Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sumner Redstone: "I prefer not to talk about Tom Cruise"

Rafat Ali of the fundamentally necessary Paidcontent hipped us to this interview between the Methuselan Sumner Redstone and The Hollywood Reporter, and -- dare we say it? -- the Viacom chief is in a punchy mood (The Corsair shadowboxes). It begins:

"THR: What brings you to Germany?

"Sumner Redstone: Well, I'm here primarily for the (German) launch of Comedy Central."

We, too, were searching for the rim-shot. It never came. Let's break this down a little: Comedy ... in ...Germany? Sumner would be better advised to invest conservatively in scat porn company, it being Germany, you know (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).

(image via myprimetime)


"... THR: Let's talk about new media. There are some that say Viacom has missed the boat when it comes to the Web 2.0 revolution.

"Redstone: Wait a minute, wait a minute. We don't miss boats."

Well, that's what Mrs. Sumner Redstone -- the "supportive" May component to his wintry *The Corsair shudders* ...December -- tells him to boost his ego. Rock that boat, Sumner:

"... Other people miss boats, and they may have missed the Viacom boat. The fact of the matter is, without copyright protection, there is no entertainment business. And so we instructed YouTube to remove 100,000 pieces of video from their site. Why? Because they were using it without paying for it. I don't believe in that. If you want to use us, pay us. Or make a deal with us that is commensurate with the value of our product. We are the only totally content company, and our content has taken years and years to develop, with a lot of hard work. People who want to use it are going to pay us, or good-bye."

Sumner Redstone can pinch a penny until Abe Lincoln squeals! Finally:

"... THR: I have to ask about the Tom Cruise incident. Do you think the decision to break off your production agreement with Cruise/Wagner sent a signal to the industry about the power relationship between talent and the studios?

"Redstone: Look, I didn't intend to send a signal. I prefer not to talk about Tom Cruise, who is a great actor. It was just his behavior. It was at that time unacceptable. But if there was a message, it was this: We are paying the talent too much. I never talked to anyone at the company about that, I wouldn't. Because it is not the talent that makes the movie, it is the script. The play's the thing, as someone once said. And if you have a great script, the talent rushes to appear in it and not at too heavy a price.

"THR: Does that mean you are paying more for your scripts?

"Redstone: No comment.

"THR: Are you ever going to retire?

"Redstone: Of course not. You look very good now, but I hope when I see you again in 15 years you look as good as I do."

Oh no he didn't. (TheHollywoodReporter)

1 comment:

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