laverne
Cox (17) told THR at the
29th annual GLAAD event.
“You want LGBTQ+ people
in the writers room, you
want LGBTQ+ producers,”
she added, citing Ryan
Murphy’s upcoming FX
dance drama, Pose. The
Hilton Midtown soiree celebrated Ava DuVernay (14)
and Samira Wiley (19),
among others, with Jay-Z’s
mother, Gloria Carter (15),
on hand to accept the
award for his song “Smile.”
— EVAN REAL
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
29
M AY 9, 2018
About Town
Heard Around Hollywood
Jake Tapper: ‘The Clintons
Owe Monica an Apology’
Emanuel is pleasing client Wahlberg with his advocacy of Gibson for roles.
Rambling Reporter
By Chris Gardner
Ari’s About-Face on Mel: Hire Him!
Ari Emanuel took a hard-line stance against and fired his then-WME client Mel Gibson after the actor’s 2006 arrest following an alcohol-fueled,
anti-Semitic and sexist tirade. Now, more than a decade later, sources
tell THR that the Endeavor CEO has been advocating for Gibson in recent
deals. First, Gibson personally apologized to Emanuel some months
back, says an insider. More importantly, Emanuel’s prized client Mark
Wahlberg bonded with Gibson during the making of Paramount’s holiday comedy Daddy’s Home 2, in which he starred as Wahlberg’s father.
With Wahlberg beneath Gibson’s wings, Emanuel encouraged Warner
Bros. to give Gibson a part in Six Billion Dollar Man and championed him
as the director for upcoming World War II naval movie Destroyer. None
of this directly benefits WME: Gibson was signed by rival agency CAA in
January 2017, after the actor mounted his comeback with Hacksaw Ridge.
But THR is told that Emanuel is not so forgiving as to want Gibson back
as a client. — KIM MASTERS
Kobe’s Oscar Party, Nearly
Two Months After the Show
In 2016, Kobe Bryant’s final
year playing for the L.A. Lakers,
friends warned the athlete that
retirement would bring misery and depression. Bryant, who
won an Academy Award this year
for exec producing the animated
short Dear Basketball, had other
ideas. “I’m like, dude, I got a call
From left: Keane, Rim and Carter with Bryant.
with [animator] Glen Keane and
[composer] John Williams at 1
o’clock, I’m good,” he recalled
at an intimate party that he and
Keane hosted April 25 at West
Hollywood’s Jeremy Hotel to thank
the team behind — and supporters of — the film that was adapted
from a retirement poem by Bryant.
Both men brought their Oscars.
Attending were Ivana Kirkbride,
GM of Oath OTT Entertainment
(whose go90 on Verizon distributed the short); Rogers & Cowan’s
Nicole Wool, who oversaw the
awards campaign; Gennie Rim,
Keane’s producing partner; and
Kobe, Inc. CMO Molly Carter.
In a warm speech, Bryant said of
the film: “It’s more than the
Oscar. What I’ve been getting a
lot is parents, coaches, brothers
and sisters coming up to me and
saying that it’s a tool of inspiration.” He added, “This is just the
beginning.” — SCOTT FEINBERG
While promoting his first novel,
The Hellfire Club, about secret societies and political corruption in
1950s D.C., CNN host Jake Tapper
reflected on the Monica LewinskyBill Clinton scandal that helped
launch his career in 1998. Tapper
was about to make the leap from
congressional press secretary
(“I was awful at it”) to journalist
when news of the affair hit. He
blurted out to David Carr, then at
Washington’s City Paper: “I went
out with her three weeks ago.” The
resulting piece, “I Dated Monica
Lewinsky,” thrust him into the
spotlight. Tapper revealed he’s still
in touch with Lewinsky (“I talked
to her a few weeks ago”) and says
the “zeitgeist has come around to
my view: The Clintons owe her an
apology. They treated her poorly. It
is amazing to me how much the
man is able to dust himself off and
move on, and the woman is stuck
like a mosquito.” — ANDY LEWIS
Carol Burnett’s Surprising BFF
Carol Burnett is having quite a
month: Her series, A Little Help,
premiered May 4 on Netflix, and
in May, she received the first
career achievement Peabody
Award. But the comedy legend,
who just turned 85, reveals she has
one more dream role to achieve: a
guest spot on Better Call Saul.
Burnett
30
How to Direct the Pope
(When You Aren’t God)
Pope Francis makes his feature
acting debut in the May 15 faithbased indie Beyond the Sun, from
writer-director Graciela Rodriguez
Gilio, a psychiatrist who worked
with victims of abuse in Francis’
native Argentina. “It was easy
for me to ask because I knew him
from before he was the pope,”
Rodriguez Gilio tells THR of securing the papal cameo. The scene,
which sees the pope sharing the
teachings of Jesus with a group
of children, was improvised and
shot in a half-hour at the Vatican.
“He would advise [the crew] and
be like, ‘The light is better this
way,’ ” recalls Rodriguez Gilio, who
has since screened the film for
Francis at the Vatican, where he
gave his holy approval. “He smiled
and laughed, and that was really
nice for me.” Of the pressures
of directing the pope, Rodriguez
Gilio says with a laugh: “I didn’t
direct him. He was the one directing me.” — MIA GALUPPO
Meghan Trainor’s Detailed
Plan to Conquer Hollywood
Meghan Trainor ’s song “Me Too”
is featured in Amy Schumer ’s
I Feel Pretty, but the pop star tells
THR she has bigger showbiz aspirations. Yes, the “All About That
Bass” singer wants to act and “do
movies like this,” Trainor says,
referring to the Schumer comedy.
“But I just want to do some cameos
first. That’s how you start. You
get a little second here and then a
few seconds there and then you get
to be the lead.” — MARC MALKIN
Got tips? Email rambling@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
And after Burnett waxed on about
bingeing Breaking Bad to her studio driver — whom she shares
with Saul creator Vince Gilligan
— the driver offered to introduce
them. Gilligan ended up going
to the taping of the 50th anniversary Carol Burnett Show special
in December, and since then, the
pair have had dinner — and are
planning a double date with their
partners, Brian Miller (Burnett’s)
and Holly Rice (Gilligan’s). Burnett
says she’d do Better Call Saul “in a
heartbeat.” Note to Gilligan: Saul’s
mother remains uncast. — A.L.
M AY 9, 2018
Hitched, Hatched, Hired
Power Dining
Inside the industry’s celebrations and news
Franco
Siebert
Gersh’s Leslie Siebert
shared the room at The
Palm with Ron Howard,
Brian Grazer, CAA’s Mike
Rosenfeld and Michael
Katcher and 20th Century
Fox TV’s Jonnie Davis. …
James Franco stopped by
Croft Alley Melrose Place.
Charlize Theron also
was in. … Conan O’Brien
checked out Lucques.
… Jonah Hill held court
at Mr Chow. … Gabrielle
Union and Dwyane
Wade had date night at
Beauty & Essex. … Henry
Winkler had breakfast
at Republique. ... Jennifer
Lopez and Chris Tucker
shared a booth at Polo
Lounge. … Funny or Die’s
Mike Farah and Joe
Farrell sat with American
Vandal creators Tony
Yacenda and Dan Perrault
at Viale Dei Romani.
2
1
Weddings
Kyle Warren, TV
HO T
NEW
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LOU PARKER. MOODY: COURTESY OF FREEFORM. ROY: COURTESY OF DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS. SIEBERT: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES FOR THR.
AU
REST
RANT
writer-producer on
Lethal Weapon,
married doctoral
candidate Anne
Blackstock-Bernstein
on April 7 at the Cree
Estate in Cathedral
City, California.
Playwright Tony
Kushner, for whom
Warren worked
until 2014, officiated.
Petit Trois Le Valley
Births
The Quick Pitch The
impossibly tiny Highland
Avenue location of Ludo
Lefebvre’s loving homage to both the fare and
fanfare of traditional
French bistros has been
a magnet for the likes of
Jimmy Kimmel and Jeffrey
Katzenberg since it opened
in 2014. Now the chef has
opened a far larger edition
a baguette’s toss from
his Sherman Oaks home. It
boasts a comparatively
expansive menu, including
a killer trout almondine.
The Inside Dish If all
goes well, the space next
door may become a Petit
Trois bakery and market.
13705 Ventura Blvd.
Danielle Pelland,
Candice McDonough
— GARY BAUM
will return to
1 BlackstockBernstein
and Warren
2 Ryder
Jaxon with
big sister
Violet, 6
3 Clokey
owner of Brilliant
Consulting, and
her partner, marketing consultant Jeff
Norskog, welcomed
son Ryder Jaxon
on March 15 in L.A.
Warner Bros. as
senior vp theatrical
communications.
Fox Searchlight
Pictures
International promoted Roya Vakili
to senior vp marketing May 4.
Red Arrow Studios
International
tapped Carlo Dusi
as executive vp
commercial strategy, scripted, May 1.
Katz Media Group
elevated Scott
Porretti to executive
vp digital May 1.
3
WNET appointed
Lesley Norman executive producer of
national programming April 30.
March 2 in Santa
Barbara after an
episode of cardiac
arrest. He was 56.
Roger Vorce, cofounder and
chairman emeritus of APA, died
April 30 at his
home in Beverly
Hills. He was 88.
Roy
John “Jabo” Starks,
Ben Roy was upped to
vp programming and
development at Dick
Clark Productions on
May 2.
Rachel Spiegelman
was named head
of brand studio Hello
Sunshine on May 2.
the drummer who
helped give some of
James Brown’s most
indelible hits their
signature snap, died
May 1 at his home
in Mobile, Alabama,
after battling leukemia. He was 79.
Dave Michener, a vet-
Congrats
Deaths
Warner Bros.
Pictures spokesman
Jack Horner is segueing to a corporate
communications
job at Warner Bros.
Entertainment, and
Joe Clokey, a
Moody
Erin Moody was
named vp communications at Freeform
on May 2.
To submit, send email to hhh@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
31
M AY 9, 2018
producer and the
caretaker of the
Gumby empire that
began in the ’50s
with the creation of
the pliable clay figure by his father, the
late Art Clokey, died
eran animator who
worked on such films
as Mary Poppins and
Sleeping Beauty during his three decades
at Walt Disney
Studios, died Feb. 15
at his home in L.A.
due to complications
of a virus. He was 85.
The Business
Creative Space
A
lex Gibney couldn’t give
away his first documentary feature. The Trials
of Henry Kissinger, a brutal indictment of the former secretary
of state culled from Christopher
Hitchens’ controversial tome,
had no distributor in the U.S. But
after a buzzy run at the Human
Rights Watch Film Festival in
2002 (“People were hawking tickets,” recalls Gibney), a small
distributor took it. “It played at
[New York’s] Film Forum four
or five months. It made me realize,
wow, if you can make something
entertaining enough, then it can
be seen by a lot of people.”
Gibney’s films are as entertaining as their subjects are
consequential: sex abuse in the
Catholic Church (Mea Maxima
Culpa); CIA black sites (2006’s
Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark
Side); corporate chicanery (Enron:
The Smartest Guys in the Room)
and corruption (Dirty Money;
Netflix is close to ordering more);
cyberwarfare (Zero Days). He’s
built a mini-empire in lower
Manhattan, Jigsaw Productions,
with about a dozen permanent
employees and up to 100 more
there on any given day. He’s developing a doc about Roger Ailes,
the late founder of Fox News, for
A+E’s film division, and one on
the FBI inspired by Tim Weiner’s
book Enemies for Showtime.
It was his sale of a 50 percent
stake in Jigsaw to U.K.-based
Content Media (now Q Media) in
2012 that allowed Gibney to
establish a veritable doc factory.
Before that deal, “it was just me,
an assistant and a part-time bookkeeper,” he says. “Then I had to
make a decision: Do I keep doing
that or do I build a company?”
Gibney, 64, got his start in the
editing department at the Samuel
Goldwyn Co.; he directed a few
TV documentaries and dabbled in
journalism. His “nadir” came in
his late 20s when he wrote a piece
about an all-night pet ER for a publication sponsored by a dog food
Gibney was given
this doctored photo
of him (left) with
Tom Cruise after Going
Clear. “I’d like to say
it was a gift from Tom,”
he cracks.
Alex Gibney
The Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who
skewered Enron, WikiLeaks and Scientology
will tackle two fraught new subjects: Fox News
founder Roger Ailes and the FBI By Marisa Guthrie
↑ “The idea wasn’t to build it in a hierarchical,
top-down manner where all the films reflect my
personal vision,” says Gibney, photographed
May 1 in his New York ofice, of his company.
company. “The idea that one would
actually do that for money seems
almost absurd now,” he says.
Lately, the married dad of three
grown children has segued to
scripted. He’s in discussions with
Hulu for a second season of The
Looming Tower; “It was designed as
a limited series, but we’re pondering.” And he’s securing financing
for his first narrative feature: The
Action, about anti-war activists
who exposed J. Edgar Hoover’s
campaign of spying and blackmail. “When you’re working in
scripted, you’re dealing with a
huge machine,” he says. “It’s like
the difference between being
part of a small guerilla force that’s
meant to go into Abbottabad in
the middle of the night and shock
and awe.”
The streaming services don’t distribute metrics. Is it difficult not to
have that yardstick?
It is challenging. But you know
what? They have ways of letting
Photographed by Dustin Cohen
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
32
M AY 9, 2018
A photo of the late
journalist Hunter
S. Thompson, subject
of Gibney’s 2008
doc Gonzo, signed
by illustrator
Ralph Steadman.
Gibney’s father,
Frank (far right),
covered the Korean
War for Time Life.
“I hugely admired him,
and I hugely admire
journalists.”
you know when something you’ve
made has been successful. They
call you up and they say, “I can’t
tell you how, but I can tell you it’s
been really successful.” So apparently Dirty Money was hugely
successful, not only domestically
but internationally and in ways
I think that Netflix didn’t expect,
which was that people binged it.
Has the Ailes story shifted or
expanded in the wake of Weinstein
and the #MeToo avalanche?
What’s interesting about that
story is that that becomes part of
the DNA of the place he created. So
vitriol and abuse suddenly become
part of a kind of weird recombinant DNA embodied in this guy
who invented Fox News.
GROOMING BY NICOLE BLAIS FOR EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS USING SKYN ICELAND
There’s been a lot of dissection
of Trump’s role as a catalyst for
the #MeToo reckoning because his
apparent misogyny did not keep
him from getting elected. Is there
a definitive Trump documentary?
What might it look like?
I don’t know about the definitive
Trump documentary. He is such
a shape-shifter. This thing we’re
doing for Showtime, it’s that tension between the president and
the person who works for him,
the FBI director. And you can see
that throughout history. Dirty
Money was very specifically and
intentionally [focused on Trump’s
businesses]. The weird trap
with Trump is, sometimes you can
cover him too much because he
is sort of demanding that you do.
And sometimes the best antidote
is to avert your eyes. (Laughs.)
Or not to avert your eyes but to
really focus on what’s happening. … [He is] going to just destroy
government, and all that’s going
to be left is an army and big business. Everything else will be gone.
the doc, allowed a lot of people to
come forward that had left the
church but remained silent. Then
it reverberated inside the church,
and more people left. So it had a
pretty big impact. But if you have
a church that has billions of dollars and enormous real estate
holdings, which are tax exempt,
and you have fewer and fewer
adherents to cater to, it turns out
to be a pretty good business. So
as a business I suspect it will survive. And the IRS has been notably
cowardly about going after them.
What do you most need to make a
successful documentary? Access?
No, I don’t think so. I’ve had
that argument with people.
[WikiLeaks documentary] We
Steal Secrets, which may not
have been as watched [when it premiered] because so many people
were so invested in seeing Julian
Assange as a hero — there are
not so many people invested in
that anymore — was about Julian,
but we couldn’t get access to him.
We found ways around it and
then we discovered in the process
Chelsea Manning [who became
a focal point of the film]. So the
access thing can be good, but it can
also be a trap. Because there have
been great access films and terrible access films where you’ve got
access, but mostly it’s following
people getting in and out of limousines. And it feels like access, but
it’s fake access.
Newsrooms have endured painful
cuts. Do you think documentaries
have expanded to fill that void?
It seems like they have. I hope
we solve this Facebook-Google
problem, and then maybe print
What do you think has been the
fallout for Scientology of your
2015 documentary Going Clear?
Gibney, who believes
Trump “is taking a
wrecking ball to the …
government,” picked
up this Vladimir
Putin nesting doll on
a trip to Russia.
CURRENT TITLE
President and founder,
Jigsaw Productions
Scientology is shrinking massively, daily. And weirdly, that may
result in it being a better business,
but it’s not at all an influential
religion anymore. A number of
heroic journalists had taken on
Scientology over the years, but
the combined one-two punch of
Going Clear, the book [by Lawrence
Wright], and then Going Clear,
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
RÉSUMÉ
33
PREVIOUS JOB
Early on, he
worked in the editing
department at the
Samuel Goldwyn Co.
BIG HIT
His 2005 Enron doc
earned him an Oscar nom
and scored $4.9 million at
the worldwide box ofice.
M AY 9, 2018
gets its financial legs back. But
docs are not so much like news.
They’re like the long magazine
articles and/or nonfiction books
where you can feel the voice of
the author. And they have taken
an important place in the public sphere, which is great. Every
once in a while, they take off
and they enter the national conversation in an unexpected way.
It doesn’t always happen. With a
few of my docs it’s happened;
Enron was definitely one. I call
them taxi driver docs. If the taxi
drivers are talking about them,
or Uber drivers now that taxis
are disappearing, then you know
it’s kind of a hit.
Gibney, whose
father wrote several
books about Japan,
bought this lithograph
of Akira Kurosawa’s
1957 epic Throne
of Blood in Tokyo.
You’ve done a lot of films that
have been very unflattering to powerful people and institutions. Have
you ever felt personally unsafe?
Not really. It can be uncomfortable. I remember being trolled
after the WikiLeaks [film] by the
left, which I didn’t really expect.
And it took a while to process
that. It actually helped me prepare for Scientology. Julian’s
followers and the Scientologists
were weirdly similar in that way
and also in the way that they
would rapaciously lie. So I was
ready. But sometimes it gets a
little bit disquieting. I got a lot of
nasty “you’re going to hell” letters in the wake of Mea Maxima
Culpa. But if you’re going to go
there, you’ve got to be ready for
the territory. And I think the wisest advice I got was from a former
Scientologist who said, “They’re
going to try to get into your head.
Know that they’re doing it and
don’t let them get there.” It’s not
easy to do but if you externalize
it, you realize it’s coming, it’s part
of the job. It’s like if you’re going
to be in an emergency room, you’re
going to expect some blood.
The Business
MOGULS | MICHAEL WOLFF
Les Moonves Has Power
and Influence — and a Boss
Let’s not forget: Shari Redstone controls both Viacom and CBS, and, like Murdoch
before her, she — not TV’s most respected executive — ultimately will determine the
outcome of a corporate tug-of-war over the future of a merged showbiz empire
I
n the end, perhaps you always work for
somebody else. Martin Sorrell, the creator
and longtime absolute ruler of the global
advertising conglomerate WPP, found that out
in April. His board, citing undisclosed financial “irregularities,” forced him out after more
than 30 years.
The true nature or outer limits of power is
the existential quest of moguldom.
Mark Zuckerberg, taking a page from Rupert
MICHAEL WOLFF, a Hollywood Reporter
contributor, recently wrote Fire and Fury,
which is being adapted for television.
Murdoch’s and Sumner Redstone’s mogul
biographies, designed a voting-control
structure for Facebook that gives him virtually unchallengeable control of the company.
Barry Diller, said to be working on a
book about his mogul life, ran Paramount
in the days when it was an asset in Charles
Bluhdorn’s Gulf and Western empire. Then
Diller traded up to running 20th Century
Fox under Murdoch. Diller deserved much of
the credit for both reviving the movie studio and launching the Fox broadcast network
— businesses Murdoch himself had little
experience in — but when he asked Murdoch
Illustration by Matt Collins
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
34
M AY 9, 2018
for an ownership stake, he was shown the door.
Diller spent the next decade morphing and
refining corporate entities into total control
for himself as CEO of IAC, a holding company
for digital assets like Match.com and Vimeo.
Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of
CBS Corp., passed through a series of difficult
overlords — including Michael H. Jordan, of
the Westinghouse Co., which acquired CBS in
1995; Infinity Broadcasting’s Mel Karmazin,
who ousted Jordan in a corporate coup; and
Redstone, who bought the company in 2000. By
dint of talent and verve, and the incapacity of
his ultimate shareholder, Moonves
achieved his own seemingly unassailable mogul perch.
He was protected not only by
top-of-the-industry
results
Bakish
but by a through-the-lookingglass example of corporate
existence without someone like
him. In 2005, Redstone divided
his empire between a flailing
Dauman
CBS run by former actor, ace
talent-picker and ultimate television survivor
Moonves, and a more robust and futurefacing cable television company, Viacom, run
by corporate apparatchik Philippe Dauman.
