Monday, August 03, 2020

Hollywood Insanity

Here in LA we had an earthquake last Thursday morning at 4:30 am,  centered in the San Fernando Valley. It was quite short but packed a real jolt. I was probably 20 miles from the epicenter and felt it.  But there was no damage.  Okay, this info you probably know.

But here’s what I find so interesting:

Deadline.com is the industry website. It’s the current version of a trade magazine, as it were. And as such is very Hollywood-centric. This was their headline the morning of the quake:

Los Angeles Earthquake: Magnitude 4.2 Jolt & Several Aftershocks Rattle San Fernando Valley; Celebrity Residents React

Celebrity residents react?

Seriously?

Who gives a shit?

When you first heard or read about it, was your initial reaction: “What is Tyra Banks, Zach Braff, Lil Nas, and Lilly Singh going through?”

This town is nuts. During a wildfire last year there was extensive coverage of LeBron James evacuating.

I would submit there is a certain lack of perspective here in Tinsel Town.

But my favorite example was this: When President Reagan was shot it happened to be the morning of the Academy Awards. I believe VARIETY (although it might have been THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) blared this headline:

OSCARCAST POSTPONED

And then in much smaller letters:

PRESIDENT SHOT.

You’ll be relieved and happy to know Tyra Banks is fine, but the earthquake did wake her up.

31 comments :

Troy McClure said...

Reminds me of that legendary stand-up set by Dave Chappelle about an MTV host in the aftermath of 9/11 saying "We're now going live to Ja Rule for his reaction." Dave says "Who gives a fuck what Ja Rule has to say?!"

Anonymous said...

Variant of the satirical NY Times headline:
"Comet heads toward Earth, will destroy planet. Poor most likely to be affected"

Wally said...

Smaller headline:
Meet Jodie Foster's New Beau!

The old perfesser said...

That was probably the only time Ronald Reagan and Oscar were mentioned together.

Mike Barer said...

That's crazy, but America does love it's celebrities.

slgc said...

I'll play Devil's Advocate here. Nobody is expecting Deadline.com to compete with the LA Times' coverage of a pure news event. People read this site for celebrity news. When they have read and seen enough of the serious news, the industry publication gives them something slightly different.

This is supplemental coverage (at least for most people. I hope). It's ok for it to be fluff.

I'd worry more if you told me that this was the coverage from the LA Times, though.

Nick Archer said...

The afternoon Reagan was shot, the Nashville UHF station promoed: "President Reagan shot. Details after Voltron."

VP81955 said...

I could understand an angle on whether any damage occurred at studios and such where so many in the entertainment industry work, but checking up on unaffected personalities is insane.

Speaking of such, I see Dwayne Johnson today was among a group that purchased the XFL from Vince McMahon for $15M. Assuming a vaccine is found soon and the sport can be played (the logistics of football make it far more potentially hazardous than baseball), many players should thank him.

James said...

It's the state of the news media in the 21st century. Something happens and they read a half-dozen tweets from their favorite stars. TMZ is considered a reliable primary source. It's probably worse here in LA, but I believe it's done this way everywhere (at least in the US).

Michael said...

I'm reminded of the story of a top New York Times editor who, in the wake of Chernobyl, requested that a reporter look into the impact on caviar imports.

Lemuel said...

"Fog Blankets English Channel-Continent Cut Off"

Bradley said...

Agree. But on the flip side, if people weren't obsessed with celebrities, they would be less inclined to watch the TV shows or movies you write. It goes both ways.

Dixon Steele said...

The huge popularity of Reality TV has made Celebritydom "hotter" than ever.

Look at Donald Trump, unfortunately...

Frank Beans said...

I realize that this is the wrong time to dump on the beleaguered state of California--you have a ton of shit on your plate right now, even compared to the rest of the country. I sincerely wish good luck.

But you did elect Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cybill Shepherd, and Bruce Willis as governors. The state kind of has a history of valuing celebrity opinions.

blinky said...

