Hollywood has an Agency Problem. Briefly defined, it means the people who run Hollywood don’t own it, as in the days of Louis B. Mayer (owned MGM) or the Warner Brothers. Instead they run publicly traded companies run by a variety of (mostly institutional) shareholders. Who have neither the ability or means to insure that the company is being run to maximize profits. Instead of maximizing opportunities and wealth for the management running the company.
Thus, the main thing wrong with Hollywood is the network of gays, what Michael Ovitz famously called the “Gay Mafia,” running things.
Which includes raping teen age and younger boys. The only difference between the Catholic Church gay rape scandals and Hollywood is that Hollywood has a much better image among women. But that may change according to the plaintiff lawyer filing against X-Men Director Bryan Singer.
Michael Egan accused “X-Men” director Bryan Singer in a federal lawsuit, filed in Hawaii, of drugging and sexually assaulting him in the late 1990s. Three other Hollywood executives — Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard — were also named in three subsequent complaints that accused them of abusing Egan.
The lawsuits against Singer and the other men claim that Egan was forced into a “sordid sex ring” in the entertainment industry in which underage boys were supplied alcohol and drugs. Egan alleges that the assaults took place at parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17.
The allegations have caused anxiety in Hollywood that others might be named in civil lawsuits. Herman said the individuals he’s investigating include agents, scouts, producers, directors and other entertainment executives.
“They’re everywhere,” he said. “From what I’m hearing from victims, this runs very, very deep and that there have been many predators in Hollywood for years who have sexually exploited kids.”
Much of the alleged abuse took place at the California estate of the co-founders of Digital Entertainment Network, or DEN, a Web video company that collapsed in 2000. Egan was on the payroll of the company. DEN founder Marc Collins-Rector in 2004 pleaded guilty to charges of transporting five underage boys across state lines to commit illegal sex acts.
Egan was one of three plaintiffs who in 2000 sued three DEN executives, including Collins-Rector, for sexual abuse.
Hollywood has for the past several decades pushed the myth that gays are mostly nice, middle class White guys who get married, maybe hold hands, and don’t hurt a fly. Because, well because they’re gay, gosh darn it! And represent every woman’s dream for non-sexy guys: fabulous best friends who would never, ever hit on her! Thus Modern Family, or Will and Grace, showing gays at their imaginary fabulous best.
The reality is, gays are powerful people with fairly deviant sex drives who use their power in Hollywood to rape teen age and younger boys. The Hollywood gays are more Jerry Sandusky than the characters on Modern Family.
So why are these scandals coming out now?
Simply, Hollywood is running out of money.
If Bryan Singer had enough money, he would have shoveled payoff money like Michael Jackson, or other in-trouble Hollywood celebrities have done, and the problem would never have hit the court system. A few headlines in the tabloids, maybe, quickly forgotten.
But Hollywood is running out of money. Even to pay off the victims years ago of directors, executives, and others abusing teen age and younger boys. As the Coreys, Feldman and the late Haim, alleged.
Already, stories abound of execs and directors selling off houses they can no longer support, scaling back child support and alimony for multiple households after multiple divorces. In 1989, Jack Nicholson got around $35 million for his role in “Batman” (directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton). For his role in “Avengers,” Robert Downey Jr. got about the same. For the starring role, essentially, not a supporting villain role. And inflation-adjusted, that same role would by worth $67 million today.
Essentially, the agency problem.
Back when old-line Jews like Louis B. Mayer or Jack Warner ran Hollywood, they owned it. So they did not treat their studios, movies, stars, and so on like a rental car with an insurance agreement. Instead it was their own and they acted, ruthlessly, to maximize their profits. No courting critics approval at the price of mainstream success and money. Because it was their money. No “edgy and hip” stuff to create a web of mutual obligation by actors seeking critical acclaim for their resume and next job. Instead you had a relentless focus on the mass-market. MGM and Warners made different kind of movies, MGM being known for musicals and Warners for gritty gangster movies, but both made money by making movies that lots of people paid money to see. Revolutionary I know.
Today, movies that make money do so by being massive, 2 hour or longer commercials for toys, games, bedsheets, lunchboxes, and other stuff. Case in point, “Captain America: Winter Soldier.” Which makes a lot of box office, most of which is shared with theater owners. And the real money being in merchandise.
This points to the massive failure of Hollywood’s Agency Problem. William Goldman is famous for saying that in Hollywood, nobody knows anything. But that’s not true, at least not during the Golden Age, when the studio moguls, mostly obnoxious and fairly cruel human beings, did know what would work and what would not. They had their flops, but not many and never threatening enough to wreck a studio. Year after year, they made money by selling tickets to their movies. A simple model but highly effective.
Indeed, at a Moneyball age where nearly every professional sport has some element of statistical measurement for continuous improvement, from Baseball to Football to Basketball to Soccer (and almost certainly this movement started in racing); Hollywood is unique in not employing statistical analysis to separate loser movies from winners.
