Power-Player Michael Patrick King Too Petrified To Finger Suits Who Kept Him Down
Sunday LAT magazine readers were treated to a personal essay penned by none other than Sex and the City writer/director/inner-gay Michael Patrick King. The point of his story, we think, is how being true to oneself in show business often comes at the expense of being shitcanned by a superior who'd rather you be true to them. But we came away with another message entirely: That even the Man Who Toppled Spielberg can still harbor the kinds of career insecurities that would cause them to omit all the satisfying name-naming from their tale of comeuppance:
The second time I was fired for being myself was when I was hired as the show runner in charge of a failing sitcom.
The then-head of the network (who has since been fired) pulled me aside and told me he thought the script was "a wash." I was, at that time, naive enough to believe that we were having an artistic discussion. So I responded: "I've got to tell you—insert name of fired network president here—I think you're wrong."
Said the president to the show runner: "Well, I hope you're right, because if you aren't, I'll bury this show and you." [...]
Which brings me to the next time I was fired...The project was a "girl-themed" television pilot before they were in the zeitgeist (in other words, B.S.—before "Sex and the City"). [...]
Over six weeks of production, I bit my tongue and nodded and cooperated and repressed my urge to blurt out the passionate and fatal: "I've got to tell you—insert name of another network president here—I think you're wrong."
"Insert name of fired network president here?" "A 'girl-themed' television pilot?" "Another network president?" It's like Mad Libs: Hollywood Revenge Edition. The guy has the record-shattering, number one movie at the box office: why is he so reluctant to name names? Is he worried Laurence Tisch is going to rise from the grave and take it all away for not having seen eye-to-eye during Cybill's tumultuous final seasons? We mean, Jesus Christ man—you've made it. You won. What's the good if you can't rub some noses in it?