Charlotte Kirk and Kevin Tsujihara – Hollywood Declares The Casting Couch So Over

Or rather, given the other scandals that have been swirling around both Harvey Weinstein and other varied reports of boys and the like, corporate America declares the casting couch so over. Something which would really rather have surprised the movie moguls of old but there we have it, times have changed and so behaviour is being changed as well.

The specific point coming toward the end of this extract:

Hours after Warner Bros. announced Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara will step down at the company, actress Charlotte Kirk, who allegedly had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with him years ago, spoke out. “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Kevin Tsujihara stepping down at Warners,” Kirk told Fox News in a statement on Monday. “Our relationship ended many years ago. The release of the story by The Hollywood Reporter was nothing to do with me.” She continued: “In fact I tried to prevent it. Whatever differences we may have had in the past were long since forgotten. I only wish him the best of success in his future endeavours.” WarnerMedia previously announced in a statement to Fox News that Tsujihara no longer would continue as chairman and CEO at the company after it was revealed through a series of text messages that he allegedly promised Kirk favorable acting roles and auditions in exchange for a sexual relationship.

For two adults to date each other is not, at least as yet, something that insists upon one of them resigning. When the sex part is being traded for the job part then it is and should be.

But do note what the issue here is. It’s not his betrayal of any spouse or other relationship. It’s also not her actions. It’s his betrayal of the shareholders that is the issue here.

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This is known as the principal/agent problem. The shareholders own the business and have hired Tsujihara to run it for them. They’ve a reasonable expectation that he will do so in their best interests. Deploy their assets so as to make them the maximum amount of money that it is legally possible to haul in. If he’s deciding that he’s going to give parts to his squeeze rather than the actress that would best make money then that’s a betrayal of those shareholder interests.

Which is going to make the screaming that comes next oh so interesting. For this is an insistence upon shareholder primacy. He’s got to go because he did not act in the shareholders’ interests rather than his own. And there will be a lot of people screaming about his actions, as there should be. It’s just that those doing that screaming will also be the same people who insist that shareholder interests should not be paramount. And none of them will get that they’re being contradictory, will they?

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Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

An acquaintance who actually is a movie producer who has done films you would have heard of, tells me that when you are casting female roles you get offers. Couched in unambiguous terms. The casting couch is not going away.

Esteban
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Esteban

A thought experiment – you’re a young, beautiful actress waiting for that first big break. Then you’re offered a role in a movie that could be a blockbuster, you might win a supporting actor Oscar. It’s a story about a young actress who succumbed to Weinstein out of desperation to save her career but who always regretted it, felt guilty, resorted to drugs, ultimately committed suicide, a tragedy. You’re offered the role of the young actress. Of course, you’ll be required to film several scenes where you’re having sex with a man who looks like Harvey (fat, hairy, ugly) –… Read more »

Esteban
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Esteban

Shortly after the Weinstein story broke a relatively famous actor (sorry, don’t remember which one) noted in an interview that when he was young & getting started in community theater it was pretty common for actresses to write on their photos “DRR”. This stood for “Director’s Rights Respected”.

If a fair number of women are willing to do this & a fair number of directors want them to, it would put the unwilling at a significant competitive disadvantage.