Rushfield: Our Kanye Catastrophe
A lot wrong with our reaction, and our shared blame in the slow-motion downfall
Talking to friends today about the Kanye imbroglio, such as it is, I felt like there were two different universes co-existing in Hollywood.
The first were in disbelief that it took CAA — and others — this long to react to a naked stream of hate towards one particular group; coupled with the sense that had that outpouring been directed towards literally any other group the offender would have been unpersoned before lunchtime.
The second sentiment I heard — largely from younger friends — was that Kanye has been spewing hate towards any and all for years now, and that only after he attacked Jews did anyone step up and do anything.
And contradictory though those points may be, in Hollywood today both are true, and both can be appalling.
So let's start at the end here. On the first point, that it took CAA more than two weeks to react to this, is insane. It’s pretty unimaginable that CAA gave Ari and Jeremy Zimmer a free throw, allowing them to take a high moral stand demanding that CAA drop one of its most lucrative clients. And that they would let them take that stand, and have no answer to it until the inevitable caving in is pretty unprecedented.
This week, when Ari Emanuel stood alone as the moral conscience of Hollywood — let that sink in — was an amazing illustration of just what a hollow charade these panics have become. The entertainment industry will absolutely do the right thing every time — just as soon as the entire world rises up against them and they have no choice, and definitely not a moment before.
“Kudos to Ari and Jeremy for taking stands, but when one of the biggest celebrities to speak out is Boy George you know you’re pretty far down on the call sheet.”
Where is the line in Hollywood these days?