CBS went spectacularly up and Viacom disastrously down. Viacom, after a generation
of lackluster management, remains the
sick man of the film and television industry.
Even so, Dauman, with his own mogul
illusions — and believing he was the true
Redstone heir — waged a long battle with
Shari Redstone, the estranged daughter but
actual heir, for ultimate control. He lost.
Redstone then tried to merge Viacom back
into CBS, under Moonves’ management.
Moonves, disdainful of Viacom’s assets and
aware that such a move would concentrate
the Redstone family interest on the combined companies and his leadership of them,
said no.
The point being, he was powerful enough —
protected enough by his success — to say no.
After more turmoil at Viacom, Redstone
handpicked what many consider her own corporate apparatchik to lead the company, Bob
Bakish. Again, Moonves could only reasonably be seen as the clear contrast gainer. Who
would you want to manage your show business assets? Former international distribution
executive Bakish or golden-gut Moonves?
But the deeper point was that owners,
rather than mere managers, don’t have to
be wholly rational. Redstone, beyond the good
of her shareholders or even her fortune, can
do what she wants. And at this point, it might
seem that she simply most wants Moonves
BAKISH: JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES. DAUMAN: BENNETT RAGLIN/GETTY IMAGES.
Analysis
The Business
Analysis
not to stand in her way. Among the issues in
Redstone’s renewed efforts to join the companies has been her insistence that 54-year-old
Bakish be named either heir to 68-year-old
Moonves or a member of the combined company’s board.
No doubt correctly seeing his almost inevitable defenestration, Moonves has said no
way and has offered some more or less thumbin-the-eye conciliation positions for Bakish.
Moonvess position seems, at the moment,
to be a moral one: He is negotiating the best
deal for CBS shareholders (a primary point of
would have, Diller-like, pursued the corporate
machinations that might have now protected
him from a control-vote shareholder.
Perhaps it is not too late. Moonves could
assume a war footing and, with a case to
be made to Wall Street and the press reliably
favorable toward him, the goodwill of the
industry behind him and with the endless legal
complications arising from the Redstone
family saga, he might mount a case that Shari
is self-dealing.
With significantly less goodwill and
fewer accomplishments to his credit, that’s
what Dauman tried to do. Arguably, he got
close enough to undermining the peculiarities
that deal: his control). Redstone’s position
is a factual one: She has every right to turn
her technical control into actual control.
Circumstances, if not logic, have made it her
company.
In fact, Moonves has had, by virtue of talent and circumstances, a number of years
of almost absolute authority — the owner out
of it, his heirs estranged. Perhaps Moonves
should simply feel lucky for that. Or maybe,
if he hadn’t been so secure and cosseted, he
Diller (left), with Murdoch in 1995; Moonves (above)
of the Redstone claims on the company that
Moonves, with more standing, might succeed. Or, a legendary negotiator, he can simply
hold on and bargain with his owner, as so
far he seems to be doing. According to recent
accounts, Redstone has given up her insistence on a penultimate role for Bakish, with
merger plans taking a significant step forward. Moonves’ stature will surely allow him
to reach at least a temporary truce.
But even if Moonves is the last man on
Earth capable of succeeding in the television
business, CBS still isn’t his.
Stock Shares and Family Control: Who’s Got the Power
Founders not only own far more stock than a typical CEO but also can wield more control via a special class of voting shares.
When it comes to new media, founders and CEOs are often one and the same By Paul Bond
TOTAL COMPANY VALUE
$800B
750
700
650
600
550
500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
$1B
SHARE OF STOCK * FOUNDER • CEO
$767B
$729B
Google
founders
Page and
Brin each
maintain
more than
25% of
the voting
power at the
parent
company
Murdoch, through his ownership
of 38.9% of the class B shares at Fox,
controls 40% of the voting power.
33%
Brian Roberts, son of
co-founder Ralph,
controls the company
with one-third of
its voting rights.
$511B
Zuckerberg
keeps
59% voting
control over
the social
network
Ownership stakes for CEOs like
Iger and Bewkes change rapidly
as stock options vest.
$152B
$147B
$139B
$125B
$73B
$79.5B
$44B
$3B
Each
$107M
CBS and Viacom, run by
Leslie Moonves and
Bob Bakish, respectively, are
controlled by National
Amusements, with most of
the shots called by Sumner
and Shari Redstone. NA owns
nearly 80% of the class A
shares of each subsidiary,
which gives it most of the
voting power.
$1.4B
$53M
*•Jef
Bezos
Amazon
*•Larry Page
*Sergey Brin
Alphabet
*•Mark
Zuckerberg
Facebook
*•Reed
Hastings
Netflix
•Bob
Iger
Disney
• Brian
Roberts
Comcast
•Jef
Bewkes
Time Warner
16.3%
6%
15.6%
2.2%
Less than 1%
Less than 1%
Less than 1%
$11.7B
$69B
$2B
$20B
$1.4B $12B
*Rupert Murdoch
21st Century
Fox
*Sumner, Shari
Redstone
CBS
*Sumner, Shari
Redstone
Viacom
17%
10%
11.7%
Company
and
Investor
Ownership
Source: SEC Filings, THR Research, Yahoo Finance. Market caps as of May 4.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
36
M AY 9, 2018
DILLER: LENNOX MCLENDON/AP PHOTO. MOONVES: FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES. BEZOS: LEIGH VOGEL/GETTYIMAGES. HASTINGS: DOMINIQUE CHARRIAU/GETTY IMAGES. SUMNER: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES (2). BRIN, PAGE: C FLANIGAN/FILMMAGIC.
ZUCKERBERG: KIMBERLY WHITE/GETTY IMAGES. SHARI: KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (2). IGER: WALTER MCBRIDE/GETTY IMAGES. ROBERTS: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. MURDOCH: DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES.
Moonves has had a
number of years of
almost absolute authority
— the owner out of it,
his heirs estranged.
The Business
Analysis
TELEV ISION | MARISA GUTHRIE
The Broadcast
Empires Strike Back
As the digital rebellion chips away at profits, the big networks
are coming out swinging at this year’s TV upfronts, pitching
fewer ads and better measurement — and swiping at recent
Silicon Valley scandals — to secure $9 billion in ad sales
and some companies can’t even
get that right.”) And she certainly
will hammer that point again. “It’s
really about the lack of discipline
— from a gigantic large-cap company — and the loss of trust,” she
says. “It’s going to take a long time
to regain that trust.”
WE CAN STRIKE SURGICALLY
The key for broadcast networks
is to shift the market to a metric that effectively counts viewers
wherever they watch content.
Nielsen — upon whose data most
ad guarantees are still written —
has products that claim to track
viewers across all platforms; last
year it rolled out its Total Content
Ratings. But many in the industry
are dissatisfied that TCR truly captures every view on every platform,
and instead of holding their breath
for major innovations from one
of their favorite upfront whipping
boys, all the major media companies have introduced proprietary
tools that purport to give advertisers a more complete picture of how
many people watch their spots and
on which platforms.
Ahead of the 2017 upfront
presentations, Turner, Fox and
Viacom announced that they
would join forces on an audience
targeting tool called Open AP,
Illustration by Tim Peacock
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
38
M AY 9, 2018
which uses data from Nielsen,
comScore and others to allow
advertisers to target consumers
beyond standard categories of
age and gender. The tool facilitates
so-called “audience buying” deals,
which allows advertisers to target
consumers based on more precise
attributes such as first-time car
buyers, new mothers or eco-conscious consumers. The venture
is unusual because it has competitors joining forces; and in April,
NBCUniversal announced that it
would also join the consortium.
Meanwhile on April 5,
NBCUniversal unveiled CFlight,
which measures all live, ondemand and time-shifted
commercial views within full episodes of NBCUni shows, wherever
the consumer is watching them,
be it linear, NBC’s VOD platform,
an SVOD service like Hulu or an
OTT platform such as Roku. “The
really important thing to know is
that with CFlight, it includes
completed viewing for your spot,”
says Yaccarino. “So if your spot
ran 14 seconds and not 15, or 29
seconds and not 30, those [views]
don’t count. Completed views
only count, so it further separates
television versus what goes on
in digital with a 1.7-second view or
something like that.”
YACCARINO: JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES. LEVY: ISAAC BREKKEN/GETTY IMAGES FOR VULTURE.
T
he $70 billion television
WE’RE SAFE, THEY’RE SCARY
advertising market is at a
Legacy media executives have
crossroads — buffeted by
made the slipshod brand safety
peripatetic consumers and deepstandards of digital companies
pocketed Silicon Valley players
a running theme in their premany years into an incursion on
sentations for at least the past
content and distribution. But legtwo years. Weeks before 2017’s
acy media companies are fighting
upfront, several large companies
back and are gearing up to present
pulled ads from YouTube after it
their battle plans.
was revealed that spots were runDuring the upfront presentaning with offensive content. Yet
tions in New York — beginning
holes in content filters remain; on
May 14 — the broadcasters (ABC,
April 23, YouTube announced that
CBS, Fox, NBC, The CW and
it had removed more than 8 milSpanish-language net Univision)
lion objectionable videos during
as well as ESPN and the Turner
the last quarter of 2017 — a probnetworks will present a dizzying
lem CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed
array of charts and graphs to
in her NewFront pitch to
demonstrate their scale and
advertisers: “We apoloefficacy in an effort to get
gize for letting some of you
media buyers to commit an
down. We will do better.”
estimated $9 billion to the
This year, Silicon Valley
Yaccarino
2018-19 season.
has handed broadcastThese players go into the
ers another giant club in
annual sales bazaar amid a
the form of the massive
roaring economy and high
Cambridge Analytica data
consumer confidence that
breach at Facebook that
Levy
network ad sales chiefs insist
forced Mark Zuckerberg to
are harbingers of a strong upfront.
take the congressional hot seat.
But the narrative for linear televi“Cambridge Analytica has
sion — declining live viewing and
changed everything,” says Daniel
ad skipping — is a stubborn one.
Ives, chief strategy officer at data
Total consumption may be at an
marketing firm GBH Insights.
all-time high, but live ratings are
“So far the damage has been connear a nadir.
tainable. Over the coming three
With the recent and very pubto six months, we’ll have a better
lic debacles at YouTube, Twitter
barometer. We’re talking about a
and especially Facebook, this
fundamental shift in the landyear presents a unique opportuscape. The second half of 2018 is
nity. By touting TV’s safety and
going to be a treacherous landan embrace of new tools, legacy
scape for these digital players.”
brands will try to shift the narraLinda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal
tive and grab more cash than
ad sales chairman, has been a perever. Here’s what they’ll be touting.
sistent critic of Silicon Valley.
Last year, from the stage of Radio
City Music Hall, she skewered her
MARISA GUTHRIE is The
digital competitors (“Let’s be
Hollywood Reporter’s East Coast
honest: Brand safety is a low bar,
television editor.
The Business
FEWER COMMERCIALS!
There has been a growing
acknowledgement across the
industry that stuffing seemingly
interminable commercial blocks
into programming is a losing
battle when consumers can avail
themselves of ad-skipping technology and ad-free platforms.
“Consumers hate advertising,”
NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt
NBC Rules the Ratings … for Now
Control of TV’s adults 18-to-49 demo is uncontested thanks in part to
the Super Bowl and the Olympics, but its lead among total viewers may
not last. Perennially most watched CBS is quickly closing the gap
Total
Viewers
Buyers have responded to the
technology. John Swift, CEO,
investment & integrated services
North America, Omnicom Media
Group, characterizes CFlight as
“an important step toward better
measurement in a cross-platform
video environment.” And in
2017, Yaccarino’s portfolio, which
includes NBC and a slew of cable
networks (E!, Bravo, Syfy, MSNBC)
and their respective digital platforms, brought in an eye-popping
$6.5 billion in upfront commitments. She says advertisers “are
getting a total audience metric
that is unfortunately
unavailable by Nielsen
now. But I’m optimistic. I believe it will
inspire quicker change
by Nielsen.”
admitted at a media forum in
November. “People are running
away from advertising in droves.”
Viacom began cutting back on
in-show ads in 2015. And two years
ago, Turner announced it would
reduce primetime commercials
by 50 percent on truTV, a youngerskewing network. “The angst
was, can we cover these costs?”
says Turner president David Levy.
“Are the advertisers going to be
willing to pay a premium for this
environment?”
The network’s ratings actually increased — a rare feat in
an industry almost universally
down in live viewing. Fox also
has experimented with limited
commercials,
and this year
ad sales chief
Joe Marchese
pledged to trim
primetime ad
totals to just two
minutes each hour
by 2020. (Last year,
Fox averaged approximately 13 minutes of ad
time per hour.) Beginning in the
fourth quarter, NBCUniversal
will also decrease ads during original primetime programming
by 20 percent and will trim overall primetime commercial time
across its network by 10 percent.
“Fully loaded commercials are
not a great consumer experience,”
Adults
18-49
Analysis
NBC
CBS
ABC
↑9%
↓7%
↓3%
9.2 million
9.0 million
6.1 million
↑5%
↓11%
2.2 rating
1.6 rating
FOX
CW
↓13% ↓4%
5.0 million
1.7 million
↓6% ↓21% ↓14%
1.5 rating
1.5 rating
0.6 rating
Source: Nielsen Media “most current” season averages through April 29.
says Levy. “This all boils down
to that.”
So far, ad buyers seem willing
to pay a premium for a less cluttered environment. As one puts it:
“The six-minute ad load is death.
Nobody is sitting through that.”
FOOTBALL STILL SCORES
Despite single-digit declines during the regular NFL season for
two consecutive years, league
games still accounted for 37 of
the 50 most watched telecasts of
the season, while ESPN’s Monday
Night Football was the most
watched cable program in 2017.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the
top-rated, most watched program
for six years running, averaged
more than 18 million viewers
a week. And getting consumers to
watch live is of increasing value.
Turner’s Levy, whose networks
do not carry the NFL but have
deals with the NBA and NCAA
men’s basketball, scoffs at the
notion that the NFL is flagging.
“There have been other factors
— a political campaign, the kneeling, the concussions,” he says.
“But sports has a built-in, passionate fan base.” (That includes
the NBA, which just wrapped its
most watched regular season in
four years.)
That said, the NFL’s media partners privately acknowledge that
they don’t want a repeat of the
2017 season, when political issues
generated negative headlines and
many popular teams endured disappointing seasons. Advertisers
are squeamish when it comes to
anything even mildly controversial. But as one media buyer says:
“I think the ratings had more to
do with the quality of the games
than anything else. And that’s not
something you can plan for.”
At the NewFronts: Television Is Dead. Long Live Television!
adison Avenue executives who convened on the morning of April 30 for
The New York Times’ annual pitch to
advertisers didn’t just hear about the newspaper’s devoted subscriber base and
fast-growing podcasting division. They
also were treated to lengthy opining about
the future of the paper’s brand on TV,
including a Showtime docuseries following Times journalists during the first year
of Trump’s presidency, a show based on
the New York Times Magazine’s Diagnosis
column that is coming to Netflix in 2019
and maybe one day a game show based on
the crossword puzzle.
“The interesting story in digital video
is that the real winners to date are not all
these new video social brands, it’s the
broadcast players,” says Sebastian Tomich,
global head of advertising and marketing at the Times. “No matter where video
is, [the major platforms] still do it best. So
that’s where we need go.”
M
Refinery29 COO Personette talked up the
new website at its May 2 NewFront.
The presentation, which kicked of more
than a dozen Digital Content NewFronts
pitches from the likes of Twitter, Conde
Nast Entertainment, Refinery29 and Vice
Media, set the stage for a week in which
TV took center stage. YouTube, which has
long lambasted the TV industry for lacking
the young viewers that flock to its platform,
announced at its May 3 presentation that
it will begin selling inventory from its live
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
television bundle, YouTube TV, as part of
its premium ad tier and soon will let brands
target viewers who watch YouTube in their
living room (as opposed to on their phones).
Refinery29 unveiled its over-the-top video
app, Channel29. ESPN and Viacom, home
to Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET
and MTV, even crashed the party with their
first-ever NewFronts.
It was an about-face for the 9-year-old
event that was created as digital’s answer
to the TV upfronts. What has changed?
The rise of video viewing on set-top boxes
like Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast has
blurred the lines between digital and linear
programming, notes eMarketer analyst
Paul Verna. “The last couple of years here
at the NewFronts, companies like Time Inc.
and Hearst were pushing that they basically were like a TV network on their own,”
he notes. “Now, shows are being developed
by these publishing brands, but they’re
going to TV or non-ad-supported digital
40
M AY 9, 2018
services [like Netflix].” The result is an
expected 25 percent jump to $3.64 billion
in upfront digital video ad spending this
year. According to eMarketer, that growth
is coming from two places: traditional TV
networks getting into the digital game and
premium content by native digitals such
as YouTube.
Given the past year has seen heightened concerns from ad buyers about the
brand safety of Facebook, YouTube and
Twitter, it’s no coincidence that digital companies focused their pitches on more
controlled environments like TV or their
own sites. At the Refinery29 presentation, the female-focused digital publisher
talked up its Channel29 app and newly
redesigned website, where it is more prominently featuring its video oferings. Chief
operating oficer Sarah Personette, who
joined the company from Facebook, notes,
“We are owning our own destination and
our own destiny.” — NATALIE JARVEY
JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES FOR REFINERY29
Digital’s answer to the upfronts once pitched itself as an evolution of video, but this year all anyone seemed to want to talk about was traditional TV
AUGUST 18 & 19 | NORTHWELL HEALTH AT JONES BEACH THEATER | LONG ISLAND, NY
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Style
Design
Hollywood’s
New Egalitarian
Offices (Sort Of)
Taking visual cues from tech, two redesigns
reflect ‘a creative environment that stimulates
conversation,’ says Solo director Ron Howard
By Degen Pener
wo new headquarters for
a pair of top entertainment
companies are setting
the standard for Hollywood office
design circa 2018. The big news is
that large private offices are a
bit passe, at least below the chairman and CEO level. At Ron Howard
and Brian Grazer ’s Imagine
Entertainment, which moved
into new 28,000-square-foot
offices in Beverly Hills just south
of Wilshire Boulevard in 2017,
the average office size “shrank a
little bit from where they were
before,” says Aimee Less, interior
T
design director of Rios Clementi
Hale Studios (RCHS), the architects behind the project. The
space is highlighted by a wall
decorated with script pages from
projects over the years, including A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13
and Empire.
Taking a cue from the tech
world, some entertainment companies are paring back on personal
workspaces to give more room to
shared areas as a way of sparking
connection among employees.
At Imagine — which occupies two
airy floors in a newly renovated
building once occupied by William
Morris Agency on South El
Camino Drive — that means not
only a formal conference room but
also casual spaces with sofas and
chairs, a coffee bar with tall stools
and a tiered bleacher-style presentation area where a yoga class is
held occasionally on Fridays. “This
definitely reflects our desire to
create a very creative environment
that stimulates conversation and
that has a little more space for
people to come and hang out with
us,” says company executive chairman Howard, whose Solo: A Star
Photographed by Spencer Lowell
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
42
M AY 9, 2018
Wars Story will premiere at Cannes
May 15 and open wide May 25.
“I love that we have more places to
get out of your office and go talk to
one another.”
Howard admits their old office,
just one block away and decorated in typical industry fashion
with movie and TV show posters, was starting to have “a little
more ’90s feel. It was elegant and
I liked it, but it was more about
individual spaces.” Adds his cofounder Grazer, who took the
lead on the redesign, “It couldn’t
be more the opposite of what
GROOMING BY HELEN ROBERTSON FOR LIVING PROOF AT CELESTINE AGENCY.
1
2
3
4
5
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
we had.” And while Grazer’s and
Howard’s offices are as roomy as
any corner office in Hollywood,
they have areas that lend themselves to inclusive meetings. In
Grazer’s, it’s a sectional couch that
can fit 10; in Howard’s, there’s a
large work table in lieu of a desk.
“It’s really built to be a place to roll
up our sleeves and lay problems
out on the table and crack them,”
says Howard.
The same thinking goes into the
new offices of entertainment law
firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka
Finkelstein & Lezcano, on the 17th
43
M AY 9, 2018
1 Howard (right) and Grazer
were photographed on the second
floor of their new Beverly Hills
ofices March 15, with OFS’ Rif
ping-pong table. Artwork (left)
by Ekta Aggarwal. “It’s a way of
showcasing young artists,” says
Grazer of the CalArts partnership.
2 In Grazer’s ofice, artwork
includes one of the producer’s own
paintings (foreground) and a
2016 piece (on back wall) by
Hermes Barrio titled La Texana.
The blue chair is by Arflex. The
producer had worked with Rios
Clementi Hale Studios as the
architects for his home in Santa
Monica. “One thing that’s really
key for the ofices is that they have
moments of surprise,” says
RCHS founding partner Mark Rios.
