Why Himmmm Is Not Hollywood’s Biggest Threat

Lefty gossip site Jezebel, but I repeat myself, is alleging that Robert Downey Jr. is a secret poster on some Hollywood blog Crazy Days and Crazy Nights, spilling the beans on Hollywood’s sordid secrets. Alleging among other tidbits that the Diana Jenkins book and website Room 23 was a secret call-girl site for B-list celebs, such as Amanda Bynes and Hayden Panettiere. [Which by the way is total nonsense. Quite apart from anything else, the ladies in question can command at least $50,000 just for showing up at a party.] Allegedly, the “Himmmm” posting account is used by four people, in the entertainment business, fed up with the sleazy nature of the business. One supposedly is Talley Griffith, a producer related to D.W. Griffith and Andy Griffith, and the other Robert Downey Jr.

That’s not the threat. I have no doubt that most of the stuff on the site is nonsense. The threat is that people actually BELIEVE that well-paid starlets are secret call girls. THAT is a major problem for Hollywood, because all they sell are actors, really. The other threats of course are people migrating to Youtube, for non-professional content that is every bit as compelling as Hollywood’s, and eventually, the mother of all scandals when a former child star or his family sues not only depraved executives BUT also major media companies that knew and condoned depraved conduct, piercing the corporate veil and generating massive pay-outs and major headaches for all the entertainment companies.

I doubt seriously an over-booked actor like Downey Jr. has time to even sleep, much less post on obscure Hollywood blogs. Or would do so, since his own life has had its ups and downs, and he would naturally be protective of those he knows. That “Himmmm” seems to be a Hollywood insider is probable. There are undoubtedly producers and writers frustrated as anyone with what is going on Hollywood on a personal level — the seamy exploitation and icky debasement that is separate but related from the ideological jihad that happens in that hothouse daily. [Both stem from a lack of accountability and ownership.] Downey Jr. probably has 3-4 hours daily of exercise and fitness to keep that action hero physique in his forties (more difficult to do so as one ages), then meetings and script readings, then personal life. He probably gets to bed at around 12 am. And is up at 5 am or 6 am at the latest. Top action-hero actors are like big time CEO’s, their time is booked to the second. Like them, they rely heavily on personal assistants because they have time for nothing else but their business. Their business being of course, the Company of One, their own personal brand of action hero acting. Writers and producers, on the other hand, have time on their hands during lulls between production that busy actors like Downey don’t have. They also see the seamy side of things, and like most decent people don’t like it.

What threatens Hollywood is that people would actually believe the most lurid and disgusting gossip about fairly wholesome actors and actresses. While there are those who are troubled, most of the actors and actresses are too busy to be dysfunctional. That people are eager to believe in a secret call girl ring screams Hollywood is reaping a decades long effort to make itself as seamy as possible, in public.

The Fatty Arbuckle scandal threatened to undo Hollywood, and in desperation to reach approval and retain those audience dollars (which could have switched to free Radio), the movie moguls instituted the Hays Code, and kept their stars under tight studio wraps. Rock Hudson, for example, was not allowed to acknowledge his homosexuality. The owners could do this because it was their dime on the line, and they knew (as newly immigrant Jews) just how good they had it. Mister, we could sure use a guy like Louis B. Mayer again!

The threat to Hollywood this time, is that a scandal if it does break out and mutate, and spread, could turn off audience at a time when they have alternatives: low-cost ebooks, and free Youtube content. That’s particularly appealing when Hollywood routinely insults half the audience at least, by engaging in uber-left, Hate-America stuff, and produces movies and TV shows in the bargain that are not very compelling. Meanwhile guys like “Nutnfancy” from the Nutnfancy Project are creating compelling content on the level of Discovery and the History Channel:

If you haven’t checked out the Nutnfancy Project at Youtube, do so. The guy (a newly retired Air Force person) has all sorts of videos up, from knives to guns to off-road vehicles, with lots of active duty and retired military and police to help him out with gear testing and evaluation. Its a lot of fun, but let me warn you, it is highly addictive.

And there’s lots of guys like him. Creating original, entertaining, and free content on Youtube. No, it won’t have Avatar-level production values. It won’t cost you anything either, and you won’t think the people behind it are slimy, because they get nothing at all or only a bit of money from what they do.

The scandal is the first threat, something icky breaking out. The audience migrating to alternatives, ebooks or Youtube, is the second. And the third? Lawsuits.

