Brad Grey

Culture Warrior

One of the great misconceptions about Hollywood is that it is a liberal institution. Several false assumptions inform this misconception: thinking of “Hollywood” as a monolithic entity in any way besides its shared corporate infrastructure, confusing public endorsements of celebrity politicians by celebrity movie stars as political activism, thinking that left-leaning consumers of movies see Hollywood as representing their political beliefs in any way, selectively reading a limited number of texts (e.g., Green Zone “proves” Hollywood’s liberalism, but every superhero movie ever isn’t proof of its conservatism), and, most importantly, thinking that the most public figures associated with Hollywood (i.e., stars and filmmakers) are Hollywood. This last point I think is one that has continued to be the least considered when such straw man critiques are drawn, because Hollywood here is equated only with its most visible figures who overshadow its intricate but also not-so-shrouded political economy. It’s no mistake that despite the fluctuating numbers of major and minor Hollywood studios in the past 100 years, the most powerful studios, like the biggest banks in the nation, have been referred to as “The Big Five.” And indeed, to the surprise of no one, both Big Fives have had and are continuing a lucrative relationship with one another. Hollywood’s agenda, of course, has always been profit, and the representatives of this ideology are not George Clooney and Matt Damon, but Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal (Chairman/CEO & Co-Chairman, Sony/Columbia), Stephen Blairson (CEO, 20th Century Fox), Brad Grey (Chairman/CEO, Paramount), Ronald Meyer […]

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DreamWorks Animation has been making animated features that are then distributed by Paramount Pictures for a while now. It’s been a good model that’s, for the most part, worked out well. Heck, when they put out How to Train Your Dragon, people even started to talk about how they were approaching or meeting Pixar levels of success. But this partnership between companies appears to now be over, and the future of animated movies is looking a bit uncertain. What happened? Well, despite the fact that the DreamWorks/Paramount relationship has been making money and achieving more and more critical success, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg hasn’t been happy with his end of the deal, and has started shopping around the rights to distribute Dreamworks films to other companies. As a matter of fact, Katzenberg is reportedly looking for someone to agree to purchase Dreamworks Animation as a part of a new distribution deal.

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