November 16, 2003
One of these men is the most powerful man in Hollywood. Two are chumps.

A.O. Scott reminded me of something I'd intended to write about a few weeks ago: those incredibly annoying ads that run before the trailers at movies lately.

Let's set aside how offensive it is that the highly paid producers, studio heads, and chairmen of the entertainment conglomerates are using these ordinary working Joes to guilt us out of pirating movies. What I found really offensive was that one spot, the one with stuntman Manny Perry (far left), features clips from Enemy of the State (directed by A.O. Scott's namesake and doppelganger, Tony Scott). This movie was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, whom Entertainment Weekly recently deemed the most powerful man in Hollywood.

Should we really be taking advice on what's right and what's wrong from a guy whose former partner, the late Don Simpson, used to get off on beating up hookers and making them drink out of the toilet while he urinated in it? (You can read all about Simpson's fast times and early death in Charles Fleming's High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess.) Is Jerry Bruckheimer in any position to tell us how we're mistreating Hollywood's underlings? What's next, a commercial with Scott Rudin's assistants telling us we're making their lives a living hell? Maybe a spot with some Korean animators telling us how we're destroying Disney?

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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