3 Script pages from Imagine
projects (aged by dipping them in
cofee and tea) hang on the
company-logo wall. “I love that it
honors the writers who have
had such an impact on what we’ve
done over the years,” says Howard.
4 A bookcase in Grazer’s ofice
includes Emmys for 24 and From
the Earth to the Moon (Imagine
has 42 Emmys and 10 Oscars
to its credit) and a plaster head
from Blackman Cruz.
5 “It’s homey and warm,” says
Grazer of Howard’s ofice.
floor of a tower in Century City,
which mixes warm wood tones
with pops of color throughout its
13,300-square-foot layout. The old
offices were more hierarchical.
“It was traditional: Partners in law
firms have always had big offices;
associates have small offices,”
says Jeff Finkelstein, a partner at
the firm, which represents Hulu
content chief Joel Stillerman,
Tiffany Haddish, Lena Waithe,
Lupita Nyong’o, Ava DuVernay, John
Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
Now — in Del Shaw’s new space,
designed by Tim Gajewski of NxT
Style
1
Neither company, though,
wanted to go too cool or hip.
“They didn’t want it to feel like a
startup,” says RCHS’ Less of
Imagine’s new home. “Because
of their history, Brian [Grazer]
wanted it to feel rooted and
mature but still have a youthfulness to it.” Overall, the hues
at each company’s offices are
fairly restrained. Modern notes
come from the exposed ceilings,
concrete floors and, says Less,
“injections of color to add excitement, especially in communal
sitting areas.” Adds Gajewski of
his work at Del Shaw, “They didn’t
want it to be trendy or something
that would go out of fashion.”
Other design elements in the
Del Shaw space include adjustable
sit/stand desks for all employees, while each office has visitor
seating with armchairs and upholstered window banquettes that
offer views of the city. In the age of
laptops and mobile devices, no one
needs to be tethered to a desk.
Says Gajewski of his Del Shaw clients, “They tend to move around
the entire office.”
Both companies prioritized
as design objectives displaying art (Del Shaw has a corporate
collection, while Imagine has
worked with CalArts School of
Art in an innovative partnership to show students’ work) and
bringing in natural light. At Del
Shaw, brightening the space was
accomplished by using frosted
glass for the private-office walls
that front hallways. Gajewski
also designed a conference room
with a retractable glass wall.
When the room isn’t in use —
90 percent of the time — the
walls go away. “It enlarges our
reception area and takes advantage of the views [with] eight
windows,” says Finkelstein. At
Imagine, RCHS opened sight
lines along public spaces on the
building perimeter to amplify
natural light.
One big change that employees at both companies had to
adjust to was a unified look for all
the private offices. Previously,
Del Shaw attorneys and the
Imagine execs chose their own
furniture. “People had a real
hodgepodge. We tried to have a
more curated collection across
the office,” says RCHS’ Less.
Both Gajewski at Del Shaw and
RCHS at Imagine created a limited selection of couch, chair and
fabric choices for employees.
“Because people had had total
ownership of their office, we
worked with each person,” adds
Less. “They participated in the
process and felt they were choosing their space.”
Photographed by Claudia Lucia
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
44
M AY 9, 2018
Design
2
Hollywood being Hollywood,
redesigns aren’t just about
improving corporate culture. They
are also about branding. Imagine
was founded in 1986, Del Shaw
in 1989. With their new offices, the
companies, each in business
for more than a quarter-century,
have sought to smartly update
and reset their image. “We feel like
this is a rebirth, a 2.0 of the law
firm, so we wanted to make sure
we are forward-thinking in the
design and that it will take us
through the next 28 years,” says
Del Shaw’s Bobb.
At Imagine, the aim was to
have offices that reflect the company’s more diversified direction;
in recent years, it has expanded
into documentaries, events and
branded content. The new office
not only “encourages more interfacing between the company
categories,” says Howard, but also
shows “we’re a very different
company. We have much more of
a dealmaking attitude in who
our potential partners can be and
we’re much more actively involved
in more facets of the medium.”
Simply put: Cool new headquarters are a great way to attract
fresh talent and collaborators.
Waithe, a client of Del Shaw cofounder Nina Shaw since 2013,
visited the offices for the first time
April 19. “I think it represents
these guys. It’s a cool, hip, welcoming, warm environment,”
Waithe says. “Everything is just
really fly and sleek.”
3
4
SHAW MAKEUP BY CARLA MONTEVALDO AT BLUSHINGTON. BOBB GROOMING BY AL ROWLANDS.
Studio — associates’ offices
are the same size as the partners,
while the number of meeting
spaces has increased and includes
four conference rooms, for a total
staff of 35 people. “As a boutique
law firm, we’re very collaborative,
and this new space promotes that,”
says Finkelstein. “It makes it welcoming for associates to come into
partners’ offices.” Adds partner
Gordon Bobb: “Here, everyone sits
and has lunch together and uses
the same meeting areas. It really
speaks to the culture of the firm.”
Bobb adds that the move to
Century City — the old offices were
in Santa Monica — also had to
do with the fact that the center of
gravity in the business is shifting eastward, with, for example,
Netflix and Viacom moving to
Hollywood. Says Bobb: “For us,
being out in Santa Monica became
burdensome. We were not really
in close proximity to our clients.
We felt a little out on an island.”
5
1 Retractable frosted-glass walls forming a
conference room at Del Shaw allow light into the
reception area. 2 A proof of Ronald Davis’
Invert Span (1979) hangs in a hallway. 3 Waithe
(center) was photographed April 19 with Bobb
and Shaw, whom she refers to as her “guardian
angels,” in the waiting area in front of James
Rosenquist’s The Stowaway Peers Out at the
Speed of Light. “This is a place where you can
breathe and feel comfortable,” says Shaw, whose
ofice displays Barbie-esque dolls of such
clients as DuVernay and Misty Copeland. 4 The
boardroom in the southwest corner of the
ofice includes a powder-coated steel pipe
Palindrome Chandelier by Rich Brilliant Willing, a
custom table by NxT Studio with a quartz-stone
top and 14 microphones for teleconferencing,
and chairs from Krug C5 Management in golden
brown leather. 5 A glass and marble pyramid by
George Geyer sits in reception. “This sculpture
was acquired after the 1994 earthquake
toppled a similar, smaller piece by the same
artist,” says Finkelstein.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
45
M AY 9, 2018
Style
Power
Tables
Right Now
Hangouts
1
3
1 Seared scallops at the new Scarpetta. 2 Legacy Records, a
Jessica Seinfeld fave, on West 38th Street. 3 Rose Hill on East
32nd Street has hosted Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey till 4 a.m.
2
Where to Eat & Meet
at NY’s TV Week
AVRA MADISON ESTIATORIO
WHO David Gefen, Jefrey
Katzenberg, Leo DiCaprio
WHERE Booth 72. “It has
a view of everything,” says
partner Nick Tsoulos.
14 E. 60th St.
Legasea Seafood Brasserie
Amid the upfronts uproar, sample the new restaurant
row and the city’s power tables of the moment
f you can, steal away from the TV upfronts (May 14-17) and check
out New York’s latest food hot zone: a corridor between 28th and
39th streets, from Park Avenue to the Hudson River, and overlapping with Hudson Yards, the 28-acre mini-city that will house
HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting. New restaurants abound,
including upcoming outposts from Thomas Keller and David Chang.
Says Cindy Tenner, HBO vp special events, “The West 20s and 30s are
definitely experiencing a restaurant renaissance.” — BETH LANDMAN
I
Not to be confused with nearby Legacy
Records (which has hosted NBC’s Rise
and Starz’s Sweetbitter cast parties),
this hopping spot in the Moxy Hotel has
set the backdrop for Serena and Venus
Williams and Molly Shannon. The lobster
bake and seafood towers are showstoppers. Says Danny Abeckaser, who’ll
appear in Martin Scorsese’s Netflix film
The Irishman: “Legasea has some of the
most unique dishes in the city, like the
spicy crab beignets.” 485 Seventh Ave.
Henry
LE BERNADIN
WHO Martha Stewart,
Yoko Ono, Helen Mirren
WHERE Table 1 in the first
row. Diners “fight for it,
that’s where you’re seen,”
says chef Eric Ripert.
For privacy, try No. 36.
155 W. 51st St.
Scarpetta
Chloe Grace Moretz is among those who
have enjoyed dishes at this well-received
venture. “Your eye moves around nonstop; it’s full of mirrors, nostalgic photos
and innovative light fixtures,” says David
Korins, the Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen
set designer who won a 2017 Emmy for
Grease: Live. “There is a bonus speakeasy
downstairs,” adds Tenner. 19 W. 31st St.
Ichiran
Simmered pork belly and matcha pudding are standouts at the 46-seat ramen
bar — with counter seating featuring
Matt Damon, Ridley Scott and Kristen
Stewart dined at the Meatpacking
Elite Eats
District’s Scarpetta, and now hotelier
Allen Gross hopes to draw more A-listers
with this outpost at his James New
York-NoMad. “We sought out dynamic
restaurateurs to partner with us and
the limos followed,” says Gross. Justin
Timberlake broke the place in by dancing
all night at its lounge, Seville, while
Hugh Jackman and Scott Eastwood feasted.
Says talent manager Jason Weinberg:
“Scarpetta is so good, I’ve added it to my
shortlist.” 88 Madison Ave.
▲ “Love grabbing
food at Empanada
Mama at 3 a.m.”
Trevor Noah
“Three favorites:
Studio 8H, Corner
Bistro, Bar Centrale.”
Seth Meyers
“Best recent meal:
salt-encrusted
shrimp at
Mary’s Fish Camp.”
Don Lemon
MICHAEL’S
WHO Elton John,
Ronan Farrow
WHERE Table 6, or “a
catbird seat at Table 24 or
27, against the wall,”
says GM Steve Millington.
24 W. 55th St.
Short on Time? Shop While You Eat
Fifteen years ago, New York designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch transitioned from set design (Addicted
to Lover, Zoolander) to homes (Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow), hotels (The Standard, Ace) and restaurants (Le Coucou,
Facebook’s Menlo Park cafeteria). In December, they launched a SoHo outpost, Roman and Williams Guild, which also
houses La Mercerie, a cafe with fans including Meg Ryan and Blake Lively. Visitors can road-test wares (from a $12 zinc
glass to a $15,000 dining table) while feasting at the cafe run by Marie-Aude Rose (wife of Le Coucou chef Daniel Rose).
“Isn’t that a better way to shop?” says Standefer. “It’s the guild of the senses — touch it, feel it, sense it and sit on it.”
Lively, who has been “obsessed” with the designers, says: “A menu of the items that you’re interacting with, other than
just the food, is pretty cool.” Paltrow notes the pair “took my English-cottage concept and translated it into 1,300 square
feet of shoppable whimsy” for her Goop Lab in Santa Monica. The duo has worked on more than 20 films and, after
Duplex, which starred Stiller, “Ben said, ‘The set looks better than my house.’ We built Ben a Hollywood Hills compound,
and the rest is history,” Standefer says. Additional homes are in the works for Jimmy Fallon and Paltrow. — SHARON SWART
← SoHo’s La Mercerie lets customers interact with housewares for sale while they dine.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
46
M AY 9, 2018
PER SE
WHO Oprah Winfrey,
Ava DuVernay
WHERE Nos. 2 and 3, by
the fireplace, or if you’re
a shyer VIP, Nos. 25
and 26, out of sight lines,
says GM Sam Calderbank.
10 Columbus Circle
— LAURIE BROOKINS
SCARPETTA, BERNADIN, PER: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. LEGACY: DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN. GUILD: ADRIAN GAUT. AVRA: WARREN JAGGER. MICHAEL’S: BRIAN TISZA. ROSE: EMMANUEL FAURE. NOAH: TAYLOR HILL/FILMMAGIC.
U pfro nt s
E d it io n !
privacy-promoting partitions — that
opened in April. “I love the atmosphere
because I can enjoy my ramen in peace,”
says Pat Flicker Addiss, producer of the new
musical Desperate Measures. 132 W. 31st St.
J U N E 10 - 13 , 2 018
GLOBAL BUYERS, MEDIA LEADERS,
BREAKTHROUGH CREATORS
ROBERT GREENBLATT KEVIN MACLELLAN
Chairman
NBC Entertainment
Chairman,
Global Distribution
and International
NANCY ABRAHAM
LISA HELLER
LARRY TANZ
EVP, Documentary &
Family Programming
HBO
EVP, Documentary &
Family Programming
HBO
VP Content Acquisition
2IXƥM\
DUSTIN DAVIS
MOIRA WALLEYBECKETT
NBCUniversal
DEIRDRE BRENNAN CATHERINE REITMAN ALASTAIR MCKINNON
General Manager
Universal Kids
Creator, Executive
Producer, Writer, Director
Wolf + Rabbit
Entertainment
Head of Content,
Investment & Planning
Australian Broadcasting
Corporation
Head of Comedy
Development &
Current Programming
YouTube Originals
Creator, Executive
Producer & Showrunner
Anne
2 0 1 8 C O M PA N Y O F D I S T I N C T I O N
DON’T MISS YOUR SHOT, REGISTER NOW!
ba nffmedia fe s tiva l.com
Style
Hangouts
1
3
1 With a communal space and outdoor hot tub, Western B&B Urban Cowboy (from $300, 111 Power St.)
is a favorite of Incredibles 2 actress Sophia Bush: “It’s nothing like a corporate or standard ‘hip’ hotel.”
2 Riverhouse suite at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, where Beyonce hosted Jay-Z’s 48th birthday bash on
the rooftop Brooklyn Heights Social Club. 3 The Garden residence at The William Vale.
2
No Sleep Till Brooklyn! 4 Happening Hotels
Cancel the ‘standard hip hotel’ and check out the so-called outer borough’s offerings, where Beyonce feted Jay-Z,
and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Post and Gotham have housed execs and thrown fab wrap parties By Sara Bliss
N YC
Beauty
Tr e n d
28 suites, including the $5,000/night
Riverhouse, and a
50-seat screening
room, it’s a long-stay
Rattray
choice for industry
vets like Post production designer
Rick Carter. 60 Furman St.
Gyllenhaal: “We’ve re-created the
South and Chicago because
there are so many different neighborhoods.” The hotels attracting
industry insiders right now:
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
A year after opening, the luxe
waterfront has become a hangout
for stars, with Jake Gyllenhaal,
Jay-Z and Chris Hemsworth spotted. Eco warriors love the
hemp-blend mattresses, holistic
spa and chauffeured Tesla. With
The Williamsburg Hotel
A mecca for music lovers,
this hotspot hosted NBC’s Jesus
Christ Superstar Live! cast and
crew. Rooms boast double-height
Cryotherapy: The New Mani-Pedi
hey’re proliferating in the city like
T nail salons: spas with infrared saunas,
which raise the body temperature to fight
energy-sapping bacteria, and cryotherapy (a Justin Timberlake and Jessica
Biel fave), which lowers temps to speed
metabolism and boost energy. “Within
the past year, so many new places have
popped up,” says Erin Hamilton of NKD
NYC, which opened in February on West
57th Street and ofers cryo and infrared
beds. “People want a quick fix; when
you go into such a cold temperature with
a sprained ankle, you see the swelling and bruising visibly reduce.” Kathy
Butters, owner of CryoVigor, which
opens on West 46th Street in May, will
do cryo facials. “When you step into
the cryo, it’s minus 200
to 256 degrees, which
sends blood to your core
to flush toxins,” she says.
Higher Dose has infrared saunas and targeted
Biel
cryo at four sites. Even
Equinox, near Columbus Circle, added
cryotherapy. “We wanted to ofer an additional regeneration tool,” says vp David
Harris.“We stand behind the scientific
findings that cryotherapy can lessen
pain and enhance performance.” Which
to do, hot or cold? “Cryotherapy gives
a huge endorphin rush, and infrared is
more relaxing,” says Hamilton. “It
depends on whether you are a sun worshipper or a snow bunny.” — BETH LANDMAN
↑ Top: an infrared bed at NKD NYC. Bottom: a cryotherapy pod at CryoVigor.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
48
M AY 9, 2018
ceilings and ample light. Maisel
production coordinator Timothy
Mendonca: “With exposed brick
and pipes, the decor fits Brooklyn
to a T. I’ve thrown wrap parties for our cast and crew because
of its warm, cozy, hip vibes.”
96 Wythe Ave.
The William Vale
This futuristic space, with rooftop bar Westlight offering
360-degree views of the city, has
been featured on The Good Fight
and Master of None. All rooms
boast floor-to-ceiling windows
and private balconies, including the $12,000/night two-story
penthouse with 1,600-square foot
patio and hot tub. 111 N. 12th St.
Wythe Hotel
The 70-room industrial chic
space in a 117-year-old factory features lofts starting at $795 with
floor-to-ceiling windows and clawfoot tubs. Gotham executive producer John Stephens says the hotel
is one of two in Brooklyn that
the show books for execs and guest
actors. Reynard restaurant is a
fave of Toni Collette; the garden is
where SNL’s Aidy Bryant recently
wed Conner O’Malley with Kate
McKinnon and Michael Che cheering them on. 80 Wythe Ave.
URBAN: BEN FITCHETT. VALE: JODY KIVORT. BROOKLYN: JAMES BAIGRIE. NKD: SAM LAHOZ. CRYOVIGOR: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. BIEL: JON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC. RATTRAY: JIM SPELLMAN/WIREIMAGE.
hanks to Brooklyn’s renaissance as New York’s center
of cool, taking meetings in
Manhattan seems almost passe.
The borough offers a thriving food
scene (including nine restaurants
with a total of 11 Michelin stars)
and innovative hotels serving an
increasing number of productions,
including at least 37 TV series such
as Billions and The Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel. Says Celine Rattray, copresident of Maven Films, which
made feature The Kindergarten
Teacher with local Maggie
T
2 0 1 8
COUNTRY
POWER PLAYERS
Billboard ’s fourth annual Country Power Players
issue will profile the people who are creating
excitement and making their mark in the industry.
This special feature will also include a photo
portfolio featuring the top artists, songwriters,
musicians, executives and coverage on the most
talked-about topics in country music.
Advertise in Billboard ’s Country Power Players
issue to congratulate this year’s honorees while
reaching key decision-makers who are driving
the music industry.
ON SALE 6/2
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SPECIAL ISSUE
ON SALE
JUNE 2, 2018
‘I Do
TOrch
Things’
Six months since going public with Weinstein rape claims and helping to ignite
the #MeToo movement, Rose McGowan has been portrayed as both a fearless hero
and a flame-throwing narcissist. Still dealing with a cocaine charge (she says it was
a setup), the actress-activist opens up about her life now, why she helped torpedo
her story on NBC (‘I’d heard about Lauer’) and her decision to leave Hollywood:
‘I’ve been a lot happier in this last month than I have been in a long time’
BY CHRIS GARDNER
R
ose McGowan is camped out
at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ,
a divey New York institution
across the street from Penn Station,
waiting for her train to Washington,
D.C. The 44-year-old actress turned
activist is accompanied by attorney
Jennifer Robinson and a publicist
from E!, the home of McGowan’s docuseries, Citizen Rose, which returns
May 17. Their ultimate destination:
Leesburg, Virginia, a 45-minute
•
PHOTOGRAPHED BY WESLEY MANN
drive from D.C., where tomorrow, on
May 3, McGowan must appear before a
judge at the Loudoun County courthouse on a felony cocaine charge she’s
facing.
The train is delayed; it was supposed to be 15 minutes, but now the
holdup has been extended long enough
that the table is littered with glasses
of white wine, baskets of hush puppies,
fried pickles, pulled chicken sliders, a half-emptied ramekin of ranch
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
50
→ “When the wreckage
of the past gets cleared
away, you can see
your future a lot more
clearly,” says McGowan,
photographed May 2
at Industria in Brooklyn.
Styling by Mark Hsu
Alexander Vauthier blazer,
Sunspel T-shirt, Levi’s jeans.
M AY 9, 2018
dressing and, for McGowan, a
bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy.
The waitress arrives to clear and
brings a bit of good news — the drinks
(McGowan stuck to iced tea) along with
half of the food will be comped. Turns
out the manager, a bearded guy with
big biceps, is a huge fan of McGowan’s
films. A moment later, a server from
another table arrives. “You’re such an
inspiration for speaking out,” she
tells McGowan.
W
While it’s hard to believe, it’s been just
over six months since McGowan
came forward with allegations of rape
by Harvey Weinstein — a man she’ll
now refer to only as “the Monster” —
helping to expose his decades-long
pattern of alleged sexual misconduct
and igniting a movement that has
fundamentally changed the worlds
of entertainment, media and politics. The fallout has swept up everyone
from Kevin Spacey to Charlie Rose to,
days after this trip, New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman.
To some, McGowan remains an
actress recognizable from movies like
Scream, Jawbreaker and Grindhouse
and TV shows including Charmed and
Once Upon a Time. To many others, she
is now something much more — the
most visible and at times most polarizing voice of #MeToo.
