Top Talent Agency May Boycott Paramount
The head of Hollywood's leading talent agency has condemned Viacom chief Sumner Redstone's castigating comments about Tom Cruise and has suggested that the agency may now refuse to do business with Viacom's Paramount Studios. In an interview with today's (Thursday) Wall Street Journal, Richard Lovett, president of Creative Artists Agency, which represents Cruise, said, "Paramount has no credibility right now. ... It is not clear who is running the studio and who is making the decisions." Cruise's partner, Paula Wagner, is a onetime CAA agent and is married to Cruise's current representative at CAA, Rick Nicita. On Tuesday Redstone told the newspaper that Paramount was cutting its ties with Cruise's production company because the actor's behavior over the past year was "not acceptable to Paramount." As the newspaper pointed out, under ordinary circumstances such an announcement would have come from Paramount Chairman Brad Grey or Viacom CEO Tom Freston. "For such talk to come out of the blue, from Mr. Redstone himself, and then be followed by two days of silence from both Mr. Grey and Mr. Freston, stunned Hollywood's power elite," the Journal observed. For his part, Redstone told today's Los Angeles Times: "Tom Freston should have made the announcement, but it was apparent to me he didn't want to, and I understand why: Because he's in the talent business." Redstone, in his interview with the Wall Street Journal, also said that he had received "congratulatory calls" from Dreamworks co-founder David Geffen -- who reportedly engineered the sale of the studio to Paramount -- and Imagine Entertainment founder Brian Grazer. "It is about time that the industry started dealing with these stars in a different manner and let them know that they are not going to get big money and act in a way that is inappropriate and embarrasses the studios," Redstone said.