Politicians have a weird relationship with the entertainment industry. I was once in a room full of influential Washington types and a 3rd tier reporter from one of the cable news shows walked in the room. Suddenly the focus shifted immediately to the ” television personality.” It was weird. All these accomplished big shots and they suddenly were interested in this fellow who was probably 5 years out of college. I can just imagine what happens when Robert Redford or Taylor Swift walks into a room full of wonks. Some folks probably go into seizures.
Hey, good for him. He’s arguing against a push by the Actors’ Equity Association, to impose a minimum wage on small theaters. These theaters are basically volunteer operations, many showing old movies for a handful of people a showing. Places, usually tucked away in college towns and hip neighborhoods where one can see Gone With the Wind, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fantasia, or Doctor Zhivago* on the big screen.
But these theaters might disappear overnight if the AEA gets its way. Robbins understands this.
These subsidies make little sense from the taxpayer’s perspective. They do however make sense for the studios (which have powerful lobbyists) and politicians who can laud their ability to lure Hollywood even to their unglamorous state.
When it comes down to it Hollywood wants to make money. Sure it may rail against “capitalism” and “greed” and the town may be full of people who would swear that they are anything but capitalists. But it costs money to fill swimming pools and party in “The Hills.” And so the movie industry has largely abandoned the once Golden State.
Hollywood knows how to work the system. There is just something about movie stars which hypnotizes politicians. That and the pile of campaign contributions.
This story comes to us courtesy of the CIA’s own former General Council, John Rizzo, who explains in a new book that the CIA and the entertainment industry have a long history of working together. This is logical given the power vested in the movie studios of southern California. (To a lesser extent today.) Control the narrative, the story, and control the direction of public sentiment. At least to some degree.
The French Socialists also want to tax cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices on which people watch moving images.
Hollywood is a weird place. All the money, the traffic, the fame, the sunshine, the agents, the status seeking, the pools (no one goes in), the palm trees, the cameras, and the partying come together to form a vortex of American decadence. (Which has its place.)
The 20th Century was all about big giant businesses, with a Vatican-like hierarchy. The movie and TV business was no exception.
How is it that the entertainment industry, be it in Hollywood or Paris or Bollywood, always seems to get special treatment?
My theory is that politicians just like getting invited to parties with movie stars.
We have incredibly restrictive copyright laws in this country. Big media companies have made the media marketplace worse for the public with these laws and may have even worked against their own interests by lobbying for overly restrictive copyrights according to a new study.
Hollywood crony deals seem to fail like Madonna movies.
They are not necessarily the “greatest.” But they are great.
There are very good arguments, both for and against copyright. Our founders thought that such rights were vital to encourage innovation and creative exploration.
Copyright laws in this country are absurd and amount to little more than givaways to the entertainment industry.