Think Corey Haim’s family has cause for a lawsuit? What about Corey Feldman? He’s alleged that powerful producers still active molested both Coreys with the knowledge of the corporate structure. What about Jamie Lynn Spears, pregnant during filming of her Disney-Nickelodeon TV show? If nothing else, there was a failure of care by the Disney Corporation entrusted with a minor. Demi Lovato, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and many other former child stars could have cause for action. If the allegations are true, that exploitation and abuse of minors is rampant and known throughout, eventually someone will sue. As much as we might decry lawyers, here is where they form a useful function — by curbing the worst abuses of private industry through lawsuits that produce financial pain to companies and thus, reform. Reform that can be achieved usually by no other means.

Someone will eventually sue. This is inevitable. Then the fun begins: Discovery! With all sorts of emails, faxes, memos, and other communications, as well as receipts, and payouts sorted through. Sarbanes-Oxley requires massive record keeping, and destruction of data brings SEC enforcement, plus the perception that the firm was indeed guilty, and hiding complicity in whatever exploitation and abuse occurred.

Hollywood has its biggest problem with child actors. No one is going to treat Brad Pitt or George Clooney badly. Character actors like David Paymer are adults, with agents, and a track record. They don’t get pushed around. Women particularly younger women are exploited, but they are adults. Some will take the exploitation and others will not. But as adults they can choose their own path. Children cannot. By definition they lack the ability to choose. They are also vulnerable, and often have parents looking for paydays not to protect their child.

Disney in particular is dependent upon a steady stream of new child actors and singers to replace the ones who age out of their shows. Miley Cyrus at age 19 is too old for Disney. The same holds true for Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato. They are too old. Disney’s target ages for actors/actresses seems to be ages 11-16 or so. Prime ages for abuse. Looking at the Disney Princesses, the process of Disney stardom would not seem to be a happy one. Of all the entertainment conglomerates, then, Disney would seem to be the most vulnerable. The most likely to be sued (simply because it churned out the most child stars, and the most unhappy ex-child stars). And the most likely to have major, major problems in any lawsuit.

Indeed I would not be shocked to find a class action lawsuit with any number of ex child stars banding together. There is no shame anymore, and since many will no longer be working, why not both right old wrongs, and make money at the same time? There might even be a book out of it, and Oprah appearance fees.

Hollywood needs to clean up its act. For child stars it depends on a steady stream of unstable, erratic stage parents who readily accept abuse of their children for a big check. Abuse and mistreatment that makes the child’s life miserable for ages. Abuse that moreover, is actionable. That will sooner or later, generate the mother of all entertainment lawsuits. Lawsuits that will make the ones around the death of Vic Morrow and those two child actors look like a Ladies Book club meeting.

Himmmm is not the problem. The child star exploitation is.

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About whiskeysplace

Conservative blogger focusing on culture, business, technology, and how they intersect.
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21 Responses to Why Himmmm Is Not Hollywood’s Biggest Threat

  1. z says:

    Project much toni?

  2. blert says:

    A dBase devoted to Hollywood’s abused minors would blow up from overload:

    Jay North
    Judy Garland
    Robert Blake
    Natalie Wood
    Liz Taylor
    —-

    Good grief. There’s a novel in there.

    About the only kid to make it out alive was Ron Howard.

  3. Kurt Russell did OK. So have Amber Tamblyn, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Adam Baldwin, Eliza Dushku, Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake, and a few others.

    The biggest problems occur in the modern Disney machine which exploits kids who don’t have parents looking after them. Eventually one of those kids is going to sue. Everyone.

  4. sestamibi says:

    With some reservations, I would also add Jodie Foster to that list.

  5. Jelly Bean says:

    Eh… Look, that exciting content on youtube is serving the demographic that wasn’t into Hollywood in the first place. A huge chunk of our population wants glossy, overproduced nonsense starring attractive people. That will not change. Independent film makers can’t produce contend that’s THIS glossy, one needs multi-million budgets for that.

    Parents who are all too eager to whore out their kids will never ever be in short supplies. In an extreme turn of events, Hollywood might have to film its child content abroad. Venezuelan, Korean and Ukrainian mothers will gladly enroll their children into English immersion from birth and murder each other for the chance of being THE stage parent.

  6. The haul videos where teen girls show off their mall purchases on Youtube have attracted major retailers and lots of viewers, some in the millions. By way of comparison, the NBC TV show “Awake” is doing 5 million viewers, the show “Grimm” is doing about 6 million. [Both are excellent by the way.] Some teen haul videos do more in views than say, “Gossip Girl” or “Supernatural” on the CW, both around 1 million viewers.

    We really are entering into a post-mass media world. Yes, TV and other mass media still matter. But just the other day I saw in the WSJ an article with Procter and Gamble’s Marketing Head (the “Boss Talk” column) about how P&G was directing most of its advertising budget to digital, the Web and Smartphones. Because it was cheaper, and because the boss felt that it was more effective in reaching consumers and changing purchasing behavior.