In that role, she has also become
a de facto therapist. Other women seek
her out to share their stories of sexual
assault. “A lot of the time, I’m the first
person they are telling,” she says,
“and it can be hard being a receptacle for
that.” But she always listens, she says,
“to honor their journey and their pain.”
Finally, after waiting more than
three hours, McGowan and crew board
the Acela. In the course of the threehour journey, she will speak openly and
expansively about how the past six
months have reshaped her life — on
the repercussions of being among the
first to speak out in a series of articles
last October, on her critics and the public undoing that led to her canceling
her book tour, on her new plan to leave
L.A. for good. In fact, there’s only one
subject she has asked to keep off the
record: the identity of her new romantic “partner” of about a month, who’s
also on the train.
“I’m with an activist and a very awake
individual,” says McGowan, choosing
her words — and pronouns — carefully.
“When the wreckage of the past gets
cleared away, you can see your future
a lot more clearly. There are things
I didn’t really know about myself. I’ve
been a lot happier in this last month
than I have been in a long time,” she
says, adding with a laugh, “It takes a
very complex and adventurous human
to want to be with me.”
McGowan has a complicated relationship with the press. Being accompanied
by a journalist today was her idea,
yet she feels generally unhappy with
the way she is portrayed. “If I was
Reese Witherspoon, would I be treated
like I am? The answer is no. But [the
press] feels I’m fair game. I think
it’s because [Weinstein] paid off the
media for 20 years to savage me.”
She prefers to tell her own story,
whether that’s on Twitter, where she has
915,000 followers (the #RoseArmy),
in her memoir-meets-manifesto Brave,
which came out in January, or via her
docuseries.
Reality vet Jonathan Murray (Keeping
Up With the Kardashians) says producing
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
52
Above: McGowan
was flanked by
lawyers Robinson
(left) and Jessica
Carmichael outside
the Loudoun
County courthouse
May 3 in Virginia.
The judge ruled that
enough probable
cause exists in the
drug possession
case, and he
forwarded it to the
grand jury with a
June 11 hearing date.
Inset, from left:
Naomi Campbell,
McGowan and
former President
Barack Obama in
December in
New Delhi at the
Hindustan Times
Leadership Summit.
Says McGowan
of Obama: “I was
disappointed he
didn’t acknowledge
a global fight,
let alone mine.”
M AY 9, 2018
McGowan’s show reminds him of
friends who were members of the AIDS
activist group Act Up. “Every movement has that person who lights the
fuse and speaks truth to power,” he
explains. “There are other parts of the
movement that are gentler, but most
need a spark plug. That’s Rose.”
Occasionally, though, the sparks
lead to self-immolation. Throughout
her January press blitz promoting
Brave, McGowan was asked over and
over again to recount in detail her
alleged assault, which she says was
traumatic and caused her to become
unhinged. During a much-maligned
Jan. 31 appearance on The Late Show
With Stephen Colbert, wearing an
orange hoodie, McGowan veered from
the host’s questions and blasted men
who wear khakis. The taping was just
a few hours after a disastrous stop
at a New York Barnes & Noble, where
a trans woman berated McGowan
for comments she made on RuPaul’s
podcast (McGowan had said that just
“because [a trans person] felt like a
woman on the inside, that’s not developing as a woman”). The interaction
escalated and within seconds was a
full-on shouting match.
McGowan, who maintains that the
heckler was a paid plant (though she
won’t say by whom), was criticized for
her role and for blasting back confusing rebuttals like, “I’m not from your
planet!” She was “on the ropes,” as she
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puts it. She abruptly canceled all press
engagements, fired her publicist and
retreated from the public eye.
“At first, I was staying at a farm with
miniature ponies, but they had a wedding. So I had to leave and went to a
retirement community in Florida called
The Villages, which had golf carts with
Trump stickers. It was like paradise for
old people.” She found a mother-son
therapist team nearby and did a five-day
“intensive trauma” session.
Her recent public interactions
have been more measured. For example, after Bill Cosby was convicted
of three counts of sexual assault in a
Pennsylvania courtroom April 26,
McGowan's subsequent tweet was
noticeably restrained: “His victims can
now exhale. Thank you judge and jury.
Thank you society for waking up.”
While she still loves the extra punch
profanity provides on Twitter, she
admits she put a lot of thought into
the Cosby tweet because, as a survivor, she had to wade through her own
emotions while watching the news
from London. “It felt like we’d won the
Super Bowl of all Super Bowls,” she
says of the verdict. Even simply recalling the experience brings tears, which
she doesn’t hold back. “When I saw
those brave women crying and breaking
down afterwards, I felt a sense of shame
because I was both thrilled for them,
but I was also jealous.”
Does she think she will ever be able
to face down Weinstein in the same
way? “I hope I’m wrong when I say that
I don’t think he will go to prison,” she
says “People do have to gather evidence,
and that takes time. But if two women
pointed somebody out that stole our
purses, he’d be arrested. So how many
women does it take to say he stole us? He
stole our careers, stole our lives, stole
our reputations. He stole how my family
treats me, how men treat me, he stole
all that.”
s
ometimes you’re just earmarked for weirdness from
birth,” McGowan writes in
Brave, referring to her own delivery —
in Certaldo, Italy — at a Children of
God commune by a blind midwife.
Her parents were faithful followers
of the cult’s founder, David Berg, and
McGowan’s father, Daniel, eventually
became a leader of the group’s Italian
chapter. “I would watch him, he would
turn on his light and his energy and
just take people on a journey,” she
explains. “I know I can do that too, and I
know where I get it from, but I don’t have
that male Achilles’ heel of needing to
be worshipped.”
Her family fled the group before she
hit double digits because Children of
God began advocating sex with children
as a way of achieving spiritual enlightenment. Given her background, one
wonders what McGowan makes of the
current headlines surrounding Nxivm,
a cult whose leader Keith Raniere and
disciple and former Smallville actress
Allison Mack are accused of sex trafficking and branding female members.
“My take on [Nxivm] is that it’s doing
a very intense version of what a lot of
people in Hollywood already do,” says
McGowan of the group’s objectification
of women. “It’s just a more intensified
version, so we can point at it and be like,
‘That’s so wild.’ I’m like, ‘Yes, but what
do you do?’ ”
After leaving Italy, McGowan’s family settled in Portland, Oregon, where
she had a hard time adjusting. On the
night of her first (and only) school
dance, she tried LSD, which landed her
in rehab at 13. She escaped, living
on the streets for close to a year before
returning to live with her strict father,
who by then had settled in Seattle.
When she was 14, he forced her to get
a job to pay her share of the rent,
which is what led McGowan to respond
to a flyer advertising $35 a day to be a
movie extra. In 1992, she landed her
first speaking role in the comedy Encino
Man, starring Brendan Fraser. Soon
after, “a mean agent lady” suggested
that since she now was making money,
she should emancipate from her parents; at 15, she did.
In 1995, her performance as a troubled teen in Gregg Araki’s The Doom
Generation landed her a Spirit Award
nomination and helped her score a
scene-stealing role in 1996’s Scream, produced by Dimension Films, Miramax’s
genre division run by Harvey's brother,
Bob. The following year, she headed to
the Sundance Film Festival with three
films. Harvey attended the premiere of
one, Going All the Way, in which she has
a topless scene. After it came onscreen,
McGowan with
Harvey Weinstein at
the premiere of
Grindhouse in 2007.
“I didn’t call my
lawyer, I called Rose,”
says Argento of
weighing the decision
to reveal her own
allegations against
Weinstein. “By
sharing with me the
same pain, she
gave me the same
strength.”
McGowan claims, she saw her thenmanager Jill Messick turn and nod to
the mogul. It was Messick who set up
the meeting the next morning between
Weinstein and McGowan at the Stein
Eriksen Lodge that McGowan says ended
with her being sexually assaulted in a
hot tub.
McGowan struck a $100,000 settlement over the incident, an agreement
Messick was involved with. McGowan
later would suggest that the manager,
who took a job at Miramax less than a
year later, was part of Weinstein’s complicity machine.
Messick, who suffered from bipolar
disorder, died by suicide in February.
After her death, her family gave THR a
scathing statement: “Seeing her name
in headlines again and again, as part
of one person’s attempt to gain more
attention for her personal cause, along
with Harvey’s desperate attempt to
vindicate himself, was devastating for
her. It broke Jill, who was just starting
to get her life back on track.” While
the statement didn’t mention McGowan
by name, the implication was clear.
On Messick’s suicide, McGowan will
say only that her death was a tragedy.
“We need to look at the real person who’s
behind this. That person has blood on
his hands, and we all know, once again,
who I’m talking about.” (The Messick
family declines to comment further on
McGowan.)
For years, McGowan says, she turned
down multiple reporters chasing the
Weinstein story (including some from
THR) because “society wasn’t ready.” It
wasn’t until she went searching for her
settlement agreement with Weinstein
to pass to New York Times reporters
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — who
would end up breaking the first allegations against him on Oct. 5 — that
McGowan says she realized it didn’t
contain a confidentiality clause, allowing her to speak out.
During the same period, Ronan
Farrow was working on his own story
about Weinstein, initially for NBC
News. Network executives have said the
story did not meet its standards to
go to air at that point; Farrow has suggested otherwise. He eventually took
his material to The New Yorker. “NBC
took a lot of heat for killing the story.
But I actually served Ronan with a
cease and desist — two of them,” says
McGowan, who sat for an on-camera
interview with Farrow in January 2017;
a source who has seen the interview
says she did not name Weinstein. Her
attorneys then revoked consent.
“I did not want my rape spoken about
over breakfast cereal on the Today
show,” adds McGowan. “I’d heard about
Matt Lauer. You can’t tell me the people
at the top of NBC aren’t aware. Come
on.” (NBC and Farrow declined comment, though sources close to the story
tell THR that McGowan did not express
concern at the time about Lauer, who
was fired amid sexual harassment allegations in November.)
“I was never going to let my story
be on NBC, but I wanted to ensure
that the Times would do it, and everybody before had folded. So I pitted
[Farrow] against The New York Times.
I understand how men work and
how Hollywood works and how power
works. People are going to be much
more interested in going down the line
with something if they know they’re
competing with somebody else.”
Though she spoke with The New York
Times and provided the paper with her
account and settlement agreement,
she didn’t go on the record in the first
round of Weinstein stories, in contrast
to Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and
Angelina Jolie. “I am the first one that
spoke [about Weinstein],” she says of
her reasons. “I spoke for a long time. I
spoke obliquely about it. But in the articles, I let the documents [do the work].
I wanted other people to have a chance
to speak because I knew I had a book
coming out. I knew I would override
other women’s voices, and I didn’t want
that to happen.”
Notes fellow Weinstein accuser Asia
Argento, “There are people who say
she’s doing this for her own glorification. She’s doing this to help other
women.” Argento credits McGowan
with her own decision to come forward: “When I spoke to Ronan, I heard
that Rose had the same experience
I did. I reached out to her from Paris
on Sept. 28, and we spoke all night.
Without her, I wouldn’t have gone on
the record. Rose is a hero to me.”
McGowan’s memoir
Brave was published
in January by Harper
One and became a
best-seller.
‘MY HATRED HAS DEEPENED’
ANNA GRAHAM HUNTER, WHO WROTE A STORY FOR THR ABOUT BEING HARASSED
BY DUSTIN HOFFMAN, TALKS TO OTHER ACCUSERS ABOUT LIFE AFTER GOING PUBLIC
he other night I was on a Tinder date at a bar in
L.A. I liked the guy — and he, I think, liked me
— but there was something I needed to tell him
about myself if there was going to be a second date. He
needed to know that I was one of the women who accused
Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment.
I hate this part of dating. My role in the #MeToo movement — I wrote an essay for THR in November detailing
Hoffman’s lewd comments and groping when I was a
17-year-old intern on the 1985 TV adaptation of Death of
a Salesman — is something I want potential boyfriends
to know about me, but without me having to tell them. But
it’s also something I’d rather not share with everyone,
which is why I set up a fake Facebook account to link to
Tinder, so that I can decide for myself who gets to know
and who doesn’t.
Life has definitely become more complicated since
I came forward, and dating issues are the least of it. Six
months later, I’m feeling kind of shitty about the whole
thing — in some ways I feel worse now than I did before
I went public — and it’s been hard to figure out why. Why
have I been so angry? Why do I suddenly burst into tears
for no obvious reason? Shouldn’t I be feeling better now
that my story is out there? I wondered if I was the only one
who felt this way or if other women who accused powerful men have had similar experiences. I decided to find out
by talking to as many of them as I could.
“There’s no rule book for this,” says Holly Gunderson,
a former employee at Osteria Mozza who accused one
of the restaurant’s owners, Mario Batali, of grabbing her
crotch at an event. “Every one of my emotions has surprised me, and my hatred has broadened and deepened.”
Playwright Cori Thomas, who revealed her own Hoffman
harassment story to THR, had a similar experience. “I
don’t want to call it a depression,” she told me, “but the
whole thing spun me into a very quiet place.”
One reason people don’t come forward is the fear that
they will forever be linked to the person who hurt them.
T
“I don’t want to go down in history as a victim of one of
these dickheads,” says writer Zoe Brock, who in October
accused Harvey Weinstein of harassing her in 1998. Event
planner Starr Rinaldi, who went public with her story of
how, back in 2002, she was harassed by director James
Toback, is having similar issues. “You google me, and I’m
next to this Jabba the Hutt dude — I’m forever attached
to him,” she says. For Rinaldi, it’s not just the emotional
toll but also a monetary one. She says she’s lost $15,000 in
income since coming forward. “I’m ‘tainted,’ ” she says.
“I got told I’m out of the circle of trust. I didn’t work all the
time, but I’m not working at all now.”
One of the hardest things has been watching how some
accused men are bouncing back. Starting last month,
redemption and second-act stories began appearing in
the press. A New York Times piece on
Batali made Gunderson livid. “He gets to
choose: Will he go back into business? Or
does he just want to retire in Italy? Those
are his choices,” she told me through gritted teeth. “That’s what he gets to ponder
Hunter
while he’s on extended paid vacation,
thank you very much.” When Brock talks about rehabilitation stories, her voice shakes with anger. “Most of us
never got a first chance to have the careers we dreamed
of. So to start having conversations about comebacks
for these predators causes a lot of pain. If Charlie Rose is
lonely playing tennis at his mansion, I would suggest that
he be grateful that he has a mansion. All of them should
start being a little more grateful that they’re not in jail
right now.”
The good news is that, despite the lingering pain, most
of the women I spoke to were eager to talk about their
experiences and the impact they hope to have by coming forward. “What [these men are] all afraid of is exactly
what we’re doing right now,” says Brittny McCarthy,
who accused Toback or sexually assaulting her. “Which
is talking to each other.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
54
M AY 9, 2018
To other prominent members of
the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, however, Rose can be a thorn
in the side. McGowan criticized peers
who wore black to the Golden Globes
in a show of solidarity, tweeting to
Argento: “And not one of those fancy
people wearing black to honor our
rapes would have lifted a finger. … I
have no time for Hollywood fakery.”
She also blasted Meryl Streep for what
she believed was her complicity in covering for Weinstein. Streep responded
in an open letter, saying, “It hurt to
be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want
to let her know I did not know about
Weinstein’s crimes.”
McGowan doesn’t buy it. “It still
makes me mad,” she says. “If I was living next door to someone and I heard
them beating up their kid every night,
I wouldn’t turn my TV up louder. I would
be in there, doing every single thing I
could to help that kid and get them out
and get them a new life. But that’s me,
and I have to come to peace with the fact
that not everybody’s like that.”
McGowan eventually did go on the
record for Farrow, working with him
on several investigations, including an
explosive 5,300-word New Yorker piece,
published in November, about how
Weinstein hired two intelligence companies, Kroll and Black Cube, to help
silence accusers and the journalists
investigating their claims. McGowan
says she was a target — that 125 pages
of her book were stolen ahead of its
release and that she was befriended by
former Israeli spies working for Black
Cube who attempted to glean information about her plans to come forward.
Her legal team is using these claims
to explain the two baggies filled with
cocaine found in McGowan’s leftbehind Chanel wallet in the first-class
cabin on a United Airlines flight from
Los Angeles after it landed at Dulles
International Airport on Jan. 21, 2017.
She claims there were no drugs in her
wallet when it was last in her possession. Upon learning that a warrant
was issued for her arrest, she tweeted:
“Are they trying to silence me?”
I
t’s a bit of a scene outside the
Loudoun County courthouse.
Reporters and camera crews
from NBC, Fox and The Washington Post
gather on the grass underneath a tree
to block the midday sun, all waiting
for McGowan. Just before 1 p.m., she
arrives, flanked by attorneys Robinson
and Jessica Carmichael, who will
BOOK: COURTESY OF HARPERCOLLINS. HUNTER: AP PHOTO.
represent her during the hearing. The
three hold hands and don’t let go until
they’ve entered the building.
Today’s hearing is to determine
whether there is enough evidence
to present the case to the grand jury.
Carmichael asks the court for the
charges to be dismissed on insufficient
evidence. In response, the prosecution calls witnesses — cleaning crew,
firefighters, police officers — who
testify about finding the wallet, discovering baggies of white powder
and connecting it with McGowan.
Argento remains skeptical of the
charges. “Who nowadays would
travel with cocaine in their wallet?”
she asks. “I’ve met many drug addicts
in my life. Even the most tweakedout crazy meth addict wouldn’t do that.
They’d stick it in their bum. Rose is
a smart woman. If she was so addicted,
she would’ve found a way to find
drugs. My hope is that they will leave
it as something completely planted.”
Throughout the proceedings
McGowan is stoic, maintaining eye contact with the witness or the presiding
judge, Dean Worcester. After about
two hours, he rules that enough probable cause exists to go to a grand jury
and sets a hearing for June 11. McGowan
has lost this round.
If indicted and convicted, she could
face a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The irony that she may serve time
while her accused rapist gets none is not
lost on her. “I’m the only one who’s
had handcuffs on me so far in this situation,” she says. “That’s not right.”
Crueler still may be the fact that
she can’t escape Weinstein, who has
become part of the daily news cycle —
most recently when Lantern Capital
won the bid to buy The Weinstein Co.
in bankruptcy. “I wish it would just
all stop and die a quiet, swift death,”
says McGowan. “For anybody to profit
off it is really egregious and sick.”
To get a little breathing room, she’s
leaving L.A. — she hopes for good.
In March, she finalized the sale of her
Hollywood Hills home for $2 million
and hawked most of her stuff in an
estate sale. She had the opportunity to
watch all of it on a live feed but couldn’t
“I wonder what it
feels like to be safe,”
says McGowan.
Sunspel T-shirt, Ellery
corset, Levi’s jeans,
Ellery earring.
bring herself to do it. Her art went
into storage, and everything else —
including a beloved RKO sign that she’d
purchased at Off the Wall Antiques on
La Cienega — to new owners.
“My house was my cord to Los
Angeles,” she says. “It doesn’t mean that
I don’t love it as a city, but it was a very
unsafe place for me. I mean, people have
come up to me on the street and said,
‘Oh, did you get any good Weinstein
scripts lately?’ Just to see my reaction.
It’s really fucked up.”
She no longer has a permanent
home. “I’ll just roam,” she says, though
she’d like to settle in London or New
York in the short term. Eventually, she
wants to live in India. She visited
New Delhi in December to speak at the
Hindustan Times Leadership Summit,
where she met former President
Barack Obama.
“I was disappointed he didn’t
acknowledge a global fight, let alone
mine,” she admits. “It was after everything had come out,” but he didn’t
mention her Weinstein battles. This
was especially hard for her because
his daughter Malia had interned at
TWC. “I was sitting right in front of
him, and he would not meet my
eyes, and then at the last minute, he
asked for Naomi Campbell to be put
in a photo with us,” recalls McGowan.
She says she was hoping she’d hear,
“I’m sorry” or “Keep going, Rose.” “All
he said was: ‘You ladies sure know how
to pose.’ I wanted him to be better.”
For now, she’ll live off the money
from the sale of her house “for like
a year” before getting serious about
figuring things out financially.
“Of course I’m scared,” she says. SAG
health insurance and a retirement
plan temper the fear, and there are her
other investments — blowout salon
Dry Bar and a medical marijuana company — that also provide a cushion.
Eventually the goal is to balance
activism with writing, directing
and making music (to promote her
upcoming debut album, Planet 9,
she’ll play the Le Guess Who? festival
in the Netherlands in November). No
longer an actress, McGowan mostly
sees herself as an artist and a survivor,
one who, for the first time in her life,
has found her voice through her rage.
“I do torch things,” she says. But
now she’s in renewal phase. “If you
go into a forest right after a fire,
within days, there’s green grass growing underneath the ashes,” she says.
“That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m
like the grass, growing.”
Watch Rose McGowan open up about her gratitude for the #MeToo movement and its founder Tarana Burke at THR.COM/VIDEO.