And the answer of course is ownership. Owners of racing teams want to win. Winning means money, and often for corporate racing teams, massive prestige by winning various championships, be it Formula One or NASCAR or IMSA (Sports Car racing). The same is true for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS team owners. Winning brings them more money. More money in sponsorships, TV deals, season tickets, corporate suites. Losing brings less. So in owner dominated professional sports, the team managers and execs are on a short leash. The owners demand winning and fire eventually those who don’t produce wins. Hence the continuous desire for any edge, the Moneyball revolution.
Hollywood is not run by owners. The various institutions that own, say Time-Warner, or Comcast-UniversalNBC, or Sony, or Viacom/Paramount, are too diverse, don’t know enough about the business, and can’t agree among themselves to act to hold the management accountable. That is why you had gays spread like wildfire through Hollywood.
Hollywood being female-oriented, is basically repulsive to most non-gay men. TV, which forms the lion’s share of revenue, for studios, caters almost exclusively to women. Because women do about 85% of consumer purchases. Advertisers want to reach women not men, on television. Hence nearly all of Hollywood is not oriented towards reaching men, but rather women, dancing to TV’s daily tune rather than intermittent, big money making, once a year mega-movies designed to sell teen and younger boys games, bedsheets, lunchboxes etc. around comic book characters.
Television Makes You Gay
Why have gays proliferated in Hollywood, particularly since the 1980’s? Simple: Television. Television since the late 1970’s has steadily inclined to ever more female oriented, as I noted back in 2010. TV got girly around the late 1970’s, and has never looked back.
This matters because the career path for Hollywood is through TV. Not just actors like John Travolta and Nick Nolte started in TV, but directors (Steven Spielberg) and producers and writers and executives. A studio might make a few hours of films a year but hundreds of TV hours of production. Year after year, since the 1960’s, TV has been the big money maker, providing the bulk of revenues and profits.
And what sort of man can and will work in a female-oriented Television environment? Why a gay man of course. Hollywood is gay for the same reason that fashion is gay. It caters to women, in a female dominated environment. And the gender difference, men even gay men having more drive, more fear, more urgency, on average out-compete women. No matter a few talented women in fashion or Hollywood, the feminine orientation makes it inevitable that its dominated by gays.
It is useful to note that the old-line, men only, Saville Row tailors making exclusive, fit to order, tailored suits for big time movers and shakers, are dominated by old line STRAIGHT White guys. Apparently even gender bending guys like David Bowie and Mick Jagger prefer their clothes to be “classic” rather than fabulous.
Hollywood is gay because TV is the main driver, and TV is gay. TV is gay because it is female dominated and the only people with real drive are gays, not women. Yes, TV makes you gay.
Hollywood has been like this since the late 1980’s at least. In the beginning of course, Hollywood targeted both women: MGM’s musicals, and men: Warner’s gritty gangster movies. People saw the movies in theaters and paid the ticket price. Then TV hit, the Federal government forced the moguls to sell their theaters, and things changed. The moguls sold out, retired, and management (that Agency Problem again) went full on hipster in the late 1960s and 1970’s. Films like Midnight Cowboy, Dog Day Afternoon, the Conversation, Night Moves, might have been artfully done and filled with hipster nihilism and despair, winning critical award after critical award. But paying customers were few and far between and only the constant TV money from things like “Starsky and Hutch,” and “the Love Boat,” provided money to keep Hollywood afloat.
Until movies like “Towering Inferno,” “The Sting,” “Earthquake,” “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” convinced Hollywood that they could still make money by making movies that people would pay to see. And were still artful enough to give them the hipster credibility and critical acclaim they wanted more than box office (since the people making the movies never saw the money anyway, it all went to the various expenses charged to the execs running the studios).
The video tape money, people paying for old movies on Video tape, and then the DVD money, kept Hollywood afloat for a while. Until Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, and Pirate Bay put an end to the easy, cheap, effortless stream of cash flooding into Hollywood and keeping the Agents of Stupidity afloat.
Now, Hollywood faces a big challenge. The payoff money to various victims of abuse, gay and otherwise (I’m sure) is no longer there. So, lawsuits.
What ought to concern various investors and owners is piercing the corporate veil. Is say, CW as successor to WB, or Fox, liable for the actions of Garth Ancier when he was head of programming there?
It is hard to argue that behavior so flagrantly decadent and in your face, was not known to corporate HQ. And tolerated. Because Ancier and people like him were connected. Part of the social network of the Agency Problem, the managers acting in their own interests.
I don’t think this abuse issue will go away. The number of victims is likely very large, payoffs likely very small, and anger very high. The media will of course, bury it but the tabloids love this stuff and it drives web traffic. Money left on the table by US outlets will be picked up by the Daily Mail in the UK. There are already boycott efforts against the latest Singer-directed X-Men movie. The number of people likely to file lawsuits is large, and this behavior did not take place in a vacuum any more than Jerry Sandusky’s did.
And you know what, this scandal could not happen to a more deserving target.