    The flipside of the Rush Limbaugh budget is big consumer products companies feeling that ad agency buying and producing mass media spots (TV, radio, newspapers/magazines) has become ineffective and too risky either way. No one will care meanwhile about haul videos and if ad dollars move there instead of say, the CW, the CW is toast. Already NBC is embracing Hulu and their own website for running their shows (if you missed or wanted to rewatch a current season episode again) with ads. Because unlike CBS, they are in the ratings toilet and thus desperate enough to be creative.

    The sweet spot is the younger female demo — they buy more stuff and are more amenable to form brand preferences, so a switch by that demo can have huge consequences for Hollywood, which depends on TV production to keep the daily money flowing. Some movies can make a ton of money, but the daily bread and butter is TV production which has been the case since the 1960’s at least.

    • Jelly Bean says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know these figures. I’d venture that a short video is something that can be watched while on a break between math problems while a favorite TV show is something girls are invested in and obsess over. But, I’m just speculating. It’s hard to imagine teen girls ever not demanding/responding to something like Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Orange County or Gossip Girl. It seems that every new mini generation of girls has their own major drama show that defines them. But, hey, the flow of history… White kids used to obsess over rock bands that achieved megs stardom by buying every silly piece of merch and every magazine with their idols on the cover. Today’s white kids, generally, obsess over less known bands with interactive websites by creating their own tribute content and sharing pictures/movies they took with their phones. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  7. map says:

    Whiskey, I think there is a serious hole in your interpretation of Hollywood’s lack of profit and such driving them to a broader markets. As I believe some other writer may have put on your blog, it’s quite possible that Hollywood profits are already front-loaded in the costs. The money is made even before the movie is shown, mainly from stupid or clueless investors.

    One hint is the sheer number of nested corporate forms. Look at the beginning credits of any large movie. You will see things like “Legendary Pictures presents A Spyglass Entertainment feature in Association with Time-Warner and DC Comics.” These do not look like partnerships. Who knows which entity is booking profits or taking losses?

    • Yes, that’s a good point. One I’d forgotten. But like Mario Batalli stealing from his waiters and staff (tips and past wages, big settlement) it indicates a larger problem. A healthy Hollywood shouldn’t need investors, it should generate ample free cash to re-invest in its own business, and have a healthy domestic marketplace propelling outward dominance. Think Volkswagen or BMW, or Apple, or Samsung. They have ample cash, a strong domestic market that is fortress like, from which they can sally outward to conquer new lands. That used to be Hollywood, not so much anymore.

      • Contrary says:

        “A healthy Hollywood shouldn’t need investors…”

        It’s called spreading the risk.

        Oil companies do the same. Almost all wells are partnerships with investors, some of which are competing companies. Spread the risk for dry holes.

  8. MattS says:

    Nutnfancy is a complete moron and his gun handling skills and opinions are shit. Avoid.

  9. Rollory says:

    Actually I don’t believe Himmmm is an insider. I was curious about this so spent a few evenings recently digging up all the recent comments under that name. None are earth-shattering, several are things that are matters of public record (although not widely publicized public record), or closely founded on such matters; others are assertions that anyone could make. The constant coy hinting at being Robert Downey Jr – playing at denying it while wink-wink nudge-nudge confirming it – is just not something a professional would do, but it is exactly what someone trying to create an impression in a credulous and gullible crowd would do. My working assumption right now is that it’s just some random guy having fun, and that if ever a capable con man gets mixed up with that blog’s audience, they’ll all lose their shirts.

  10. Experienced Father says:

    Whiskey,

    The Sultan of Brunei was very much in the mold of Himmmm accusations.

    He was not the only one.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/07/prince-jefri-201107

    In true fairy-tale style, the kingdom eventually woke up, some insist at the prodding of a third Bolkiah brother, Prince Mohamed, who disdained the fast-living Jefri and his influence on the sultan. “Up until March 1998 Prince Jefri enjoyed a very close relationship with the Sultan,” Jefri’s attorneys declared in a legal filing. “In this respect, Prince Jefri had incurred the enmity of another of his brothers, Prince Mohamed, whose views are cast in a much more conservative and religious mold.” Watching his brothers from the wings, Mohamed, who had only one wife and flew commercial, waited for his chance to stop the party.

