August 2, 2010

HOLLYWOOD LESSON NUMBER ONE: IT'S NOT DEBT, IF YOU LEAVE IT IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, RIGHT, MR. STALLONE?

SAO PAULO, Brazil—Sylvester Stallone may be heading for box-office success when his latest action flick opens this month, but in Brazil—where the movie was filmed—companies are complaining he left a string of unpaid debts, according to a report.

The Brazilian weekly news magazine Veja said Sunday the producers of the movie, "The Expendables," owed more than $2 million to the local partner company O2, a lighting firm, drivers, security guards, and other workers.

This AFP report, picked up Spiegel and a variety of other, smaller international news outlets – no American majors have apparently picked up on it yet, but then again, it is the middle of the night there as I write this, so maybe they will – alleges one of the worst things I have seen in quite a while, if true.

If true, then Stallone, Lionsgate [UPDATED] Nu Image/Millenium and others defrauded the already worst paid people on a movie, the security (in Brazil, where kidnappings happen on an hourly basis really something that is kind of important) and the lighting crew. What the fuck?

If true, then Stallone exploited in the worst fashion those who make their living this way and who cannot turn to anybody else, before he then fled – yes, fled – back to the United States, somewhat secure in thinking that they wouldn't be able to afford coming after him.

If true, then Stallone considred the workers' payments... expendable.

If true, then Stallone's movie is expendable, too.

Why am I saying "if true" all this time? Simple. Because so far it is merely one journalistic scource, the news magazine Veja. But considering that there are numerous different sources that are apparently in that magazine (I count at least five), and these types of companies and people usually do not seek the attention of the media, knowing how quick Hollywood is with blacklisting them (does the phrase, "you will never work in this town again" mean anything to you?), I consider the story to be rather valid.

And that means, pay the fuck up, Stallone.

You who recalls so fondly how you made it out of the dirt and the poverty should respect those who are still in it, making their meagre money with hard labour. 2 million may sound like a lot, but I'm sure that most of these drivers and security guards are owed less than what you pay up every fucking day for your Human Growth Hormone treatments. Ten of them probably could live off the money you wasted on your plastic surgeries.

If this story is true, I am disgusted with you.

[UPDATE, 4 PM, MESZ] True to from, we are now at least eight hours into the news cycle since the story broke onto the international stage by the way of AFP. And how many major American news media outlets on the web have even addressed the issue so far?

Zero. 

After repeated Google searches with different search parameters, personal visits to the LA Times, the New York Times, Salon.com, Variety, THR.com, Deadline.com or the Huffington Post?

Zero. 

Not a single one of them deemed it even necessary of a little news item that stated that there are these allegations. You know, these are all the media outlets who masturbate gloriously and openly about every sex and drugs scandal, who get all huffy every time when the useful idiot Oliver Stone opens his mouth. You can no longer use the excuse that it's in the middle of the night in the United States.

It is 10 AM in New York. It's 7 AM in Los Angeles.

Not a single mention.

What did I say up in the headline here?

It's not debt if it is in another country, now, is it?

So far, the American media appears to agree with that assessment.

Why am I not surprised?

[UPDATE, 4.20 PM, MESZ] Congratulations to the Oregon Herald, who is running the story in its entertainment section. But then, as the web site's banner explicitly states, it is a  non-commercial, non-profit, ad-free news organisation, so the one and only other media mention so far found by me is...

Yahoo News. Not surprising, since Yahoo feeds agency news directly through their system, so the wall between an orginal story and its publication is rather thin compared to more traditional media outlets.

[UPDATE, 4.49 PM, MESZ] But hey, it's not like the great entertainment reporters in America aren't working, you know. I mean, how many people does it really take to film and photograph cocaine addicted cunt actress Lindsay Lohan as she gets released from her demeaning slap on the wrist prison sentence that surely taught her a lesson, right? Yes, boys and girls. Now, that is what we call news, and ain't it finger-licking good? Because that is what people want, people need to know. How a washed-up actress looks after not even 14 days of extremely harsh jail time. Boo-fucking-hoo. Or was that Boo-fucking-hoe?

You can get up for that at 7 AM Los Angeles time, yes sir, you can. For this is the age of fucking Snooki, where the wart on the insides of the fattened thighs of a reality TV star merits a cloud of reporters descending upon any given location at any given time.

Just don't look at what is really important.