Snippet: Hollywood CEOs Would Sooner Wreck an Industry Than Suffer Bruised Egos ☇

Shared on August 1, 2023

Justine Bateman for The Daily Beast:

It’s the wrong attitude. It’s not the attitude of their predecessors. The people before them, at least outwardly, had a professional humility regarding both their positions within Hollywood and the vitalness of the artists. They understood that association with a great film or series was the pinnacle and the true reward of all this hard work. And the contracts were made to reflect that, such as the 1960 SAG agreement that established residuals, pensions, and health insurance for its members. The current CEOs, on the other hand, give off the air of factory owners pissed that their “workers” aren’t making “the stuff” they need for their shelves. This lack of humility—and their refusal to accept that they merely fund and/or distribute these fantastical packages of writing, directing, acting, and all the rest—will be their downfall.

At some point, they stopped caring about the films and series, and fixed their eye exclusively on their company’s stock price. Or, as Emmy Award-winning writer Lila Byock recently explained about the majority of projects made, “The reason it’s so hard to make anything original today is that originals force studio executives to cede their power to creatives. Sequels & franchises put the executives in charge.”

I briefly flirted with a career in media and I’ve been saying this for years—while we have an explosion of great content at our fingertips thanks to streaming, it feels like everything mass-market is a sequel, reboot, or superhero movie (How many times does Warner Bros. try and fail to do something in the DC universe? Do we need yet another flimsy thing in the periphery of Marvel?). Art for the sake of art doesn’t seem to impress the bean counters, even if it’s something mainstream audiences can get into.

This type of attitude from Bob Iger and David Zaslav is rather pathetic, especially as their companies haven’t exactly been flourishing under their “leadership” lately.

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