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1
Amy Sherman-Palladino
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, AMAZON
2
Peter Morgan
THE CROWN, NETFLIX
3
Lena Waithe
THE CHI, SHOWTIME
4
Bruce Miller
THE HANDMAID’S TALE, HULU
5
Pamela Adlon
BETTER THINGS, FX
6
Michael Schur
THE GOOD PLACE, NBC
1
6
7
Justin Simien
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, NETFLIX
8
Whitney Cummings
ROSEANNE, ABC
9
David Shore
THE GOOD DOCTOR, ABC
10
Dan Futterman
THE LOOMING TOWER, HULU
11
Courtney Kemp
POWER, STARZ
12
Alec Berg
BARRY AND SILICON VALLEY, HBO
2
7
8
10
11
4
3
5
12 Ways
a
d
a
e
L
o
t
Writers
Room
SHOW
9
12
RU N N
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SU M
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the TV upfronts, top showrunners
Heading into Emmy season and
s (“ ‘I already have a black show.’
ng
eti
me
ch
pit
ork
tw
ne
on
d
loa
un
cal storylines and the impact
liti
po
,
e”)
fac
my
to
ht
rig
t
tha
d
He sai
y and the future of funny:
rit
pa
y
pa
s,
ne
sce
sex
on
—
oo
of #MeT
ge it’s sending out, there is no
‘If we’re thinking about the messa
’ By Lacey Rose
comedy. Comedy is over, it’s dead
OGR APH ED BY
COMEDY SHOW RUNN ERS PHOT
Austin Hargrave
APH ED BY
DRA MA SHOW RUNN ERS PHOTOGR
Koury Angelo
“Our job is not to take care
of people’s feelings,”
says Whitney Cummings, the
35-year-old stand-up and selfidentified “lib-tard” who was
brought in to co-run ABC’s revival
of Roseanne.
“Our job,” she continues, with
Pamela Adlon, 51, creator-star
of FX’s Better Things, nodding
beside her, “is to make people
think and make them laugh and
make them talk.” Those were
the motivations for Cummings
and her writing staff to wrap
themselves, narratively speaking, in such charged topics as
guns, drugs, parenting and the
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election of President Trump for
the controversial working-class
comedy reboot. And her staff is
not alone. Dear White People creator Justin Simien, 35, parlayed
his Sundance indie into a Netflix
dramedy, through which they
unspool unflinching racial commentary in half-hour pops.
“Our job,” Simien adds, “is to
make you uncomfortable.”
This spring, with another
Emmy season underway, THR
gathered 12 top showrunners
for two separate conversations
(April 16 and April 28) that also
touched on such hot-button
Hollywood issues as pay parity,
inclusion and building trust in
the writers room. Joining the
pair of discussions: Alec Berg, 49
(HBO’s Barry and Silicon Valley);
Dan Futterman, 50 (Hulu’s The
Looming Tower); Courtney Kemp,
41 (Starz’s Power); Peter Morgan,
55 (Netflix’s The Crown); Bruce
Miller, 53 (Hulu’s The Handmaid’s
Tale); Michael Schur, 42 (NBC’s
The Good Place); Amy ShermanPalladino, 52 (Amazon’s The
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel); David
Shore, 58 (ABC’s The Good
Doctor); and Lena Waithe, 33
(Showtime’s The Chi). Their conversations, condensed and edited
together here, offer a close look
at the challenges of staying creative and relevant in TV’s crowded
and rocky landscape.
Debating Storylines
LENA WAITHE A big debate we had
was: Do black people call the cops?
DAN FUTTERMAN Didn’t they trust
you to answer that question?
WAITHE I don’t have a black exec on
the studio or network side, and so
SET DESIGN BY DANNY DIAMOND & LISA BAZADONA. MEN’S GROOMING BY SU HAN AND TAYLOR TOMPKINS AT DEW
BEAUTY AGENCY. CUMMINGS HAIR BY DRITAN AT FORWARD ARTISTS, MAKEUP BY KATHLEEN KARRIDENE. ADLON
HAIR BY RICHARD DE ALBA, MAKEUP BY TAMAH KRINSKY AT THE WALL GROUP. ON-SET STYLING BY TAYLOR HATCH.
there is a level of trust that they
have to have for me. This came
up in the room, which is predominantly African-American, and
sometimes things can be generational. There was a writer in our
room who basically said, “Well,
if I’m in trouble, I call the cops.”
But for a lot of us, we’re like, “We
wouldn’t do that, we’d want to figure it out on our own.” So, there’s
a crime committed in the pilot,
a character’s younger brother is
shot and killed, and he’s dating
someone from the right side of
the tracks who says, “Maybe you
should call the cops.” Ultimately,
we gave him the line, “I’m not
about to call the cops, the cops
are not about to do nothin’.”
BRUCE MILLER So, you took the
debate from the writers room
and put it in the story. That’s one
of the most interesting things
about diversity. When I started
my career, there was often one
woman in the room. My room now
is basically all women and me.
And the thing that you get is the
disagreement. Because if you
have one black person in the room,
that black person speaks for
all black people in the universe.
COURTNEY KEMP Blackipedia or
Blacktionary. Been both of those
on many shows. (Laughter.)
MILLER Instead, we have discussions. We had a very long one
about what it actually feels like to
get your period and how can you
tell or not when you start to bleed
and all that. And the entire room,
all they did was disagree with
each other.
WAITHE Because everybody has a
very different experience.
MILLER Right. And it’s funny
because you think, “Oh, there’s a
universal answer to this.” And I
just need a line.
FUTTERMAN We have a similar thing
on our show [which follows the
FBI and CIA in the years leading
up to 9/11]. There’s a lot about the
Koran, and there’s a lot of Arabic
dialogue. And we were leading up
to a big interrogation in the 10th
episode with Ali Soufan and a terrorist named Abu Jandal, and it’s
in Arabic. A lot of the way he gets
[Jandal] to speak is he shames him
about his lack of knowledge about
the Koran. And when we handed
in the episode, we got a call from
Hulu. They said, “You realize
that this is 12 pages in Arabic and
it doesn’t cut to anything else,
right?” And we said, “Yeah, we do
realize that. (Laughter.) That was
intentional, and we’ve been leading up to this.” But in terms of the
opinions, you ask two Jews about
the Torah, you get three opinions;
it’s the exact same thing about
the Koran. We had a couple of guys
of Muslim descent, and then we
had the actors, and we had about
14 opinions about where this conversation should lead.
DAVID SHORE My challenge is I
FROM LEFT: COMEDY SHOWRUNNERS
BERG, CUMMINGS, SCHUR,
SHERMAN-PALLADINO, SIMIEN AND
ADLON WERE PHOTOGRAPHED
APRIL 16 AT LINE 204 STUDIO
IN L.A.
have a character at the center of
the show who has autism. So how
do I make him fully dimensionalized while being true to people
with this condition and on this
spectrum? It’s important that I
don’t turn him into the magic person with autism where he’s got a
condition, but he’s fine, he’ll solve
all the problems.
Killing Off Characters
KEMP On my show [about a drug
dealer and his family], characters
die every season. I’ve had actors
who I loved personally and I was
crying as I typed their demise.
MILLER But they die so well.
KEMP They do die so well. (Laughter.)
But in the case [of Raina], I felt
like there was no choice. My show
is governed by the principle of
surprising and inevitable, so the
dominos have to fall a certain
way. The character’s twin brother
had committed a series of acts
for which, in their world, you get
“got.” So then his sister, being
a white hat in our show, tries to
save her brother from his fate and,
as a result of him making these
choices, she is the one who gets
hurt. That is surprising because
it’s not him, but it’s inevitable
because he made some terrible
choices. I did hide [her death]
from the network for a little while.
I always talk to the actor about a
week before the production draft
goes out. And in this case, you have
to talk to the actor and their mom.
“
I’ll probably
make a phone call
to Sony to say,
‘Hey, you’re doing
it right, right?’
Because I literally
don’t know
what my people
are being paid
and I’m counting
on them to be
responsible.”
SHORE, ON PAY PARITY
FOR HIS SERIES’ STARS
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THR So, what is that conversation?
KEMP This person will no longer
be on the show after episode nine,
and it’s not personal and it’s not
about your performance, it’s just
about where the story takes you,
no different than anyone else.
This was not the first character
I’d killed off, by the way, this is
like deep into season four of a lot
of people getting “got” on the show.
It was more for the child actor,
she was frightened and confused.
And then you bring the parent
in to say, “Hey, it’s not the end of
the world, there will be other
jobs,” that kind of thing. But that
was a hard one. Not the hardest.
THR What was the hardest?
KEMP I had one actor who told me
that I was ruining the show and
that if he wasn’t on it that a certain segment of the population
would never watch it again. And I
was like, “OK, dude.” (Laughs.)
SHORE You just made it easier.
KEMP Yeah, in a way. But it’s hard
because you’re firing someone.
And especially for a series regular, that’s a big check you’re
telling them they’re not getting.
So, it’s tough, but it’s also part
of our show. And by the end of the
season, there’s a joke among
the actors, “Do you have to go talk
to Courtney?”
MILLER You’re the hammer.
KEMP I’m the grim reaper sometimes. And some people have to
be real troopers because their
dead bodies have to stay in one
position for a couple hours.
WAITHE They’re thinking, “Did
I put enough in my savings
account? I shouldn’t have bought
that Tesla.” (Laughter.)
Actor Pay Parity
PETER MORGAN I’ve been listening
to everyone talking, particularly about firing people and
stuff, and I wouldn’t do that. No,
no, no. Each one of us is doing
six full-time jobs. So, you have
to think, “Well, where am I prepared to let other people just
take over completely?” And there
are some areas where some of
us write less, some of us write
more. I have absolutely nothing to do with business affairs,
nothing at all. So, when that
story broke [about star Claire
MORGAN (CENTER), WITH SMITH
AND FOY, SAYS HE WASN’T
AWARE OF THEIR PAY
DISCREPANCY ON THE CROWN.
SHORE I’ll probably make a phone
call to Sony [the studio behind his
show] to say, “Hey, you’re doing
it right, right?” Because I literally
don’t know what my people are
being paid and I’m counting on
them to be responsible.
Shooting Sex Scenes
WAITHE I’ve been very involved in
Time’s Up and that movement,
thing, and I left set as well. There
were as few people as possible.
SHORE I don’t do [sex scenes] as
often, obviously, but, yeah, I chose
to leave the set. And then the next
day, the actress came to me and
asked how she was in that scene,
and I go, “Uhhh …” Jesus, I don’t
know how to behave. (Laughter.)
MILLER We do a lot of very odd sex
scenes. I have to say, our crew,
they are so respectful to the point
where every single monitor there
has a whole box of black around
it so nobody sees anything, and
we have guys who stand on set
with their backs to Lizzie. So, the
boom operator is doing his job
and the guy who is pulling his
cable is not looking.
KEMP But the other piece of that is,
how many women do you have on
set who are operating cameras?
show came
“My
of age when
Weinstein and
all that started
happening.
Suddenly people
said, ‘Oh, it takes
on new relevance.’
I’m like, ‘Really?
Because women
have been gettin’
a finger up their
twat for years.”
SHERMAN-PALLADINO, ON
COMEDY IN THE #METOO ERA
and for season two, we’re making
sure that women feel safe on
the set and we’re hyper-aware of
what that means because there
are sex scenes there. We want to
make sure we’re talking to these
actresses and also talking to our
male actors and making sure
they’re aware. Because I don’t
play. I’m like, “Look, it’s the city of
Chicago, people die every day. So
if you wanna play that game and
be disrespectful or misbehave on
set with an actress or anyone,
I will happily call Showtime and
say, ‘This person has to go,’ and
you will get shot up and it’ll be a
wonderful finale.”
KEMP On sex scene days, I actually have thrown people off set.
“It’s a closed set, so, like, why are
you here? What is your function?
If you’re not holding the boom or
operating a camera and you’re not
holding the robe. … Like, there are
10 jobs that are necessary for a sex
scene. Other than that, get off set.”
And I will go around and boot people. In a way, there is something
about having a woman showrunner, which means that I have asked
you to take your clothes off and
go through this sex scene and I’ve
promised you you’re going to be
safe on my set and you believed me
because I was also female, so now
I have to …
WAITHE It’s your responsibility.
KEMP I have to take the responsibility on.
FUTTERMAN Yeah, we did the same
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Life Imitating Art
WHITNEY CUMMINGS A big part of
my involvement [on Roseanne],
because it stars a character and
person who voted for Trump,
is that I was the progressive libtard in the room, and I really
wanted to dig into the hypocrisies
and all the hot-button issues that
we’re all talking about. So, [the
Conners] have a gun in the house,
and the story was about how they
can’t find it, and I really wanted the
5-year-old kid to find it. She was
gonna come out and be holding it,
and it made everyone very uncomfortable, which is why I wanted to
do it. I thought for a multicam, this
could be incendiary and interesting and start a conversation and
show the dangers inside the home
of these kinds of choices. And the
network — well, everyone was
pretty freaked out about it. And I
fought really hard, and it was a hill
that I died on. We didn’t end up
shooting that, and then Parkland
happened and I was like, I …
JUSTIN SIMIEN Should’ve done it.
CUMMINGS Should have done it?
You think I should have done it?
AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO
Oh, I think you should’ve done it.
CUMMINGS I was like, “I’m sure
they would’ve made us cut it later,
anyway.”
SIMIEN They would’ve.
PAMELA ADLON Absolutely.
SHERMAN-PALLADINO Or they
60
M AY 9, 2018
would’ve done what they do,
which I think is always a pussy
move, which is delay it. Because
if you believed in it in the
moment, then you believed in it.
And even if it takes on a different tone. … My show came of age,
for the eight episodes that I’ve
done so far, when Weinstein and
all that started happening and
suddenly people were like, “Oh, it
takes on new relevance.” I’m like,
“Really? Because women have
been gettin’ a finger up their twat
for years.”
ALEC BERG When we started
shooting Barry, this was before
the #MeToo thing, and there are
a couple of things in the show that
reviewers have pointed to and
said, “Oh, they took on the #MeToo
movement there.” There is a scene
SET DESIGN BY LISA BAZADONA. MORGAN AND SHORE GROOMING BY SU HAN AT DEW BEAUTY AGENCY. FUTTERMAN GROOMING BY
JUANITA LYON AT CELESTINE AGENCY. MILLER GROOMING BY BLONDIE FOR ALBA1913 AT EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS. WAITHE HAIR BY
FELICIA LEATHERWOOD, MAKEUP BY REBEKAH ALADDIN. ON-SET STYLING BY JORDAN GROSSMAN. FOY: ALEX BAILEY/NETFLIX.
Foy earning less than Matt
Smith], I was as horrified as the
next person.
THR Are you guys going to
be more involved or at least be
knowledgeable going forward?
MORGAN No, you can’t be.
THR You can’t be?
MORGAN If you want to stay healthy
and alive — and I would suggest
that all of us are on the verge of bad
health and insanity — you have to
delegate. I was asking Bruce, and
he goes on set a lot, and I would
love go to on set more. I probably,
to micromanage the culture of
the show that you’re on, I’d love to
know more about what decisions
are we making with pay, who are
we paying and what are we doing,
but I simply have to let my colleagues and co-producers do that,
and I have to say, “Well, if I only
have so many hours or so much
energy, this is the bit that I think
I’m best suited to.”
THR Given what a hot button this
has become and how much a
conversation like this can usurp
a show, do the rest of you feel a
responsibility going forward to
be more involved?
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where a character is talking to an
agent who may or may not sign her,
and he basically says he’s deciding whether to fuck her or sign her,
which is something I had heard an
agent say. And it was like, whoa,
that one went in the memory bank.
Now, oddly, we get credit for “Oh,
they saw the movement.”
The #MeToo Impact on
Comedy
ADLON It’s very dangerous to make
your content go into a safer direction. Before the #MeToo thing
happened, I would get the obligatory letter from my network, “Dear
showrunners, please hire women.”
And I would be like, “What the
fuuuuck?” (Laughter.) “Please hire
all diversities and whatever.” I’m
FROM LEFT: DRAMA SHOWRUNNERS MORGAN, KEMP, FUTTERMAN, SHORE (ON FLOOR),
MILLER AND WAITHE WERE PHOTOGRAPHED APRIL 28 AT LINE 204 STUDIO IN L.A.
like, “Is this not …?” (Motions to herself.) So, now I have this [#MeToo]
to tackle and people are like, “You
can address this all directly in your
show. This is your voice and your
show.” And it’s like, everybody just
relax. Let me try to maintain the
climate of my show. When you
were talking about the [agent] in
Barry, did it date you because you
had that and nobody would dare
do that [now]?
BERG No, but it was interesting
that it changed the context of how
people received it.
CUMMINGS Yeah, the joke wasn’t
funny anymore.
ADLON That’s right. There is a
stank on everything and it can’t
just be dirty or funny. And
when do we ever go back to that?
We want to be able to tell whatever story we wanna tell. My
network never says no to anything, never mandates anything,
but when it came to the storyline
at the beginning of the season
about my 16-year-old daughter
dating a 35-year-old, they were
like, “Eeehhh.” I was like, “I don’t
know that she slept with him. I
honestly don’t. He is procuring
her. I want to tell this story.”
SHERMAN-PALLADINO Comedy is
heading into a very dangerous
place right now and I am very worried about it.
THR How so?
SHERMAN-PALLADINO If we start not
being able to do stories because
viewed through the lens of #MeToo
or this or that … that you can’t
suddenly have anyone have an apolitical position or thinking about
the message that it’s sending out,
there is no comedy. Comedy is
over, it’s dead.
BERG It feels like there is this
thing that’s like outrage as a recreational activity now.
CUMMINGS I need to hate something.
Watch the drama and video showrunners reveal how their writers would best describe them at THR.COM/VIDEO
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
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Top scribes reveal the hideouts, habits, coffee dosages and companions
(three dogs, two cats) that help get the stories flowing By Bryn Elise Sandberg
of cofee. Mostly I write
whenever, wherever, however I can because with
two little kids, I just don’t
have that much free time.”
LAETA KALOGRIDIS
Altered Carbon
“My writing rituals
involve making endless
cups of tea and covering myself with pets and
blankets. I’m not sure
writing while literally having three dogs and two
cats on you really counts
— although I’ve been
known to write animals
into my shows when
on location so that I can
borrow them from the
wrangler to sit with me
while I’m writing.”
SALIM AKIL
Black Lightning
GLEN MAZZARA
LIZ TIGELAAR
The Dark Tower
Little Fires Everywhere
“There’s a tree house in
the yard. It’s maybe 75
square feet, big enough
for a built-in desk and
a tiny bathroom. It’s got a
rustic cabin feel. The tree
house does lend itself to
certain rituals. I have to
literally sweep away the
cobwebs, wipe up detritus
and create ‘a clean, welllighted’ space. It’s a Gothic
process that mirrors
going into my imagination
and finding the story
with its particular scenes
and rhythm.”
“I hole up, don’t
shower for four days and
relish shutting out the
world. Whether it’s making nachos, going into
a wormhole of a) Carly
and Bo from Days of Our
Lives circa 1990-91; b)
anything involving the
1996 Women’s Gymnastics
Team; or c) drinking wine
and shopping on Zara
Kids for clothes for my
3-year-old, I will do anything not to break a story.
Even exercise.”
SARAH TREEM
GLORIA CALDERON
KELLETT
The Affair
One Day at a Time
“The things I always need
when I’m writing are thick,
woolly socks, some place
to rest my feet and plenty
“Before I work I usually
put together a playlist.
Songs that inspire
the mood of whatever I’m
writing. Then I choose
a scent of candle. Usually
a diferent scent for a
diferent show. Writing
for me is about all the
senses. And cofee. Lots
of cofee. … Cuban coffee, of course!”
“I take long drives late, late
at night because it is meditative. And I only sleep on
the couch the entire time
I’m writing. I don’t like to
get comfortable.”
ALINE BROSH
MCKENNA
is it has to be elaborate
and full of procedures and
tactile elements — and the
longer it takes, the better.
Fava beans, bone broth,
blanched almonds — anything you have to take
out of a shell that is really,
really tedious. And then I
go back and forth between
the kitchen and my writing space.”
TANYA SARACHO
Vida
“I clean my writing space
with Florida water
— it’s a witchy thing; it’s
not water from Florida.
Then I light incense; I have
this little bell that I ring
three times and then this
palo santo spray. I light
a ton of candles: There’s
one for creativity, one for
my saint and then one
for my archangel Jophiel,
who is the archangel for
writers and artists. And
then I do a little, ‘Please
illuminate!’ and look to the
sky, and then I start — and
the incense doesn’t stop.
If it does, I put another
one on.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
JOE WEISBERG AND
JOEL FIELDS
“In the bath at night, I
sift through everything I
thought of or anything
that was pitched during the
day and let my thoughts
bubble up — see what I
did there? — and that’s
when I make some decisions about where I
think we need to go. The
bathtub, for me, is an ideal
workspace — relaxing,
quiet, private and no fuss
about what to wear.”