You are under the delusion that the news is designed to give you important information. The reality is that news is entertainment. Nobdy cares if Joe Sixpak's house fell down when LeBron James has been slightly inconvenienced.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Ken is just jealous because he wasn't one of the celebs. On the bright side, I detect the premise for a new ten-minute play.

M.B.

Ron Rettig said...

Ken remember KFWB prank of amoeba attacking Los Angeles?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pycZ-zATkHE

YEKIMI said...

Deadline was a more fun read when Nikki Finke ran it. Now it's strayed too far from it's original purpose and tends to kiss the asses of the Hollywood Elite. Think she's mad now that she sold it to Penske Media Group.

Buttermilk Sky said...

To be scrupulously fair, old perfessor, Reagan was once Oscar-nominated (KINGS ROW).

When the cruise ship Costa Concordia sank off the Italian coast, one of those ET-type shows covered it as "a real-life TITANIC."

I don't believe Cybill Shepherd or Bruce Willis was ever elected governor, but California did send George Murphy to the Senate and Sonny Bono to Congress.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

But you did elect Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cybill Shepherd, and Bruce Willis as governors. The state kind of has a history of valuing celebrity opinions.

Only the first two we elected, and the only two that are part of California gubernatorial history. The other two were elected nationwide through Moonlighting.

Michael said...

Friday Question: After an episode you wrote was filmed, did you usually spend any time reviewing it to understand what worked, what didn't, and how it could have been improved? Or were already on to the next episode?

Kendall Rivers said...

Lol of course typical Hollywood nothing new there. Celebs these days are given way more clout and importance than they're capable of. Again, look at our President lol how that happened says a lot about where society went wrong with celebrity and notoriety.

John H said...

This blog reminded me of this classic bit from "Louie":

https://youtu.be/yMgUMW8cs2c

Frank Beans said...

@ Buttermilk Sky, Rory L. Aronsky

Ok, I made up the latter two. I can admit it when I'm wrong.

But seriously, wouldn't the lead cast of MOONLIGHTING be pretty cool to be in the white house now, or at least preferable? And with Booger as Attorney General they could be unstoppable.

estiv said...

Not just California. In the 1930s Texas elected W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel as governor because he had a wildly popular radio show but no political experience. To be fair, he was no worse than most Texas governors of the time. The Coen brothers liked his name so much they used it for Charles Durning’s character in O Brother Where Art Thou.

Mike Barer said...

No blogpost today?

Brian said...

FRIDAY QUESTION: "Good and Evil" a show created by Susan Harris came under fire from the National Federation of the Blind, due to Mark Blankfield's blind character stumbling and breaking things. Did Becker get any flak for Jake's character or Bob's constant jibes? For that matter, what is the one of the most vociferous protests that you've seen for a show you've worked on?

Mike Barer said...

It was just late, see what a creature of habit I am?

Dana King said...

There was a comic in the 80s (I wish I remember who) who did a bit lamenting the rise of celebrity culture in serious media, talking about a potential headline in the event of a missile attack: "NUCLEAR WAR!! MICHAEL JACKSON, 80 MILLION OTHERS DIE!!!"

Jahn Ghalt said...

OSCARCAST POSTPONED

And then in much smaller letters:

PRESIDENT SHOT.

Then (in BIGGEST letters):

A-List Actresses' Assistants scramble to re-schedule hair and makeup sessions. Stylists take the heat.

Is there a ten-minute (or one-act) play here?

(take it if you like it, Ken)

Mike Doran said...

I think this story is from something Jim Bouton wrote, back in the day.

The Yankees were on the road, and their flight hit some heavy turbulence.

One player noted that Yogi Berra wasn't aboard; he had a number of business commitments that caused him to travel separately.

Another player: "If we crash, the headline will read 'BERRA LIVES, CATCHES LATER FLIGHT>'"

Third player (I think it was Phil Linz, but I could be wrong): "No, the headline will read 'MICKEY MANTLE, TWENTY-FOUR OTHERS KILLED' "