Ben Affleck really didn’t want people to know that one of his distant ancestors owned slaves—going so far as to lobby celebrity genealogy TV show Finding Your Roots to suppress the segment in which that ancestor is discussed. But we got our hands on a copy of the script—and now you can read the mild interview that terrified the actor.
I freaking promise you that whatever debate over current events you get trapped in this holiday season will not be as bad as a reply-all chain argument about the Gaza Strip, featuring Russell Simmons, sent to Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Ryan Seacrest. And I can promise you that because I have seen one.
Michael Lynton, can we talk? You may hope that you can manage your online-video issues by relocating the staff of Crackle.com, the money-losing startup you acquired for Sony in 2006, from Sausalito to Culver City. I'm sure with your experience at AOL and at Hollywood, you're confident enough to believe it's a business you can handle. But the real first step is admitting that you have a problem. We know all the cool kids were doing it when you purchased the site, then known as Grouper, for $65 million, but the $100 million you are rumored to have spent on satisfying your bandwidth cravings and making new employee and content-producer "friends" just shows how far you've sunk toward rock bottom. I can't imagine mainlining another 10-gigabit connection at a new San Diego datacenter will help. The good news, Michael, is that you're not alone. Eric Schmidt's YouTube habit has proven unmanageable as well. The note from a laid-off employee after the jump may feel like tough love, Michael, but think of it as an intervention from someone who cares.
The corporate mothership has extended the contract of Sony Pictures CEO/chairman/Showman of the Year Michael Lynton through 2012. If you're thinking of sending over the perfect kiss-up gift to celebrate this happy occasion and get your project jammed into the pre-strike production pipeline, we suggest a basket of ham-and-cheese sandwiches. [THR, Var]
While some might find the "some of my favorite things" boxes featured in Variety's "Showmen of the Year" tribute to Sony heads Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton a feature that might be more at home in Mogul Fancy, the resourceful can always find some utility behind the whimsy: for example, knowing that Harold and Maude inspired Pascal to pursue her wildly successful career in "the biz" could lead a bold producer to begin a pitch by dousing himself in gas and lighting himself on fire or by chopping off his hand with a cleaver, creating an instant bonding moment over a shared love of the cult film. Or, you know, he could just bring along a slice of delicious cake, opting for a safer appeal to her decadent side. (For the record, Lynton's "favorite things" box indicates he's more of a ham-and-cheese sandwich guy, Plan your food bribes accordingly.)