The Hot Seat Podcast: Every Sensitive Topic
A new weekly show about the business of Hollywood — as entertaining off-screen as it is on. Hosted by Janice Min, Richard Rushfield and Tatiana Siegel
Welcome to The Ankler Hot Seat, our new podcast that takes you behind the scenes of Hollywood’s big personalities, power struggles and ever-changing playbook. It is a production of The Ankler, a subscription-only newsletter.
Everyone will have an opinion about the topics on today’s episode, as we dive into the most sensitive subjects currently raging in Hollywood — racial reckoning, “woke” culture, and #MeToo. We base today’s discussion on two news-making stories that reveal the death of consensus not just in politics, but also in this industry. You’ll also notice a theme in the discussions around redemption — is it possible for any one person or organization that has been disgraced?
First up, our special guest is writer Peter Kiefer, whose piece “Hollywood’s New Rules”, was in equal measures loved and hated as it made waves immediately upon its publication on Tuesday. Writing what many whisper, but few speak out loud, Peter reveals the private feelings of much of white Hollywood about so-called “woke” culture, their fear of misstepping or being “canceled”, and how things, as Hawk Koch, former president of the Academy told him, have “gone too far.” (Lots of voices in his piece would beg to differ).
Peter reveals the emails that a white male show-runner shared with him after he didn’t get certain jobs (possibly as convenient excuses):
“This one a dead end — they are going to limit search to women and bipoc candidates”
“Studio now telling us this job must go to a female / bipoc writer. Sorry — it sucks”
As the demographics of the country shift toward a non-white majority GenZ audience, recent cultural reckonings and a recognition of a century of exclusion for people of color in Hollywood have resulted in sweeping changes — critics would say regulation and interference — around representation. Diving into why what some of liberal (white) Hollywood says publicly differs from what some say privately, The Ankler Hot Seat asks the real question — has anything really changed at all?
Then after that:
Our hosts dive into the Golden Globes debacle, an epic, hilarious mess of an evening. After the Los Angeles Times expose, the publicist boycott, and botched attempts to shake it off, the Globes finally took the stage last weekend, to an audience of themselves. The proceedings were followed widely via a series of madcap Twitter announcements that somehow perfectly captured the zaniness that is the Globes’ calling card. We hash out what this night added up to, what did Hollywood lose in not having this show, and is there any path back?
The, we take up the fate of James Franco as he attempts to mount a comeback. Should he have been exiled? Was he even exiled? And what stands in the way of his return? There has yet to be a successful return from #MeToo jail; will this be the first? The reasons why he might not be accepted back are probably not quite what you think.
Finally, we have a quick recap of the Top 10 shows and movies on streaming.
What do you think about all this? Are the hiring doubts in Hollywood justified concerns, or sour grapes and entitlement? Should the Globes come back? Should James Franco? Tell us hear your thoughts in the comments…
And join us every Wednesday for new episodes.
If you have thoughts about what is said on the pod, or have a guest or topic suggestion, let us know at HotSeat@anklermedia.com
If you’d like to sponsor The Ankler Hot Seat, give a buzz to Kymber Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org
And subscribe now to The Ankler and get in on all the excitement.