Sep 2, 2009

The Web's Still Where Hollywood Dreams Go to Die [Power Moves]

While this newfangled internet may be all the rage with kids, in Hollywood status terms, it's still the booby prize for ousted executives. The latest winner: the former boss of talent agency William Morris may be joining YouTube.

Until recently, Jim Wiatt served as Chairman of the venerable William Morris Agency, styling himself as a Bill Clinton BFF, savoir of the environment and aspirant to the throne of all Hollywood. That was until the Endeavor's Ari Emmanuel engineered a buyout of the agency, creating the new WME and promptly sent Wiatt hitting the bricks, hat in hand, and apparently, according to AllThingsD, headed to Google.

Sure, YouTube gets enough traffic every nanosecond to clog the Holland Tunnel from here until Armaggedon; but trading in private jet flown trips to inspect Megan Fox at work on the set in Tahiti or Reykjavík for the chance to oversee a collection cat videos is just a teeny bit of a comedown.

According to the report, Wiatt would work to convince Hollywood players to shoot videos for YouTube. So Brad and Angelina shouldn't be alarmed if a man in a Hugo Boss suit knocks on their door and asks, "Have you ever considered sharing with the world the adorable way your cat can open the refrigerator with his paws?" That man is not a salesman. He's somebody's ex-agent.

The history of Hollywood execs taking their magic online of course is a sad trail of tears. Michael Eisner parlayed his Disney chairmanship into the Executive Producers slot for web-serial Prom Queen. And Yahoo is still digging out from the damage wrought when Warner Bros. chair Terry Semel deigned to grace the portal with his star power.

But who knows, perhaps Wiatt has timed it brilliantly and for Hollywood, the web is a concept who's time has come at last.

1 comment: