UPDATE: And now we can add Bob Iger to the list below. The coward couldn’t stick it out like a real mogul would. Real moguls don’t retire.
This morning, about 11:00, I had an epiphany.
I was trying to think of someone in this fucking town that I wanted to have lunch with today.
I couldn’t think of anyone.
Everyone is so freakin’ boring these days that I ended up telling my driver, Leif Garrett, to go pick up my daughter, Connie, at school and bring her to the studio so I could have lunch with her.
I was stunned that I would rather hear about her morning learning about the Civil War (or some shit) than I would meeting with some other studio mogul to find out what they are up to.
Because I already know the answer – they are up to nothing. They are up to bullshit.
I have never been so bored with my industry as I am right now. Hollywood is in full blown reactive mode.
We are spending our days and nights trying to figure out how to put our beautiful, expensive, well-produced content on a 3 inch screen.
We are working so hard for the tech geeks who are innovating and inventing these new devices and services that this very same beautiful, expensive, well-produced content is on a collision course with a mountain of shit.
Hollywood was built on innovation and there is nothing happening on that front.
Some would argue – “Hell, yeah, we’re innovating, we’re transitioning to digital! It’s an inflection point, bitch!”
All those ideas, all that technology, all that innovation is coming from somewhere else.
Twenty-five year old dorks with nothing to lose are making us old moguls obsolete. And worse? They are dictating the terms. (30% to show my stupid movie on your stupid Facebook?!)
Nothing new is coming out of Hollywood. We are creatively bankrupt.
Yes, content is king. And we make the content the world wants to see. But it’s the same goddamned content over and over – and that seems to be okay with everyone in this town.
Manka Bros. has the worst Fall TV line-up on MBS I have ever seen. And no one seems to care – certainly not Jay McBee – who does nothing with his time but train for Triathlons (that he loses).
I mean, as long as the bonus checks keep clearing, why the fuck wouldn’t we just keep things at the status quo? Right?
All my friends, visionaries at one point in their lives, are passing their remaining days doing bullshit. It’s depressing.
Barry Diller started a broadcast network out of scotch tape and bubble gum wrappers (Fox) and today he owns a dating service and has to listen to the stupid “ground breaking” ideas of Ben Silverman.
Michael Eisner revitalized and rebuilt one of the great studios of all time and now he’s producing little videos for the internet and going duck hunting. Does anyone really know what the hell he is trying to do?
Jeffrey Katzenberg kicked some ass at Disney and created an environment that enabled a dead genre (animated features) to become popular again. Today, he is most likely preparing Monsters, Inc. 2 and reading a draft of the Kung Fu Panda 3 screenplay. Just sell your studio already, Jeffrey, it’s never going to be the empire you imagined at one time – when you still had dreams.
And then there are these guys – my great friends – the ones that truly built something from nothing:
Rupert Murdoch – who built a global media empire from a tiny grade school newspaper (or something) – and now he’s just sitting around his office in the dark listening to Pippa Middleton’s phone messages.
Sumner Redstone – Well, I think he was more lucky than good and didn’t really do much in his life except yell at people and try to pick up hot chicks. (OK, I’m sure he did something significant somewhere along the line, but he’s still staying at my house on-and-off these days, so I’m pissed at him right now. This guy doesn’t flush the toilet. It’s horrifying. And those Charlie’s Angels posters from the 1970s are just embarrassing.)
And Ted Turner, one of the craziest risk takers and innovators the media world has ever seen – all that great shit he built from nothing – is now making buffalo burgers.
Sure, these guys, as I myself, are getting old and there really isn’t much more we can accomplish because death will most likely put an end to any future plans we have.
And, really, the energy level just isn’t there. I mean, the Mogulympics at Herb Allen’s Sun Valley Retreat this year was just pathetic.
The biggest problem I have at my studio is – there isn’t a new generation of innovators in Hollywood to take the old trailblazers’ place. They’re all going to Silicon Valley – and why not? There sure as shit isn’t anything going on here.
My father wouldn’t consider himself a visionary by any means (and, frankly, no one else would either). He was a total prick whose main accomplishments in life were stealing other people’s ideas and having heart attacks. But he and his brothers (THE Manka Bros.) were Thomas Edisons compared to today’s Hollywood.
All we have today is a generation of cost-cutters and an army of people minding the bottom line.
Innovation has left town and it’s not coming back.
We’re Hollywood, goddamnit, we’re important – how the fuck did we let that happen?
Khan Manka, Jr. – Chairman & CEO – Manka Bros. Studios – The World’s Largest Media Company