Hollywood Ethics: Variety’s Conflict of Interest Problem

That show biz media “bible”, Variety, finally seems to have reached the point where it can no longer pretend that its inherent conflicts of interest don’t exist. The magazine is simultaneously in the business of promoting movies, TV and stage shows, accepting expensive ads from producers, and depending on inside access for its reporting,  yet it purports to offer objective critical reviews of the output of the very people and companies whose patronage it depends upon to exist. It’s an impossible balancing act, and truth be told, Variety reviews have never had much credibility in Hollywood or anywhere else. But whatever pretense of integrity the publication had came crashing down with a lawsuit by Calibra Pictures, a small independent film company that had signed a $400,000 contract with Variety in which the publication promised to help Calibra’s new release, “Iron Cross,” ( featuring the final performance of the late, great, Roy “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!” Scheider, who died in 2008) find both a distributor and critical acclaim. [ Ethics Violations #1 and #2Dishonesty and Breach of Integrity: Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and don’t sell your independence and objectivity] Continue reading