A.O. Scott reminded me of something I’d intended to write about a few weeks ago: those incredibly annoying respectcopyrights.org 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?
10 replies on “One of these men is the most powerful man in Hollywood. Two are chumps.”
It is inevitable that at the top of every American corporation there is a wealthy executive. By your logic, does the existance of that wealthy executive render meaningless the hard work and existance of all employees further down the totem pole?
It’s such a faulty rationale. So what if the head of XXX Studios is worth a mint? It doesn’t change the fact that copyright infringement has negative consequences for tens of thousands of people who work in the entertainment industry. Hell, probably hundreds of thousands. As sales shrink, layoffs are inevitable. As sales fall, fewer artists will have get their projects into studios, record labels, whatever.
This is a market economy, and market economies tend to work pretty well. So well that they’ve become the dominate economy type in the world. Socialism is nearly dead. (Put your textbooks down. It exists in many forms. But pure socialism hasn’t held up.)
There are always a few obscenely rich people at the top of the heap, but they are not representative of the entire industry. I take your comments to mean you have something against wealth. Is that accurate? Or do the public service announcements offend because you think the public should not enrich the unsavory executives in the industry? I’ll tell you what, they’ve gonna get their’s no matter what. If recent years have shown anything, it’s that executive pay packages are not tied to company performance. The jobs lost from piracy start at the bottom, not the top.
If anybody can rationalize piracy in light of that cold hard fact, let’s hear it. And if you start up with the tired ol’ “12-year-old-girl-lawsuit” quips and “greedy studios and record labels” whines and the “actors and artists get ripped off by corporate America” cliches, I’m gonna know you haven’t thought this through.
My point wasn’t that I’m for piracy in any form. I’m merely offended that producers who take 30% or more of the profits and stars who earn upwards of $20 million for a shitty movie are trotting out Hollywood’s working Joes to make me feel bad about hard times in Tinseltown. Also, since so many productions are moving to Canada, Mexico, and Australia to work with cheap, non-Union labor, cloaking anti-piracy messages in defense of hard working set designers and stuntmen is dispicable, at the very least. Yes, rich people will always be rich and working people will always be forced to work for their pay, but Hollywood executives can be a little more honest and not make the workers their spokespeople. I mean, are you putting yourself in the position of defending these spots for their integrity, or what?
This might be a strange question..
I have been looking for a picture of Manny Perry..for SOO long..
and thats the only one i have found..and its little..
Is there any way you can send me the real one?
I wanted to make a shirt that said..”manny perry makes movies”
but i can’t find a picture
thank you so much
Tracey! how did i know i’d find you at a manny perry site?! i want a shirt if you start making them!
Is it just me? Or, do others find irony in the fact that a lot of Hollywood A-Listers fawn all over Lefty Democrats yet when it cimes to labor practices behave like Rabid “I got mine – F**k U” Republicans?
I’d like to see John Kerry rail against outsourcing by “Benedict Arnold CEOs” in Hollywood who are pushing more and more productions overseas to avoid high-cost union labor.
I won’t hold my breath, though.
How about this: we’ll stop whining about their whining when they stop infringing on our fair use rights?
I’ll let you get away with saying going to canada for cheaper labour, but I wont give you non-Union labor. Canadian film making has just as many unions as the US.
How does piracy affect the New Zealand economy since lots of movies are being made over there? Hollywood is so full of itself. I am boycotting movies right now, because this is my stance “What the f**k has anybody in Hollywood done for me lately?”. Oh wait and the movie theaters get off by charging $3 for water? Hollywood has lost it’s magic… I’m sticking to low budget independent films on DVD.
Anyone ever think about this one – Manny is a stunt guy. Is he really losing work if we steal a movie? NO! He’s going to get another gig and another gig and another gig. It’s the stars, writers, producers who are going to lose money if the movie tanks. manny will keep getting work regardless. But would the ad work as well if we see Ben Afleck up there pleading to us not to steal Gili2: Electric Boogaloo because he won’t be able to afford his second home in Barbados? No one would give a shit, so they put this poor slob manny up there to plead the “average joe” angle and try to pull our heartstrings a little bit. I say download movies at will!