The Americans
ILENE CHAIKEN
Empire
“I have to cook or bake
something to mark the
beginning of my writing
process. I usually cook
something new that I never
made before. The thing
that’s important about it
“When we’re struggling to
break a story or wrestling
with a challenging character turn, we often say, ‘Let’s
walk on it.’ Sometimes we
walk for 20 minutes, sometimes hours. If we have
enough good ideas that we
start to get nervous we’ll
forget them, we talk into a
voice recorder, then email
the file to our ofice, so
when we get back, a typed
version is waiting for us
to work from. Other times,
we’ll be putting our coats
on to head out for our walk,
and we’ll solve our story
problem before we get to
the door. Then we have
to decide if we’re still going
to take the walk. Usually
we do.”
Illustrations by Travis Millard
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
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BERG Right. Where it’s just like,
what are you gonna do? Well,
I might go to the gym or I’m just
going to rage on the internet for
an hour.
SIMIEN People literally stopped
at the word “White” in my title
and like, “He’s causing a genocide
for white people.” (Laughs.)
SHERMAN-PALLADINO And unfortunately, comedy, because comedy
at its core is a tool that is aimed
at oppression and sadness and
the worst in human nature, not
the best, you don’t get comedy off
of great, fun, happy, delightful
people. I’m sure Mandela’s lovely,
but he ain’t funny. You don’t
go to that well for great comedy.
You go to the worst of people or
the shallowness or the pain and
the outcasts, and that’s what
makes shit funny. And suddenly
it feels like we’re entering this
world where it’s like you’ve just
got to show wonderful, terrific,
delightful things —
SIMIEN Which is so boring.
SHERMAN-PALLADINO It’s so boring!
BERG Also, it disarms satire
completely.
CUMMINGS There was a big issue
on our show about whether
Dan Conner [can call] undocumented workers who are now
taking his jobs illegals. There was
all this hullabaloo on set about
“Can you say ‘illegals’? That’s an
offensive word and we’re not
supposed to say that, that’s not
the PC term.” But this man
would not know what the right
word is. So if we have him saying “undocumented workers,”
it just feels false and you’re not
telling the story.
ADLON Oh God, no.
SIMIEN Everyone assumed our
show was a response to
Trump taking office. But no, we
just told the truth. Like, racism
didn’t begin when Trump took
office. If you tell the truth, no
matter what’s happening in the
world, it will work and resonate.
CUMMINGS For us, there was all
this feedback of like, “This show
is part of the problem.” And I’m
just like, “[Trump] got elected
before this show came back.” Like,
[Roseanne Barr’s] Twitter feed
is her Twitter feed. But everyone
just needs something to blame
right now.
MYLES ARONOWITZ/STARZ ENTERTAINMENT.
How TV Writers Find the Muse:
‘I Have to Cook or Bake Something’
Predicting How
Storylines Will Land
CUMMINGS There are times [in the
writers room] where I’m like,
“This is offensive, but this is what
these characters would say when
no one is watching and when they
don’t have a bunch of lib-tard people controlling what they say.” So,
I found a lot of times my job was
just to go, “If you feel that that’s
what this person would say behind
closed doors, then let’s go with it.”
SIMIEN Everyone needs to see
themselves and what’s happening. And see others.
CUMMINGS There are a lot of things
where if this person was related
to me, over Thanksgiving I’d yell
at them about their beliefs, but
there are certain people who talk
like this, and to not represent
them scares me because then they
want to feel represented and seen
and heard and they go do it by voting stupid.
BERG And representing someone
is not the same thing as endorsing them, right?
MICHAEL SCHUR We had the same
thing happen. The finale of [The
Good Place] aired the night before
Trump was inaugurated. And we
had a flashback to Kristen Bell’s
character, she’s walking through
a grocery store and it was the
final moments of her life and the
idea was to present a person who
was the most selfish person in
the world. She went through and
she bonked into someone, didn’t
care. She dropped a bunch of stuff,
didn’t care. She read a magazine
and then tossed it back at the
thing where she took it from and
it fell down, she didn’t care. And
the song that was playing in the
grocery store was “My Way” by
Frank Sinatra because it’s the ultimate tribute to selfishness. It’s
like, “I don’t care what you think,
I’m gonna do this my way.” And
the next night, Trump was inaugurated and his first dance was
to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra.
CUMMINGS No!
SCHUR Yes.
ADLON Oh my God.
SHERMAN-PALLADINO But also we
have to accept that there are going
to be very offensive jokes, jokes
that cross the line. There’s going
to be Kathy Griffin holding up
Donald Trump’s head. And I’ve got
WAITHE Not at all.
KEMP I feel like you can go in two
“
I can go in and for the first 10 minutes
talk about how much I love The Crown.
Walls go down. Now when I pitch you the
show about the drug dealer, it doesn’t
matter, I’m the girl who likes The Crown.”
KEMP, WHO CREATED POWER WITH 50 CENT (BELOW LEFT, WITH
OMARI HARDWICK ON THE SHOW)
to tell you, I was very disappointed
in the Hollywood community for
not coming to her defense. They
hung that girl out to dry. I didn’t
think it was funny, I wouldn’t have
personally thought, “Hey this is
gonna be my [thing],” but who the
fuck cares? Comedians are supposed to push the boundaries so
that the rest of us know where the
fuck they are.
CUMMINGS I texted her.
SHERMAN-PALLADINO Well, good.
Pitching While Black
WAITHE Usually it’s predomi-
nantly white execs or there’s often
the poor token black exec they
bring to the room, whoever they
can find in the office just to
say, “Come on, we got a black person coming in here, we wanna
look good.” (Laughter.) And that
black exec can either be friend
or foe. If they are a black person
who grew up in Connecticut or
went to a private school, and I’m
in there pitching The Chi, they’re
gonna go, “Well, that wasn’t my
experience. I’ve seen that experience of black people before, I don’t
want to greenlight a show that’s
going to tell that story again.” The
truth is, going in to pitch is hard,
period, but what people don’t realize is that when you’re someone
who is “othered” — and it’s not
just for black people, it’s if you’re
a trans person, if you’re someone who maybe has a disability
and you want to come in and tell
a story about that — if you’re sitting with people for whom that’s
not their experience, yeah, if you
have something that’s phenomenal and they can just kind of
relate and get it, they’ll do it, but
oftentimes there is a level of not
understanding and not being able
to relate. Also, the top execs, the
people with greenlight power,
they live in Brentwood, their kids
go to private school. It’s Big Little
Lies. So, if you’re not pitching Big
Little Lies, sometimes they’re like,
“Huh, I don’t get it.” Or they say
yes and then try to make it more
relatable to them.
THR Are those rooms changing
with the success of projects like
Power, Empire and Black Panther?
KEMP The people at the top who
are saying yes haven’t changed.
different ways, and this is what
I tell younger writers. You can go
in and pitch the universal part
first. So, I go in and pitch Power
and I say it’s about the path not
taken, it’s about my first love,
the one that got away, it’s about
does my past dictate my future.
Anybody can relate to that. You
tell that story first, the specifics
don’t matter. That’s one way of
doing it. And if you can’t find the
universal in your pitch, it’s not
the right show. Because it’s not
gonna work. A show that’s just
about you and living on your
block is not going to be interesting enough. But you also have to
research the people in the room
before you go in because if you
are just looking at them as a
monolithic group of upper-middle-class white people, well, you
screwed up, too, because somebody in there is specifically from
10 miles from where you grew
up and then you can connect on
that level.
MILLER Or have greenlit 20 really
cool, interesting shows all over
the map.
KEMP Right. What appeals to
them? Because if you go in and you
see that this person has greenlit
this, that or the other, they might
actually vibe with one specific
thing in your pitch. What are your
references? What are the things
that you like? I can go in and for
the first 10 minutes talk about
how much I love The Crown. Walls
go down. Now when I pitch you
the show about the drug dealer, it
doesn’t matter, I’m the girl who
likes The Crown. I think sometimes
we make the whole argument
about, “I’m different, so they’re not
gonna buy it.” Nope. Go in with a
good pitch and if the reason they
don’t buy it is because you’re
different, that’s their loss. When
I was pitching Power, I had an
executive say, “Well, I already have
a black show.” He said that right
to my face.
SHORE Wow.
KEMP We did all right without
him.
SHOW
RU N N
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T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
63
M AY 9, 2018
Jeffrey
Tambor:
‘Lines
Got
Blurred’
Sitting for his first interview since being fired from
Transparent, the veteran actor admits, ‘I was mean,
I was difficult,’ but takes aim at claims of harassment
in one of the murkiest episodes of the #MeToo era
BY SETH ABRAMOVITCH PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIC OGDEN
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
64
M AY 9, 2018
“Everything is
just clearer to me,”
says Tambor,
photographed April 16
at Muscoot Tavern
in Katonah, New York.
The 10:15 to Katonah arrives from Grand Central Terminal
precisely on schedule at 12:03 p.m. Standing across from the
train platform on a chilly Monday in April is Jeffrey Tambor,
the 73-year-old veteran actor best known for a trio of roles
on groundbreaking series: The Larry Sanders Show, Arrested
Development and, most recently, the critically adored and
zeitgeisty family dramedy Transparent. It’s in this picturesque
suburban hamlet just 47 miles north of the chaos of midtown
Manhattan that Tambor and his wife, Kasia, 49, raise their
four children, who range in age from 8 to 13. And since being
fired three months ago from Transparent, it’s here where
Tambor has been exiled in what will surely go down as the
darkest chapter of his four-decade career.
M
Tambor (left), as Maura Pfeferman, and
Transparent creator Jill Soloway (right).
is a dizzying tale entangled in
Rashomon-like perspectives and
political trip wires. And at the
center of it all stand three figures:
Tambor and his two accusers, Van
Barnes, Tambor’s former assistant, and Trace Lysette, an actress
on the series.
That Barnes and Lysette
are both transgender women is
not insignificant. After all,
Transparent — led by Tambor’s
twice-Emmy-winning performance as Maura Pfefferman
— was only recently being held up
as a beacon of social progressivism, lauded by activist groups
like GLAAD for igniting a global
transgender movement. In the
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
blink of an eye, however, all that
has changed, as Tambor — who
admits to having lifelong anger
issues but denies sexually harassing his accusers — watched his
image go from that of LGBTQ folk
hero to fugitive.
TAMBOR LEARNED that he’d been
fired in a text message from
Jill Soloway on Feb. 15. That was
the day Amazon — still reeling
from the exit four months earlier
of its top content executive, Roy
Price, over sexual harassment
66
M AY 9, 2018
claims — announced it would
not be renewing Tambor’s option
after an internal investigation.
Soloway, the show’s 52-year-old
creator and showrunner — whose
father’s transition inspired the
story — followed up that text with
a phone call a few minutes later.
Tambor was at his local gym at the
time, sweating on a recumbent
stationary bicycle. “I don’t remember the whole conversation,” he
says. “But I do remember her last
words were: ‘Do you need help
with a statement?’ ” He went into
HAIR AND MAKEUP BY MEL PALDINO FOR KEVYN AUCOIN AT ENNIS INC. SOLOWAY: MERIE WALLACE/AMAZON STUDIOS.
Moments later, he is in a coffee
shop on the town’s main street. “I
love diners,” says Tambor, freshly
shaven and neatly dressed in a
pinstriped shirt and a zippered
navy pullover. “I used to live on
100th and Second Avenue, on the
Upper East Side. And I practically
lived at a diner.”
The conversation continues
like this for a few minutes, a stiff
exchange of pleasantries, during which Tambor twists a plastic
straw, shredding its paper sleeve.
He pauses. “I have to tell you
something,” he says, his fingers
trembling. It’s obvious before
he says it: He’s nervous. “This is
the first time I’ve talked about
this, ever,” he says. “And possibly
the last time. I used to teach acting, you know, and I’d always say,
‘Announce where you are.’ So this
is me doing that.”
Where Tambor is right now
is uncharted territory. He is about
to become the first high-profile
subject of the sweeping #MeToo
movement to sit for an in-depth
interview about his alleged
sexual harassment scandal. His
Tambor with his wife,
Kasia Ostlun. “This is a
death. This is grief.
Maura Pfeferman is no
longer,” Tambor says.
shock: “If you can picture a man
outside a gym for forever, in
his workout shorts and everything,
just staring.” Tambor had been
preparing himself for “a slap on
the wrist” for what he says were
his temperamental outbursts on
the set. Never did he think his biggest career triumph would end in
such unceremonious disgrace.
The path to the firing began four
months earlier, when, inspired by
the #MeToo declarations she was
seeing on social media, Barnes —
a gregarious, 43-year-old blonde
who relocated from rural Missouri
to Los Angeles for the opportunity
of working for Tambor — typed
her own #MeToo account on her
personal Facebook page. “Oh hell
yeah! ME TOO!” Barnes wrote
on Oct. 16. “[I was] even told
[by Tambor] that ‘for that kind’a
money and after all that time
of working for him that I should
be sleeping with him if I want a
Hollywood-industry-appropriate
pay grade.’ ”
The post, which never mentions Tambor by name, referred
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
to an employer who gave her
“butt pats,” made “ ‘why aren’t
I taking care of him sexually’
comments” and subjected her to
“listening to his porno.” Wrote
Barnes: “I was depressed and
thought about suicide when I left
that job.” The post rapidly circulated among the transgender
community and beyond. On
Nov. 8, Amazon Studios confirmed that an investigation into
Barnes’ claims was in its “early
stages.” Tambor released a statement that day dismissing Barnes
67
M AY 9, 2018
as a “former disgruntled assistant
… I am appalled and distressed at
this baseless allegation.”
One person who read Barnes’
post with interest was Lysette. A
striking brunette with fair skin
and aquamarine eyes, Lysette, who
prefers not to disclose her age,
grew up in Dayton, Ohio — she
was the only male on her high
school cheerleading team — then
moved to New York City, where
she began transitioning to
female. She later found work at a
Manhattan strip club, where she
and it would land on my lips,”
she recalls.
It wasn’t until the filming of
the third episode of season two,
“New World Coming,” that Lysette
felt Tambor had crossed a clear
line. While shooting a breakfast
scene in skimpy pajamas, Lysette
says she was told by Tambor,
“My God, Trace, I want to attack
you sexually.” (Billings, who was
also in the scene, confirms her
account to THR). Recalls Lysette,
“We were like, ‘What? Who says
that?’ ” A few minutes later, she
says, Tambor “waddled over to me
in his pajamas and put his feet
on top of mine, and started these
little, like, thrusts on my hip.
They were discreet and insidious
and creepy. I felt his genitals on
me. And I pushed him off.”
On Nov. 16, Lysette detailed that
incident in a statement to THR.
“Given the circumstances of my
life,” she wrote, “I was used to
being treated as a sexual object by
men — this one just happened to
be famous.” She went on to express
her hope that Amazon would “find
good in this, and use this as an
opportunity to re-center the other
trans characters in this show.
Don’t let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male
actor. Remove the problem and let
the show go on.”
That Tambor is cisgender, or
identifies as his birth sex, was a
sticking point for many in the
trans community from the start.
At a season one screening at the
Directors Guild of America, an
From left: Gaby Hofmann, Tambor, Duplass, Judith Light, Jill Soloway,
Amy Landecker, Rob Huebel, Lysette and Billings at the Paley Center in
New York in September for Transparent: An Evening With the Pfefermans.
audience member said Tambor’s
performance was “like watching blackface” and that he should
be replaced by a trans actress.
The suggestion mortified Tambor,
literally. “I just made like a possum and played dead,” he recalls.
“I remember turning to my right,
and Jill was in tears.” As the show
grew in popularity and acclaim,
so did the “elephant in the room,”
as Tambor puts it. “Because the
revolution got bigger. So the very
thing we were doing, the awakening to this movement, made the
disparity [of my non-transness]
more apparent.”
After Lysette’s claims went
public, Tambor convened an emergency meeting with his wife,
Poland-born actress Kasia Ostlun,
and his reps, including Gersh’s
Leslie Siebert, his agent of 30
5 Key Players in the Case Against Tambor
JILL SOLOWAY
The Transparent
creator, who
identifies as
“gender nonbinary,”
says that Tambor
“made enemies,
and I don’t think he
realized he was
making enemies.”
FAITH SOLOWAY
According to
Tambor, Jill’s older
sister, a producer on the show,
sent him an email
describing the
allegations against
him as a “coup” on
the set.
VAN BARNES
Tambor’s former
personal assistant says the actor
subjected her
to sexual propositions and attacks
on her self-esteem:
“It became some
type of Stockholm
syndrome.”
TRACE LYSETTE
The actress alleges
Tambor had a
tendency of kissing
her on the lips
and humped her
against a wall. “As
trans women, we
are survivors,” she
says. “You endure
what you have to.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
68
ZACKARY DRUCKER
Tambor and the
two accusers briefly
lived together
in a home owned
by the parents
of this producer
on the show, a
longtime friend of
Barnes’.
M AY 9, 2018
years. “My advice to him was be
truthful,” recalls Siebert. “Tell
people your understanding
and your truth. That’s all you
can do.”
They crafted a second statement, this one taking on a
measure of culpability. “I find
myself accused of behavior
that any civilized person would
condemn unreservedly,” it read.
“I know I haven’t always been
the easiest person to work with.
I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express
my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a
predator — ever.”
The following day, Tambor
received an email from Faith
Soloway, 54, Jill’s older sister and a writing producer on
Transparent. “I can quote it verbatim because I’ve looked at it
for five months,” insists Tambor.
He would not show the email
to THR, but a source confirms its
content. “It said, ‘We are in a
coup. You are fucking fantastic. You have changed the world.
We have changed the world. We
will get through this. Love, love,
love, Faith.”
Faith Soloway confirms having sent the email. “Things
were happening so quickly, with
people being accused and held
accountable by the #MeToo movement,” she says. “In the moment,
I felt that Jill and Jeffrey were
under attack. I knew that some
people disapproved of Jeffrey,
a cisgender actor, playing Maura,
and I was upset that Jill, as the
show’s creator, hadn’t had the
DUPLAS: JOHN LAMPARSKI/WIREIMAGE. J. SOLOWAY: BRANDON WILLIAMS/FILMMAGIC. F. SOLOWAY: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES FOR AMAZON STUDIOS. BARNES:
TYLER ESSARY/NBC. LYSETTE: JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC. DRUCKER: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES. BTS: JENNIFER CLASEN/AMAZON STUDIOS.
never let on to the clientele that
she was transgender. After a bad
breakup led to a suicide attempt —
she slit her wrists on a side street
walking home from the strip
club one night — Lysette was
admitted to Bellevue Hospital’s
psychiatric ward. After her
release, inspired by the success
of the transgender actress
Laverne Cox on Orange Is the New
Black, she decided to pursue
her acting dreams. By 2013, she
was flying to Los Angeles to audition for the role of Davina on
Transparent, a trans woman who
takes Maura under her wing.
“We met with many, many trans
actresses and writers in our outreach,” says Soloway of that early
hiring sweep. (Since creating
Transparent, Soloway has started
self-identifying as “gender nonbinary”; the pronoun “they” is
preferred instead of “she.”) The
part ended up going to another
actress, Alexandra Billings,
but Lysette impressed Soloway
enough to have her own character written into the show — a yoga
teacher and stripper named Shea.
According to Lysette, then a
Hollywood neophyte, the unsolicited advances from Tambor
started early on. “They began as
flirtation — kisses on the forehead, which was awkward,” she
tells THR. “But part of me was
like, ‘OK, maybe he just thinks of
me as a daughter figure or something.’ ” Lysette says the unwanted
affection spilled onto red carpets.
“I would kiss him on the cheek,
opportunity to address the issue
privately [before it went public]. As the story broke, I also sent
messages of support to Trace and
Van, and after the allegations were
presented, I never disbelieved
them. I still hope everyone can
learn and heal from this.”
The message sent a “shock
wave” through him because it
led him to believe that “something was up, over and above me.
Some dots were not connecting.”
Suspecting he was being set up to
be ousted because he is cisgender,
Tambor released a third, more
pointed statement Nov. 19. “What
has become clear over the past
weeks,” he wrote, “is that this is no
longer the job I signed up for four
years ago. … Given the politicized
atmosphere that seems to have
afflicted our set, I don’t see how I
can return to Transparent.”
Despite having been widely
interpreted as such, the statement
was never meant to be a definitive resignation letter, Tambor
maintains, adding he “chose
those words exactly to be a little
abstract.” That evening, he says,
he received an email from Jill
Soloway (which Soloway confirms
she sent). “She wrote these words:
‘They have been after Maura from
the beginning.’ ”
Soloway responds: “While much
of the trans community immediately embraced the show, some
vocally opposed the casting of
a cis man, Jeffrey, in the lead role.
