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David Poland

By David Poland

The Globes & Dick

The fight between the HFPA and Dick Clark Productions is a comedy of sorts.

The whorehouse that is HFPA has no credibility aside from having a network TV show. The only reason they have a network TV show is that Dick Clark got them one.

On the other hand, it seems that HFPA is completely right in complaining that Dick Clark Productions did an end run around their renegotiation by doing a deal with NBC without telling the organization. The NBC deal keeps the show at DCP. But the idea of doing a deal without testing the waters is just stupid.

So it’s unethical vs ungrateful… no one should win. But I expect the contract DCP negotiated to be voided, HFPA allowed to shop the show, and to hire Bob Banner or someone like that to produce the paint-by-numbers show moving forward. Yes, pre-stroke Dick Clark set up the paint-by-numbers grid brilliantly. Smart, hardworking people need to execute it each year. But face it… there are a dozen people/companies who could pull it off in their sleep at this point.

Nothing makes me queasier than saying that the HFPA is right about anything.

Fortunately, The Hollywood Reporter offers some fun – if conflicting within the story… edit!!! – numbers about the whole thing. (If CBS’ Les Moonves would really pay $24 million or more for the Globes, he should be fired.)

Taking the most conservative numbers in the piece, the under-90 member whoreganization generates a $7.5 million fee for the show and gives away under $2 million of it. (And I would bet dollars to doughnuts that as much as the giveaways are about building image, they are even more about taxes.)

So the net is, at least, $5.5 million. That’s over $60,000 per member left over. Quite a pie. And aside from an office space, there is virtually no expense accrued to the whoreganization, as the studios – and NBC/DCP in terms of the show – pick up virtually every thinkable expense they can.

I estimate that the value of membership in the HFPA is between $150k and $200k per member each year. Is any of that reported on the tax returns of members, given that in virtually all cases, that number is a multiple of professionally earned income?

Like I said… no one wins…

It’s still more legit than Carlos “I Got An Award In My Truck” de Abreu. But that’s another story altogether.

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2 Responses to “The Globes & Dick”

  1. Joshua says:

    Do the HFPA members really get $150K to $200K each worth of junkets, expensive gifts, etc. per year?

  2. David Poland says:

    Light on expensive gifts… heavy on travel, per diem, meals, entertainment, etc

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

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I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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~ David Simon