    He found it in 1997, when a former Miss USA named Shannon Marketic sued Jefri and the sultan for $10 million, claiming that she and six other young women had been hired for $127,000 each to travel to Brunei for professional appearances, supposedly involving “intellectual conversations” with visiting dignitaries, but instead were forced to serve as “sex slaves.” Her passport was seized, she claimed, and she was made to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases and to report to all-night “parties” where women of many nationalities, for fees spiraling up to $1 million, danced, sang karaoke, and warred for the attention of Prince Jefri in a massive disco-cum-sports-complex he had installed in his home, called Assurur Palace. Whenever the prince and his posse were on their way to the disco, a mirrored ball would drop from the ceiling, signaling the women to start dancing. Jefri and his friends would then invite their favorites to “tea” (code for sex). “It would be the biggest honor of my life if I was permitted to sleep with Jefri, because he is half-man, half-god, like Jesus Christ to the Christians,” Marketic said an aide to the prince had told her.

    Jillian Lauren, who wrote about her time in Jefri’s harem in her book Some Girls, published last year, said that sex with the prince was quick, impersonal, and unprotected. After their first encounter was over, she wrote, he slapped her ass, bolted out of bed, and said, “That was very nice for me. I am late for a meeting.” She adds, “Robin [the pseudonym Jefri insisted his lovers call him] was always famished behind the eyes. It was the kind of hunger you could never really feed, the kind that keeps you up until five A.M. every night, the kind that drives you to fuck girl after girl, to buy Maserati after Maserati.” Jefri would give his favorites “bonus boxes” of jewelry (one woman auctioned off a gift necklace at Christie’s for $100,000), pay their rents back home, and approve “boob jobs,” according to Lauren, who so pleasured him in bed that he paid her the ultimate compliment: passing her on to the sultan, who flew her across his kingdom by helicopter to a hotel where, she wrote, she honored him with a blow job.

    Jefri denied the allegations in Shannon Marketic’s lawsuit, which was dismissed, owing to the royal family’s sovereign immunity, but the media backlash was blistering. One British paper said that “American girls” were no longer invited to Brunei because of the scandal.

    • Jelly Bean says:

      How dreadful. Stuff like this is exactly why I refused to take very high paying jobs in the Middle East and opted for a third of the pay in East Asia, when I looked to experience working abroad. Barbarians are barbaric.

  11. dingfod@hotmail.com says:

    OT But you might be interested:

    Vox Day explains that red pill of reality is no ‘war on women’
    “In high school, we were repeatedly instructed by our mothers and female friends that girls only wanted nice guys, real gentlemen who would treat them well and put them on the pedestals they deserved by virtue of their sex. Then we watched them uniformly ignore those nice young gentlemen in favor of the socially dominant and the athletic. In college, we were told that women were just as interested in sex as men, but that having sex with them while they were drunk was rape, having sex with them when they regretted it the next day was rape and not having sex with them was also rape if they felt sufficiently spurned.

    When we entered the workforce, we were told that women only wanted equal pay for equal work, then watched as they called in sick more often than we did, came in later and went home earlier than we did, asked us for help in doing their jobs, then were handed promotions and raises by virtue of their affairs with the middle managers and executives. And if we made the mistake of expressing interest in a woman while committing the sin of being insufficiently attractive, we were accused of sexual harassment and pursued by the evil harpies of human resources.”

    Read more:
    http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/sl-tgate-and-society/

  12. whorefinder says:

    The biggest threats to Hollywood are people refusing to watch its trash if it insults them.

    The biggest threat to Roger Egbert is a doughnut. SO I sent him a dozen.

    • Firepower says:

      With degenerate audiences, that Standard of Refusal you hope for
      will be quite lower than even you expect.

      Nice one about Ebert – send him a carton of cigs, too.

  13. Firepower says:

    I clearly believe rdj is capable of posting Deep Throat Type info about h’wood ‘shbags.

    RDJ gets 10 months while LiLo gets 10 minutes. Downey likely had to eat a lot of shit on his way back up from drug-addiction/incarceration. Many BigShots likely made him crawl because he was an insurance/asshole risk.

    Whisky portrays rdj as super-busy – balancing the HGH/Juice with $56,000 workouts, which is eminently plausible. But – rdj is No Mere Mortal, tied down to a keyboard in a home office. He is fully capable, with his limited time, to crank out webtext on a $6000 IPhone account, while en route to his next appointment in a chauffeured limo – and upload it to the net in a wifi rich LA.

  14. feeblemind says:

    In case you missed it Whiskey:

    Why Do Ads that Diss Women Get Removed while Ads that Diss Men are Funny?

    “So, Rebok pulls their ad and apologizes for being offensive to women but men are punched, beaten, abused, have coffee thrown on them and portrayed as stammering morons in the media and that’s okay with consumers or even funny? Jim Macnamara, author of Media and Male Identity: The Making and Remaking of Men did a PHD Dissertation looking at men and the media and found the following:

    http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/03/23/why-do-ads-that-diss-women-get-removed-while-ads-that-diss-men-are-funny/

  15. Anonymous says:

    Whiskey, are you going to do an article on the new book, “the richer sex?”

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