This sentiment has persisted in
parts of the community — coming
up again on social media in the
wake of these allegations. It was a
text I wrote in frustration after
pouring my heart into this show
for years. I wanted to tell a story
that brought power and visibility to trans people and to my own
family’s journey into understanding, acceptance and pride.”
Over the phone, they discussed
how to proceed, which for Tambor
would be “one of the top-five difficult phone calls of my life.”
In it, Soloway — frantic and
highly emotional over the beloved
series’ implosion — asked
Tambor if he would be “open to a
third way.” Soloway suggested that,
going forward, Tambor appear
in the series only in flashback, as
Mort Pfefferman, Maura’s pretransition self. It was a not-ideal
Transparent. I told people inside
Transparent.” One of those people was her roommate, Zackary
Drucker, a 35-year-old producer
on the show who also is a trans
woman. Drucker did not pass on
the information.
“Trace and I shared many, many
conversations during our time as
roommates,” says Drucker. “Since
I don’t have a clear memory of this
conversation, it didn’t register to
me as something I was meant to,
or needed to, report in the context
of our professional relationship.”
Barnes, meanwhile, had been
laying low from the press; she’d
signed a nondisclosure agreement with Tambor as part of her
employment. But, on Feb. 26,
a few weeks after Tambor was
fired, Barnes’ lawyer told her the
but potentially workable concession to those who felt Tambor’s
performance was an offensive
example of “transface,” as some
critics referred to it. Of course,
the plan did nothing to address
the Pandora’s box of sexual misconduct allegations that had
just spilled into headlines. For
the sake of the show, Tambor
tentatively agreed to play the
pre-trans character, just as soon
as he was cleared by Amazon
of the more ominous charges.
But that would not happen. Tambor was interviewed
for nearly 10 hours during the
inquiry, in two marathon sessions. “My lawyer was present,”
he says, obviously reluctant to get
into the details. “They asked
me questions, and I responded to
said it happened, bizarrely, when
Barnes, Lysette and Tambor were
living together under the same
roof in Drucker’s parents’ home
in Highland Park, northeast of
downtown L.A., where Barnes was
house-sitting over the summer.
Lysette, still based in New York at
the time, was occupying one of
the bedrooms. Before production
on the second season began,
there was a two-week window
until Tambor’s Pacific Palisades
rental home would be ready.
“He said, ‘You’re house-sitting,
aren’t you? Do you mind if I stay
with you?’ ” recalls Barnes. “I
thought it was really weird. Here’s
a guy of means, but he can’t afford
a hotel for two weeks?”
Tambor confirms sharing living quarters with Barnes and
Left: Tambor
(center) on the
set with
Lysette (left)
and Billings.
Right: Tambor
and Soloway.
the questions. And that’s pretty
much what I want to say about
that.” Others were interviewed, as
well. Staffers were asked whether
Tambor had ever kissed them on
the lips — which was something
he often felt comfortable enough
to do in their cozy work environment. “It’s a really loose set,”
says one high-ranking producer
who asked not to be identified.
“Everybody behaves in a sensual
manner because it’s a show about
sex. Everyone says things like,
‘You’re so hot, oh my God. I had a
dream about you last night.’ ” As
Jay Duplass, who plays Maura’s
music producer son, Josh, on the
show, once put it, “Your job as an
actor is to be emotionally present … or in the case of Transparent,
have a ton of sex.”
Lysette never wavered on her
story, telling investigators that she
reported the thrusting incident
promptly and that no action was
taken. “I told plenty of people,”
she says. “I told people outside of
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
NDA was no longer in effect, and
she gave an interview to THR.
“I was barely at minimum wage,
which was a clear abuse,” Barnes
said, claiming she had to endure
Tambor’s severe mood swings and
round-the-clock demands. Despite
Barnes’ reputation for having a
raunchy sense of humor — “she’s
the dirtiest fucking talker in the
world,” is how one staffer puts it
— Tambor’s alleged offensive talk
and occasional “butt pats” made
Barnes increasingly uncomfortable. “Towards the end, he had
proposed to me that I be his mistress,” she said. “His actions
have jeopardized many people’s
jobs, especially many transgender people struggling to find work
in Hollywood. … He has done this
to himself.”
Barnes continued speaking out
on March 7, when she appeared
on Megyn Kelly Today to add a
startling new detail to her accusation: that Tambor had once
watched her sleeping naked. She
69
M AY 9, 2018
Lysette — “My arrangements
hadn’t come together. In retrospect, I should not have stayed
there and just waited for my
house to become ready” — but
insists Barnes’ claims that he
observed her sleeping naked are
completely fabricated. Asked
to address other specific
allegations, including the propositioning and physical touching,
he grows reticent. “I don’t
want to characterize them,” he
says. “What I said was that she
was a disgruntled assistant.
I think that was generous of me.
I dispute her account. I did raise
my voice at times, I was moody
at times, there were times when I
was tactless. But as for the other
stuff, absolutely not.”
Siebert admits to having been
aware of her client’s mercurial
reputation. “He’s guilty of being
an asshole at times and being,
you know, temperamental and
moody,” she says. “And he feels
awful about it and apologizes, and
he’s working on himself. But in
the 30 years I’ve worked with him,
I’ve never been told about any
behavior like what these women
are accusing him of.” Tambor
acknowledges the occasional outburst on previous shows — he
references one “blowup” with
actress Jessica Walter on Arrested
Development for which he later
“profusely apologized” (a rep for
Walter says, “Jessica does not wish
to talk about Jeffrey Tambor”) —
but that something about Maura,
his obsessive determination to
make her as authentic as possible,
brought out the worst in him.
“I drove myself and my castmates crazy,” he says. “Lines got
blurred. I was difficult. I was
mean. I yelled at Jill — she told
me recently she was afraid of
me. I yelled at the wonderful [executive producer] Bridget Bedard
in front of everybody. I made her
cry. And I apologized and everything, but still, I yelled at her. The
assistant directors. I was rude
to my assistant. I was moody.
Sometimes I didn’t talk at all. And
this is where the reader says, ‘So
what?’ You know? ‘You’re coming
in from the Palisades, you drive
in, you get a good paycheck, you
get to play one of the best roles in
the world. So. What.’ ” He stares
down at his barely touched lunch,
a grilled ham and cheese sandwich propping up a pile of french
fries. “But I was scared because
I was a cisgender male playing
Maura Pfefferman. And my whole
thing was, ‘Am I doing it right?
Am I doing it right? Am I doing it
right?’ To the point that I worried
myself to death.”
Soloway and Tambor have
not spoken since Feb. 15. That’s
the day Soloway issued a statement expressing “great respect
and admiration for Van Barnes
and Trace Lysette, whose courage in speaking out about their
experience on Transparent is an
example of the leadership this
moment in our culture requires.”
Tambor issued his own rebuttal, saying he was “profoundly
disappointed” in the “deeply
flawed and biased” investigation’s
outcome and “even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair
characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm
to my fellow castmates.”
70
“ I c a n q u o t e [t h e e m a i l] v e r b a t i m .
IT SAID, ‘WE ARE IN A COUP. You are
f uck ing fantastic. You have changed the
world. WE WILL G ET TH ROUG H TH I S .’ ”
Tambor still is wounded
by what he characterizes as his
abandonment by Soloway. “I
said to her, ‘Since you know the
truth, would you make a public statement on my behalf?’ It’s
my biggest disappointment that
she hasn’t.” To that, Soloway
responds: “I never told him I was
going to accuse Van or Trace of
being liars. He knew that nobody
could do that. And I was really
working with him to help him
understand that a simple apology
would go a really long way. I was
hoping to get him there.”
Soloway’s own thinking on
Tambor has evolved since the
controversy broke. “I was hoping,
in those early days, before
Trace’s initial statement came out,
that it all could have
been a big misinterpretation — that
one person’s harassment
is another person’s dirty joke.”
Eventually, Soloway realized the
#MeToo movement was a “global
tsunami — there’s nothing I
could have done to stop it.” As for
the allegations, Soloway contends
that “it’s not a simple case of did
he do it or didn’t he do it. Nobody
said he was a predator — they
said he sexually harassed people.
He made enemies, and I don’t
think he realized he was making
enemies. You have to be very,
very careful if you’re a person in
power and treat people very
appropriately.”
As for the future of Transparent,
Soloway has begun to feel “a tiny
bit like we are going to be OK.” The
writing staff has begun discussions on how to tackle the show’s
fifth — and, Soloway reveals, final
— season. “Hopefully it sets the
Pfeffermans up with some sort
of beautiful reclaiming,” Soloway
says. “I think we’re going to get
there with some time.”
Since going public, Lysette and
Barnes have taken different
paths: Lysette still is pursuing
acting in L.A. and has become
politically active, speaking at
events like the Las Vegas Women’s
March and attending Time’s Up
meetings. Barnes has returned to
Missouri and enrolled in cosmetology school. “I have turned
a new leaf!” Barnes wrote in an
April 26 Facebook post. “This
did not come with any assistance from my previous employer
Transparent, nor Amazon or
the fake feminist Jill Soloway, who
found reason to fire our perpetrator, & instead of offering me
financial reparations to upright
myself again, offered me a Go
Fund Me.”
As for Tambor, he has only
just begun to emerge from what
he calls a “fugue state.” When
speaking about Maura, he almost
exclusively uses the terminology
of death and grieving. He’s currently reading two books on the
subject, The Five Invitations:
Discovering What Death Can Teach
Us About Living Fully and The
Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living
and Dying. He breaks down in
tears five separate times over the
course of this interview, making
note of it each time he does.
“She was like a friend,” he says of
Maura. “That may trigger eye
rolls, but she was very real to me.
And I think in many ways much
more awake than I.” He says he
still has regular conversations out
loud with Maura and is deeply disappointed that she won’t ever
get “to find her significant other.”
Despite his troubles, he still has
a job on Arrested Development, the
Netflix comedy in which Tambor
plays the patriarch of another dysfunctional California clan, the
Bluths. Its fifth season premieres
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
71
M AY 9, 2018
on the streaming service May 29
in order to qualify it for the Emmy
voting window. The scandal provided an unwelcome distraction
during the final months of production, which began in August
and wrapped in December.
Nevertheless, Netflix chief content
officer Ted Sarandos tells THR
that it was a smooth shoot and
Tambor will be in attendance
at upcoming media appearances,
including a May 17 premiere
event in Hollywood. “In making
and promoting seasons four
and five of Arrested Development,”
Sarandos says, “Jeffrey has always
been totally professional.” So far,
Tambor has earned support from
fellow castmember David
Cross (“a number of
us stand behind him
… and I am one
of them,” Cross told
amNew York in an
interview), while another, Alia
Shawkat, who also appeared
on Transparent, told IndieWire she
was “surprised” by the allegations but “supports the voice of
the victims.”
Later that afternoon, after mixing with the locals at a nearby
bookstore cafe — he offers one
young man, an aspiring actor,
some advice about an upcoming
audition — Tambor turns back
to the matter at hand, pledging the
lessons he needed to learn have
been learned. “People change,” he
insists. “It’s already changed my
behavior on set. Just walking in
here today, into this cafe, I hadn’t
seen the owner in a long time. I
mean, do you hug? Do you not hug?
When you see fans …” He trails
off. “You know what I do feel? More
present. Everything’s just clearer
to me.”
Tambor spends as much time
as he can with his children,
whom he’s attempted to shield
from his ordeal. His favorite activity is reading bedtime stories to
his 8-year-old twins, Hugo and Eli.
“I know Goodnight Moon pretty
well,” he says. “And there’s this
other book about a bear hunt. I’ve
read it to every generation of child.
They go on a bear hunt and they
say, ‘Uh-oh, there’s mud! You can’t
go over it, you can’t go under it.
Got to go through it.’ And I can’t
think of anything more typical in
my life right now.”
//David E. Kelley
has created
Emmy-winning,
zeitgeist-defining
series for three
decades —
navigating TV’s
seismically
shifting landscape
(with a few bumps
along the way:
see Amazon’s
Goliath). Now back
in L.A., he talks
Big Little Lies
season two
and the one reboot
he’d endorse//
‘Intoxication
Comes With
the Idea’
By LACEY ROSE
//
Photographed by AUSTIN HARGRAVE
TV Producer of the Year
“I really want to
make a documentary
about salmon for
National Geographic,”
says Kelley,
photographed
April 24 at his Santa
Monica ofice, about
what’s left on his
creative bucket list.
David E. Kelley had every intention of making a
living as a lawyer — rather than writing fictional
versions of them for television.
In fact, after four years at Princeton, Kelley got
his law degree from Boston University, then landed
a job in the litigation department at nearby Fine &
Ambrogne. But like all good Hollywood tales, Kelley’s
had a twist: In his spare time, the Waterville, Maine,
native had written a script for a legal thriller that scored him both a film deal and
an agent. And in 1986, when Steven Bochco was seeking writers with a legal background for his new NBC series, L.A. Law, that rep passed Kelley’s screenplay along.
Bochco liked what he saw, and a two-week assignment turned into a full-time position. Kelley was soon elevated to showrunner and, in 1989, at age 33, won his first
of nine best series Emmy Awards; not a decade after that, he had three series of his
own on the air. And by the turn of the century, Kelley was not only widely considered one of the medium’s most successful writer-producers but also had become the
first to win the best drama Emmy (The Practice) and the best comedy Emmy (Ally
McBeal) on the same night.
Two decades later, THR’s TV Producer of the Year found himself back on the Emmy
stage, collecting a pile of hardware for his latest work, HBO’s Big Little Lies, now back
in production on a second season. With his two children out of the house and his
résumé as packed as ever (Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes, Amazon’s Goliath and
a second Nicole Kidman collaboration at HBO), Kelley, 62, and his wife of 25 years,
Michelle Pfeiffer, have returned to L.A. after some 15 years in Northern California.
“We wanted to get out of Dodge when our kids went to middle school,” he says, “but
our work is here and we got tired of shuttling back and forth, and our world up there
was quiet with the kids gone.” (The couple reportedly listed their Woodside home
for $29.5 million.) On a late April afternoon, Kelley sits surrounded by stacks of legal
pads in his Santa Monica office to reflect on his prolific career, why he had to be
talked into doing more Lies and the show on his résumé that could justify a reboot.
D
got to look for a kid who’s believable as a doctor.” And then the irony was we found in Neil a
kid who was believable as a doctor. The question was, “Is he going to be relatable as a kid?”
You took a leave from your law gig to
write for L.A. Law. When did you know
you’d never return?
Almost immediately. That very first story
meeting I felt completely at home. And at the
end of the two weeks, which is all I had taken
off from work, Steven had invited me to join
the staff. So, I went back to my law firm and
said, “Well, I said it was going to be two weeks,
but now they’ve offered me a staff job. It’s not
a show that’s on the air, and it could come and
go like many do.” After about two years, one
of the administrative partners called, because
they were still paying my insurance, and said,
“You’re not coming back, are you?”
You’d later wage plenty of network wars of your
own. How’d you fare?
What did you learn from Bochco about fighting
for what you believe in, be it in the writing or
in casting an unknown like Neil Patrick Harris on
your first co-creation, Doogie Howser, M.D.?
There’s some expression: When the elephants
fight, the smaller monkeys just stay up in the
trees. Well, I was up in the tree for that one [on
Doogie Howser]. ABC resisted that casting, and I
let Steven wage that war. We both loved Neil for
it. Going into casting, we thought, “OK, we’ve
You’re going to get notes forever, but the key,
I learned, is to discern the good ones from
the bad ones — don’t take them just because
they come from above but don’t reject them
just because the idea wasn’t yours. On those
occasions where you knew you had the right
person, they were tough battles, but I didn’t
find myself wavering internally. On Picket
Fences, CBS had some concerns about Kathy
Baker, when to me she was it. There were some
concerns about Mandy Patinkin, too. And
when I talked about James Spader becoming
the lead of [Boston Legal], I heard just huge
protest from ABC that the American public
would never welcome him into their living room. He was a fine actor, but he was not
viewer-friendly to a mainstream audience.
James isn’t just a fine actor; he’s an incredible
actor. I just said, “No, he’s it.”
73
TV Producer of the Year
Once people are cast, how much interaction do
you like to have with your stars?
I’d say I’m most comfortable alone in the room
doing the work. That could be either the joke
on me or criticism on me — it’s certainly the
book on me. My door is open if actors want it,
but not many have taken it. James was one who
really wanted to discuss every episode, and
every episode was probably an hour phone call,
but it was always about making the show better, and he usually had pretty good ideas about
how to do it. Whereas I almost never spoke with
Calista [Flockhart on Ally McBeal]. Whether
she liked the script or hated the script, I never
found out. All I know is that when she came to
set, she was always prepared. Then there were
some in between.
//I might be doing this five years from now.
I might not.//
What would that look like?
I was doing Picket Fences and Chicago Hope
at the same time, and Mandy Patinkin would
come in maybe once or twice a month and
berate me for never coming to the set, but
he did it with love. I’d usually still be writing
while he was berating me, and I would look
up and say, “Mandy, I’m like the little drummer boy here; the best way I know how to give
is just to keep writing,” and he would get that
and say, “OK, OK.” But the funniest one is Pete
MacNicol from Chicago Hope [and later Ally
McBeal]. I remember one day he comes in and
he had a look on his face, and I could tell he
wasn’t coming under happy circumstances.
His face was almost contorting a bit — he
wanted to not combust but to make his point.
Finally, he said, “I am fraught with rancor.”
And I remember saying, “Well, Peter, if you are
fraught with rancor, I want to keep you this
way because your work is off-the-charts good.”
Which it was. He didn’t answer. He paused.
He stood up. And he walked out of the room.
That was it.
How often do you get approached about
reboots? Any shows you’d consider revisiting?
I don’t really have an interest in going backward, myself. In fact, I’ve not even seen the
shows after I’ve made them. I do think because
of the gender politics that were so part and parcel of Ally McBeal, it’s become very relevant and
ripe. So, I’d be open to the idea of Ally McBeal
being done again, but I don’t think it should be
done by me. If it were going to be done, it really
should be done by a woman. If it’s going to be
new, it should be new and different. And I did
it: 100 hours.
From the outside, your career seems like it could
be split into three distinct periods …
There was the first part, which was very
successful. Then the middle part, where I had
to work a little harder with a little less success,
and then this part. I accept it all as cyclical. I’ve
consistently written what is meaningful to me.
That said, the landscape has changed. The burden now is on the storyteller. You can no longer
rely on cultivating an audience, you gotta get
’em quick or you’re over. The danger in that, or
the downside, is that it puts a burden on storytellers to think conceptually and sometimes
gimmicky. If anything, now you’re seeing a lot
of shows that burn out after a year because they
have fantastic concepts, but then what? What
would fit into that middle period of my career
is Boston Legal, however. And if you had to pick
a show to live in a time capsule and get replayed
the most 50 years from now, I’d pick that one.
I love that show because it had drama and
comedy and it was about issues that [meant]
something but it was also about friendship.
That’s the show I miss most of all, the one I
feel myself reaching for the pen to pick up and
write an episode.
With Mr. Mercedes and Big Little Lies, you’re
relying on source material, which is new for you.
I’m at a point in my advanced years where I got
to tell all the stories that were in my well. I’ve
done many half pilots or three-quarter pilots
because, for me, the discovering of the show is
in the writing. I’ll start writing and try to discover whether the characters are fertile to me.
And then I do another test when I’m halfway or
three-quarters through, which is: Have I done
a version of this before? And if I have, I’ll put
it down. Now I feel like the best way to avoid
sameness is to use as my starting point someone else’s baby. It’s not something that I ever
thought would appeal to me because the intoxication comes with the idea — that’s the fuel
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
74
M AY 9, 2018
that drives you as a writer. If you’re not hatching the idea, I always felt it was going to be like
hard labor without the drugs.
But it hasn’t been?
No. It’s all about finding the right material —
material that moves you and speaks to you or
inspires you like Big Little Lies did. I’ve really
enjoyed it. I think there’s something I can still
bring to the equation, be it years of experience
or a good ear for dialogue and structure.
Your last brush with broadcast was in 2013
on CBS’ The Crazy Ones. What happened?
It was terrible. Robin Williams was great,
but the show itself was not very good. I went
to CBS and I said, “The show is not very good.
Do you care?” And the answer was no. They
talked to me a little bit like you talk to your
grandfather. “I know this isn’t the way it was
done in your day, Pop, but the way it is now,
people watch TV, they’ve got their computers
open, they’re on Facebook, they’re answering emails, they’re texting. The idea is to have
something on that screen that’s compatible
with everything going on in the room but that
isn’t going to challenge them to pay attention
to plot or offend them enough to make them
change the channel.” I was horrified.
So you went off to the brave new world of
streaming with Goliath at Amazon, which you
later described as “a bit of a Gong Show.”
