Celebrity crackdown in China

This policy limiting celebrity compensation is very far from the worst idea I have ever heard, particularly in an increasingly post-scarcity environment.

Chinese broadcasters and online entertainment sites should curb the amount of screen time given to celebrities, the country’s television regulator announced.

The new directive aims to crack down on celebrity hype, fake audience and click-through rates for a healthy growth of the industry, according to a statement issued by the National Radio and Television Administration on Friday. The statement by the radio and television watchdog also restated a commitment made by television and film companies that the salaries of all performers must not exceed 40 per cent of the total production cost while leading actors will have their pay capped at 70 per cent of total wages for the entire cast.

One of the reasons the shadowy evils of Hollywood are so powerful is their ability to gatekeep the money and fame they dole out to the desperate. Measures such as these being enacted by China will not eliminate the problem, but it will reduce some of its effects. And they’re pretty tame considering that a headline star can still be paid more than a quarter of the total budget.

It’s going to be interesting to see how China’s growing influence in the film industry modifies its practices.


You can’t stop The Legend

You can’t even hope to contain him:

Prolific comic book creator Chuck Dixon and the creator of Bane will see his novel series based on Levon Cade adapted to television by Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions. The Levon Cade series follows Levon Cade, a former Marine, who became a construction worker. Cade eventually becomes a mercenary and metes out vigilante justice. The first book Levon’s Trade sees Cade hunt for a missing college student and uncover a vast criminal conspiracy.

This will not be the only news on the TV/movie front this month. Stay tuned….



Insufficient inclusivity

The King in the North slams Marvel’s toxic heterosexuality:

Kit Harington has slammed Marvel for its lack of gay actors.

The 31-year-old star – who is best-known for his role in Game Of Thrones – has called on the studio to take a lead on the issue of diversity.

‘There’s a big problem with masculinity and homosexuality that they can’t somehow go hand in hand,’ the star told Variety magazine.

‘That we can’t have someone in a Marvel movie who’s gay in real life and plays some super hero. I mean, when is that going to happen?’ he added.

I couldn’t agree more. I think Marvel should retcon all its superheroes and make them all gay, transgender handicapable individuals of color.  Diversity is strength! Fat is beautiful!

A meager ONE or TWO LGBTP characters is NOT enough, Mr. Feig!

Also, LISTEN TO DAVID BAUTISTA! Bring back James Gunn!


Everyone knew

Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg admits that everyone in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein:

Let’s be perfectly clear about one thing:

Everybody-fucking-knew.

Not that he was raping.
No, that we never heard.
But we were aware of a certain pattern of overly-aggressive behavior that was rather dreadful.
We knew about the man’s hunger; his fervor; his appetite.
There was nothing secret about this voracious rapacity; like a gluttonous ogre out of the Brothers Grimm.
All couched in vague promises of potential movie roles.
(and, it should be noted: there were many who actually succumbed to his bulky charms. Willingly. Which surely must have only impelled him to cast his fetid net even wider).

But like I said: everybody-fucking-knew.

And to me, if Harvey’s behavior is the most reprehensible thing one can imagine, a not-so-distant second is the current flood of sanctimonious denial and condemnation that now crashes upon these shores of rectitude in gloppy tides of bullshit righteousness.

Because everybody-fucking-knew.

And do you know how I am sure this is true?
Because I was there.
And I saw you.
And I talked about it with you.
You, the big producers; you, the big directors; you, the big agents; you, the big financiers.
And you, the big rival studio chiefs; you, the big actors; you, the big actresses; you, the big models.
You, the big journalists; you, the big screenwriters; you, the big rock stars; you, the big restaurateurs; you, the big politicians.

I saw you.
All of you.
God help me, I was there with you.

There is one problem with condemning the Scott Rosenberg’s of the world. If the women didn’t speak up, and if so many of them were willing to make that trade, why was anyone else obligated to do so? It’s not as if Harvey Weinstein had any less power over the careers of the Rosenbergs of the world.


Actors ran interference for Weinstein

The sudden downfall of Harvey Weinstein is merely the very tip of the Hollywood iceberg. And it’s a really big iceberg of moral sewage and corruption:

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

I traveled to Rome and tracked down the man who held the plum position of running Miramax Italy. According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.

As head of Miramax Italy in 2003 and 2004, Fabrizio Lombardo was paid $400,000 for less than a year of employment. He was on the payroll of Miramax and thus the Walt Disney Company, which had bought the indie studio in 1993.

I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.

At the time, he denied that he was on the payroll to help Weinstein with favors. From the story: “Reached in Italy, Mr. Lombardo declined to comment on the circumstances of his leaving Miramax or Ricucci, saying they were legal matters being handled by lawyers. ‘I am very proud of what we achieved at Miramax here in Italy,’ he said of his work for the film company. ‘It cannot be that they hired me because I’m a friend.’”

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

Russell Crowe is hardly a surprise, but suddenly Matt Damon doesn’t look like such a good guy, does he? Read the whole thing, there are more details at the link. There should be no slacking off on the attention given to this issue, as it is a promising opportunity in the cultural war, especially given the way in which Hollywood is used as Satan’s pulpit.


Good riddance

The rocks are being overturned, one by one:

BREAKING: The Weinstein Co. board of directors announces that Harvey Weinstein is terminated, effective immediately.

Of course, it took three directors resigning before they realized they would have to take it seriously. It will be informative to see who tries to rehabilitate him.

There are also rumors that Weinstein is only the first, and the least important, Hollywood figure who will be taken down.


Milo reviews Silenced

He gives himself 10 out of 10. And, he also happens to mention, as a brief aside, Mike Cernovich’s film isn’t bad either:

I feel compelled to set aside my trademark modesty in order to review Silenced, a new documentary in which I briefly appear. To get the most important thing out of the way, I rate my performance 10 MILOs out of 10.

Silenced was crowdfunded by producer and Twitter celebrity Mike Cernovich and director Loren Feldman to document the state of free speech in America. The timing couldn’t be better, as we’ve just witnessed Twitter attempting to purge the alt-right and various libertarian and conservative personalities from its platform as revenge for Donald Trump’s victory.

Several of the people who appear in Silenced were targeted in the purge, including Pax Dickinson and the pseudonymous Ricky Vaughn.

Silenced is a different type of documentary to Cassie Jaye’s The Red Pill, which I also examined recently. Jay’s movie told a specific story: her exploration and eventual sympathy with the men’s rights movement. Silenced takes a different approach, relying on its interview subjects to make the case for free speech.

Mike and Loren did a solid and professional job on an important subject, and they’ve paved the way for the Right to start fighting the culture war on a new front: film. Thanks very much to all of the VFM and Dread Ilk who helped them do it!

I’m in it too, by the way. I give myself 3 MILOs. Frankly, it was bordering on the miraculous that Loren managed to figure out a way to get me in there at all.