I should say most of the people I dealt with at
Amazon were great. The gentlemen with the
keys to the car, however, should not have
had their license. We all knew, we all looked
at each other and said, “This is a well-run
company and as soon as Seattle figures out
what’s going on here, they’ll fix it.” And they
Left: Big
Little Lies
creators and
cast at the
2017 Emmys.
Right: Kelley
and Pfeifer,
who have
a daughter
(a Ph.D.
candidate at
Columbia)
and son
(a computer
engineer)
together.
did. [Roy Price and his lieutenant, Joe Lewis,
exited in October.] Would I go back to Amazon
with an idea now? Sure. By the way, I was a fan
of The Gong Show. I just never aspired to be a
contestant. (Laughs.)
Billy Bob Thornton has run through a few showrunners on Goliath: First you, then Clyde Phillips.
He couldn’t have been your first difficult star?
No, he wasn’t the first. It was many things, but
I would say the combination of the star and
the one running the network was particularly
problematic. It didn’t work for me. And it didn’t
work for them, either.
PREVIOUS SPREAD, GROOMING BY CHECHEL JOSON AT DEW BEAUTY AGENCY. THIS SPREAD, EMMYS: LESTER COHEN/WIREIMAGE. PFEIFFER: MICHAEL KOVAC/GETTY IMAGES FOR MOET &
CHANDON. DOOGIE, PRACTICE, BOSTON: ABC/PHOTOFEST. PICKET: CBS/PHOTOFEST. MCBEAL: FOX/PHOTOFEST. LIES: HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE/HBO. STATUE: COURTESY OF EMMYS.
You’re prepping a second season of Big Little Lies.
Did you have any apprehension?
Yes. I didn’t think it was a very good idea. We
wrote it as a one-off and we ended it in a way
that was very lyrical. But we ended on a lie.
I get so protective of characters and series,
too, that I don’t want to damage them in any
way, and I so loved how we ended year one
and I thought, “Let’s just leave it at that.”
because she sets a high bar and you have to
measure up, but liberating in that now the
show’s not going to be compared to last year.
There was freedom in that.
Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes
have recently signed nine-figure deals at
Netflix. Do you look at those deals and say,
“Where’s mine?”
No, because it just feels like a lot to do.
You currently have at least three shows …
But I don’t have to. If I want to do a show, I
can do it, but I don’t have to feed a beast or
fulfill a contract. For me, I like the free-agent
world. That works better for me. I honestly
don’t know how those [Netflix] deals math out.
But look, if you’re going to bet on two people, who better? I’m just at a different stage.
I might be doing this five years from now. I
might not.
What would you do instead?
Who or what convinced you?
A multitude of forces, but mainly it came down
to a creative analysis. Liane [Moriarty, author
of the novel Big Little Lies] wrote a novella of
[new] stories, and most of them we’re using.
But the genius one was introducing this character who’s being played by Meryl Streep. It’s
a delicious character and I felt bringing her in
was both liberating and daunting. Daunting
I have an aquaculture business [supplying
salmon and trout], and it takes up a lot of time.
It started about four or five years ago, and I’m
not running it hands-on, but it’s busy enough.
So, five years from now, I could see just doing
that. I don’t see myself as feeling the need to do
a show just to have something to do, though.
If it speaks to me, I’ll do it. And if it doesn’t, I’ll
feed the fish.
//THREE DECADES OF KELLEY HITS//
1989-1993
Doogie
Howser,
M.D.
1992-1996
Picket
Fences
After NBC's
L.A. Law, Kelley
teamed with his
mentor, the late
Bochco, on a
medical dramedy starring
Harris for ABC.
In 1992, he
launched his
eponymous
company,
signed a
CBS deal and
delivered
Fences, his first
solo creation.
1997-2002
Ally
McBeal
2004-2008
Boston
Legal
He wrote five
22-episode
seasons of
McBeal largely
on his own. The
Fox dramedy
instantly became
a cultural lightning rod.
During a drier
period professionally (see
NBC’s scrapped
Wonder
Woman pilot),
he debuted his
Practice spinof on ABC.
1997-2004
The Practice
With Chicago
Hope in its
fourth season on
CBS, he added
The Practice.
Though slower
to take hold, it
won back-toback Emmys in
1998 and 1999.
2017Present
Big Little
Lies
Kelley was
given the book
by CAA, and
realized a faithful vision of
it for what was
to be a limited
series on HBO.
20
shows executive
produced by
Kelley — 16 as
creator, three as
co-creator
9
series Emmy
Awards total
across five of his
shows (L.A. Law,
Ally McBeal,
The Practice,
Picket Fences and
Big Little Lies)
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Reviews
Books
Summer Book Bonanza
Must-reads include Bill Clinton’s debut novel, a dishy Sumner Redstone bio, an unusual
David Lynch memoir and a page-turner about sex and murder at a boarding school
By Andy Lewis
THE PERFECT MOTHER By Aimee Molloy
(Harper, May 1, $28)
LOGLINE Mothers from a Brooklyn
CLOSE: COURTESY OF ST. MARTIN’S PRESS. CONFESSIONS: COURTESY OF ONE WORLD . KING: COURTESY OF HARPER BUSINESS.
PRESIDENT: COURTESY OF LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY. VINTAGE: COURTESY OF HARPERCOLLINS. SKY, SAND, WOMAN, BAG: ISTOCK.
baby playgroup get together for
drinks, but single mom Winnie’s
son is stolen from his crib — and
the hunt for the kidnapper reveals
secrets that destroy friendships.
BUZZ This thriller — think
Big Little Baby Lies — taps into
every parent’s worst fears and
already is in development with
Kerry Washington attached.
BARRACOON: THE STORY OF THE LAST
BLACK CARGO By Zora Neale Hurston
(Amistad, May 8, $25)
LOGLINE The life of Cudjo Lewis, the
last survivor of the Atlantic slave
trade, as told by the author of Their
Eyes Were Watching God.
BUZZ Ninety years after Hurston
met Cudjo, the book, intended
as her first but rejected by publishers, is earning rave early reviews.
SO CLOSE TO BEING THE SH*T,
Y’ALL DON’T EVEN KNOW By Retta
(St. Martin’s Press, May 29, $29)
LOGLINE In a series of essays,
the Parks and Rec star recounts
growing up the child of Liberian
immigrants, attending Duke and
making it in Hollywood.
BUZZ Retta’s willingness to dish
(flirting with Michael Fassbender,
stalking Hamilton’s cast) and
tackle serious issues (racism) suggests this could join the pantheon
of funny-lady memoirs by Tina
Fey and Mindy Kaling.
ANDY’S PICK!
THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING
By Bill Clinton and James Patterson
(Little, Brown, June 4, $30)
LOGLINE A thriller set over three
days as the U.S. is threatened
by cyberterrorism, there are
whispers of a traitor in the cabinet and POTUS goes missing.
BUZZ The combo of a best-selling
author’s storytelling skills
and a former president’s insider
insights make this the musthave beach read of the summer.
ROOM TO DREAM
By David Lynch and Kristine McKenna
(Random House, June 19, $32)
LOGLINE Mixing memoir mate-
rial written by Lynch with
biographical sections (based on
300 interviews), this book offers
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
a close look at the man behind
Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and other
beloved nightmare inducers.
BUZZ Lynch’s experimental take
on the memoir genre is sure to
be polarizing, thought-provoking
and catnip for film buffs.
THE LOST VINTAGE By Ann Mah
(Morrow, June 19, $27)
LOGLINE A woman returns to her
family’s French vineyard to pass
the notoriously difficult Master of
Wine exam but discovers family
secrets buried since World War II.
BUZZ Pitched as Sweetbitter meets
The Nightingale, it’s poised to
become this season’s essential
female-centered adventure.
CONFESSIONS OF THE FOX
By Jordy Rosenberg
(One World, June 26, $27)
LOGLINE A trans professor tries
to figure out if the just-discovered gender-bending memoir of
18th century British thief Jack
Sheppard is real.
BUZZ Rosenberg himself is a trans
professor at U. Mass-Amherst,
and the novel is being touted as
the summer’s splashiest debut.
77
M AY 9, 2018
THE KING OF CONTENT
By Keach Hagey
(HarperBusiness, July 3, $30)
LOGLINE A look at Sumner
Redstone, the 94-year-old magnate who turned a chain of
drive-in theaters into a global
media empire now threatened by bigger players (Disney,
Amazon) — and his misconduct.
BUZZ The rare bio that has all the
thrills of a beach read, including new revelations about the fire
that severely injured Redstone.
THE LAST TIME I LIED
By Riley Sager
(Dutton, July 3, $26)
LOGLINE A woman returns to her
childhood summer camp to solve
the mystery of three bunkmates
who disappeared one night.
BUZZ Sager’s first novel, the similarly themed best-seller Final
Girls, won praise from none other
than Stephen King.
SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE
By Michele Campbell
(St. Martin’s Press, July 31, $27)
LOGLINE Twin sisters become
rivals at a New England boarding
school, but a murder raises
the question of whether one was
having an affair with a teacher.
BUZZ The former federal prosecutor got attention for her debut,
Its Always the Husband, but this
thriller set in a world of privilege
promises to be her breakout.
Reviews
Television
← Morgan (left) and Martin are London
Motherland
This British series from Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe)
tries to mine modern mommy culture for laughs,
but you’ve heard these jokes before By Tim Goodman
There have been a lot of television series about families; raising
kids; pregnancy; single parents;
juggling work and parenting; dealing with other parents and their
stupid, dirty kids; competition
between uber moms and clueless
dads; and more. It’s fertile ground
(ha) but well-trampled.
Motherland (premiering on
Sundance Now after bowing in the
U.K. on the BBC), from the talented, funny and prolific Sharon
Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce),
offers further evidence of the
obstacles plaguing the subgenre;
a lot of the issues afflicting other
small-screen parenting comedies
have crept into this one, too. But
its biggest flaw is one that hurts
plenty of comedies regardless of
their premise: It’s just too forced.
Set in London, Motherland portrays everything about parenting
as heightened, frantic and awful
as it pits flustered working mom
Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin)
against nonworking, everythingis-perfect Queen Bee mom
Amanda (Lucy Punch). Motherland
is essentially a high school comedy but with adults, including
Kevin (Paul Ready), the eager-toplease single dad, and Liz (Diane
Morgan), the jaded, whateverworks mom, both relegated to a
less “cool” table in the cafe where
the parents gather every day.
There are a lot of reasons to root
for Motherland, starting with
Horgan (sharing a writing credit
here with Graham Linehan, Helen
Linehan and Holly Walsh), whose
AIRDATE Thursday, May 10 (Sundance Now)
CAST Anna Maxwell Martin, Lucy Punch,
Paul Ready, Diane Morgan
WRITERS Sharon Horgan, Graham Linehan,
Helen Linehan, Holly Walsh
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Catastrophe on Amazon is one of
the best comedies on TV — a show
that brilliantly and hilariously
mines the challenges of marriage
and parenthood without resorting to overly obvious situations.
Another promising element of
Motherland is Punch (A Series of
Unfortunate Events, Into the Woods,
Ben and Kate), whose withering
comic timing makes her worth
watching in everything.
But Punch and the other winning performers can’t overcome
the strain of ever-escalating scenarios that are meant to be both
wince-inducing and funny but
are often just the former. There’s
nary a character to like on this
show. And while likability is not
always a prerequisite for success, especially in comedy, one
only needs to look at Catastrophe
as an illustration of why it can
matter: Horgan and co-creator, cowriter and co-star Rob Delaney
play a harried married couple frenetically trying to navigate
life with their kids and finding
themselves in some pretty awful
predicaments that bring out
the worst in them — but they’re
78
M AY 9, 2018
both so appealing and relatable
that you let them get away with it.
The comedy is pushed to interesting extremes in part because
you’re willing to stick with the
characters.
In Motherland, it’s Martin who
is saddled with the toughest task:
The audience is supposed to
sympathize with her never-ending stress and frustration as a
working mom, but there’s never
any reason to feel for her. Julia
is frankly annoying, a mom who
hates to mother, and is never
shown (in the four episodes I
watched, at least) taking an interest in her kids. That’s a hard sell.
Being irritated about having kids
and trying to foist them on others while not understanding how
birthday parties, social events,
school and daycare work might
have looked amusing on paper.
But it ends up playing as implausible at best, and grating at worst.
Meanwhile, the Julia versus
Amanda battle is too easy, with
frumpy Martin contrasted against
comparatively glam Punch. Needy
Kevin is funny at times, the lone
single dad trying to sit at the big
table and earn the respect of the
moms, but it’s basically a one-note
role. Disaffected (and sometimes
drunk) Liz is also one-note, though
she gets some funny moments,
like when she nearly slices her finger off cutting up frozen cheese
and bleeds all over the taxi but
is forced to tend to perennial hot
mess Julia. And there are other
solid but simple running jokes:
Julia’s husband is always out doing
something fun with his male
friends and therefore never available to help; Amanda’s husband is
eternally grumpy, barely acknowledging his or anyone else’s kids
as he talks business on the phone.
Overall, though, Motherland
has to overcome too much baggage — from parenting cliches
and a strenuous setup to predictable gags. Parent or not, your
time would be better spent catching up on Catastrophe.
MOTHERLAND: COLIN HUTTON/SUNDANCENOW/MERMAN/DELIGHTFUL/LIONSGATE/BBC. WOLF: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. JOHNSON: MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY IMAGES. SPROUSE: MONICA SCHIPPER/WIREIMAGE. FALLON: WALTER MCBRIDE/WIREIMAGE.
moms under siege.
FROM PRODUCER, WRITER, DIRECTOR, ACTRESS AMINA WARSUMA
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
2
↑ I
↓ I
Last
Week
2
1
I
I
Will Smith
↑ I
15
I
1
↑ I
Last
Week
-
Comedians
I
Cole Sprouse
Sprouse’s tweet about Post
Malone’s new song “Zack
and Codeine” (a play
on Sprouse’s former Disney
Channel show The Suite
Life of Zack and Cody) —
“Finally, the reboot we’ve all
been waiting for” — was
the week’s most liked by an
actor (808,000 favorites).
4
↑ I
10
I
Priyanka Chopra
5
↑ I
25
I
Kevin Hart
6
↑ I
11
I
Lin-Manuel Miranda
7
↑ I
22
I
Hugh Jackman
8
↓ I
5
I
Zendaya
9
↑ I
-
I
Eugenio Derbez
10
↑ I
-
I
Chris Hemsworth
11
↓ I
8
I
Ryan Reynolds
12
↓ I
4
I
Tommy Chong
13
↑ I
-
I
Millie Bobby Brown
14
↑ I
-
I
Kumail Nanjiani
15
↓ I
3
I
Robert Downey Jr.
16
↓ I
13
I
Roseanne Barr
17
↓ I
6
I
Mark Hamill
18
↑ I
-
I
Jordan Peele
19
↓ I
14
I
Ricky Gervais
20
↓ I
19
I
Chris Pratt
21
↑ I
-
I
Gal Gadot
22
↑ I
-
I
Jared Leto
23
↑ I
-
I
Tom Holland
24
↑ I
-
I
Rob Reiner
25
↑ I
-
I
Billy Eichner
Michelle Wolf
The host of the 2018 White
House Correspondents’
Dinner came under fire from
multiple sides after she
roasted Sarah Huckabee
Sanders. “Why are you
guys making this about
Sarah’s looks?” she asked
afterward in a tweet that
was shared 50,000 times.
Dwayne Johnson
Not a week after The Rock
announced the birth of
his latest child, Tiana, Kevin
Hart posted a doctored
photo that imposed Hart’s
face on the baby’s. It was
the week’s most favorited
Facebook post by an
actor (578,000) and racked
up 38,000 comments.
3
This
Week
Actors
2
↑ I
7
I
Kevin Hart
3
↓ I
1
I
D.L. Hughley
4
↑ I
-
I
Kathy Grifin
5
↑ I
10
I
Kumail Nanjiani
6
↓ I
2
I
Tommy Chong
7
↑ I
-
I
Dennis Miller
8
↓ I
3
I
Roseanne Barr
9
↑ I
-
I
Chris D’Elia
10
↑ I
-
I
Patton Oswalt
“The story is
captivating
and exciting.
With lots of
plot movement
and action.”
–BABYBOOKS REVIEW
Think of, Cleopatra Jones teaming up with In Like Flint.
This
Week
Last
Week
TV Personalities
1
←
→ I
1
I
Mike Huckabee
2
↑ I
10
I
Jimmy Fallon
Fallon scored the top post
by a TV personality in
the tracking week: a video
on Facebook showing the
cast of Avengers: Infinity
War singing a parody of The
Brady Bunch theme song,
“The Marvel Bunch.” It
earned 101,000 favorites
and 138,000 shares.
3
↑ I
8
I
Steve Harvey
4
↓ I
3
I
Jimmy Kimmel
5
↓ I
4
I
Jake Tapper
6
↑ I
9
I
James Corden
7
↑ I
-
I
Lawrence O’Donnell
8
↓ I
5
I
Chris Hayes
9
↑ I
-
I
Stephen Colbert
10
↓ I
7
I
Bill Maher
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 May 1. Rankings are based
on a formula blending weekly additions of fans as well as cumulative
weekly reactions and conversations, as tracked by MVP Index.
79
Together their mission is to find and prevent a biologist
and her female terrorist cult the Daughters of Al-Lat from
attacking society with chemical weapons.
This is a book, a big budget, commercial franchise. I have the screenplay
adaptation. I’m interested in a major studio deal and inancing.
For inquiries email asagentzero@cs.com
89 Years of THR
Memorable moments from a storied history
19
9 76
1 97 7
199788
1 979
199 80
199 8 1
199 82
199 833
1 9 84
4
1985
1986
19
987
1988 8
199 8 9
1990
1999 1
1 9 922
1 9 933
1999 4
19
9 955
199 96
In 1986, Dangerfield and Downey Hit the Books
The scholastic comedy vein
that Melissa McCarthy mines in
Warner Bros.’ May 11 release
Life of the Party — empty nest
parent goes to college, shows
undergrads how to drunkenly
frolic the old-school way —
was first tapped by Rodney
Dangerfield, then 64, in 1986’s
Back to School. The bug-eyed
stand-up, famous for his “I don’t
get no respect” catchphrase,
had made his first major film
appearance in 1980’s Caddyshack,
where he shared the screen
with a dancing gopher. In School,
he had self-effacing zingers like,
“With the shape I’m in, you could
donate my body to science fiction” — which in the hot tub
scene seemed believable. The film
also offers an appearance by thenSaturday Night Live regular Robert
Downey Jr. as the quirky best
friend of Dangerfield’s son. (“You
look like the poster boy for birth
control,” the comic tells him.)
The Hollywood Reporter called the
Orion Pictures release “unabashedly light and lowbrow” and a
“loony, carefully conceived comedy.” A month before the scheduled
start of filming, Dangerfield and
the producers decided that the
script needed a complete overhaul.
“We were lucky because it was a
comedy; if it had been a drama
like Schindler’s List, having only a
month would have been a disaster,” says Steve Kampmann, one of
the movie’s four credited writers
(Harold Ramis was another). “But
nothing kills comedy faster than
overdevelopment. One of the biggest changes was making Rodney’s
character a likable rich guy. He
didn’t want to play a schlub like he
did in Caddyshack.” The film was
a big success. The $11 million production ($25 million today) had a
worldwide gross of $109 million
($248 million.) “There’s an old saying, ‘Funny is money,’ ” says Mike
Medavoy, then Orion’s head of
production. School was such a hit,
it ended up grossing much more
domestically — $91 million compared with $51 million — than the
studio’s 1984 best picture Oscar
winner, Amadeus. — BILL HIGGINS
The Hollywood Reporter, Vol. CDXXIV, No. 16 (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.
Single copies, $7.99. Periodical Postage paid at Los Angeles, CA and additional mailing ofices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. Non-Postal and Military Facilities send address changes to The Hollywood Reporter, P.O. Box 125, Congers, NY 10920-0125. Under Canadian Publication Mail Agreement
No. 41450540 return undeliverable Canadian addresses to MSI, PO BOX 2600, Mississauga, On L4T OA8. Direct all other correspondence to The Hollywood Reporter, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Prometheus Global Media, LLC: Vice President, Human Resources: Angela Vitacco.
Advertising/Editorial Reprints: Reprints of editorial or ads can be used as efective marketing tools. For details, please contact Wright’s Media: (877) 652-5295 or e-mail at pgm@wrightsmedia.com. Permission: Looking for a one-time use of our content, as a full article, excerpt or chart? Please contact
Wright’s Media, (877) 652-5295; pgm@wrightsmedia.com. Subscription inquiries: U.S. call toll-free (866) 525-2150. Outside the U.S., call (845) 267-4192, or e-mail subscriptions@hollywoodreporter.com. Copyright ©2015 Prometheus Global Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
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T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
80
M AY 9, 2018
ORION PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES
↑ From left: Dangerfield (who died in 2004), Downey and Keith Gordon, who played Dangerfield’s son, in Back to School.
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