Middle-aged White Man Sh-t
I know it doesn’t really have the same ring as Girl Sh-t or Boy Sh-t but I will try to make this worth your while.
In one corner, we have noted Hollywood asshole Dana Brunetti. I’ve mentioned him in Smutty Social Media a few times. Vanity Fair has described him as “openly disliked and secretly beloved”. He’s undeniably successful and his credits include Fifty Shades, House of Cards, The Social Network and Captain Phillips, as well as a short stint as president of Relativity Media (we’ll get back to that). He is not just a “behind the scenes” guy, he also likes attention and has fought Chrissy Teigen (over his then girlfriend, Kate Cassidy) and the Producers Guild (over his 50 Shades Darker producer credit) on social media.
Then there’s noted hotheaded Alec Baldwin – a man I’ve described as his own worst public enemy because he would rage about the paparazzi one day and sell his baby photos the next. As his family grew, he seemed to calm down, making him less of a pap target (because, as I said at the time, they were always after Alec’s reaction shot, not the family). His new memoir Nevertheless includes an anecdote about one of his films, Mini’s First Time (I had not heard of it before this story). The Hollywood Reporter has a couple of short quotes, but basically Alec wrote that he didn’t realize Nikki Reed was underage during filming and when he found out, he flipped out on the producers (meaning Dana Brunetti).
This is where it gets testy. Brunetti emphatically denied this entire story – he said Alec did know Nikki was underage (not that there’s a seedy implication here, it seems like everything was above board in terms of labour and SAG laws) and that the “flipping out” never happened. Alec then took to Twitter to dispute Dana’s version in THR, and then it was a full blown Twitter bitchfest. It starts with a tweet from a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter. Meet me on the other side.
@ABFalecbaldwin @TatianaSiegel27 @NickGuthe @NikkiReed_I_Am You're a fool. She just came off a movie called 13!! Do I need to bring in the other crew to vouch that you knew?? @NickGuthe wanna weigh in— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 5, 2017
@ABFalecbaldwin @TatianaSiegel27 @NickGuthe @NikkiReed_I_Am @matchgameabc You mean my Oscar nominated films? Nice plug by the way. When are you gonna come out to the 310 with a chain and show us how it's done?— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 5, 2017
@DanaBrunetti @TatianaSiegel27 @NickGuthe @NikkiReed_I_Am @matchgameabc Do me 1 favor? Just teach me how to bankrupt a company like Relativity. I want to put it in a screenplay I'm working on.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) April 5, 2017
Oh. Get the waiver.
@ABFalecbaldwin @TatianaSiegel27 @NickGuthe @NikkiReed_I_Am @matchgameabc @MattDelPiano So it is either you lied or are a daft idiot who claims you didn't know the age of your costar you spent weeks on set with. Which is it?— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 6, 2017
But this is my favourite part:
The problem with Hollywood is they cower to blowhard bullies like @ABFalecbaldwin. He can't handle when someone like me stands up to him.— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 5, 2017
@DanaBrunetti No wonder Spacey fired you.— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) April 5, 2017
@ABFalecbaldwin More lies. No wonder Kim divorced you.— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 5, 2017
It’s a sh-t show, right? And dirty. Alec can’t help himself and has to knock 50 Shades (which is kind of rich, considering Alec basically admits he is hosting a game show for the paycheque) and Dana hits back by calling him a bully.
But what kills me is the Kevin Spacey dig (which refers to Dana leaving Relativity after less than a year). That’s Alec taunting Dana with some inside baseball. And does Dana take the high road? Hell no, he couldn’t find the high road with a GPS. Instead, he brings up Kim. F-cking. Basinger. The bane of Alec’s existence for many, many years. The ex he spent years publicly fighting. There’s petty, and then there’s bringing-up-Kim-Basinger-in-a-fight-with-Alec-Baldwin petty. Even Remy Ma would be impressed by this.
And not only are they treating us all to a show, but Dana tried to drag other people into the fight, tagging Nikki Reed, Alec’s agent and the film’s writer and director Nick Guthe. (Per the THR article, producer Evan Astrowsky and Nick both back-up Dana and dispute Alec’s claim, though neither of them seem as fussed about it as Dana.)
Dana, who continued to lay out his position in numbered tweets (you can read more here) says he doesn’t give a sh-t about the lie, he just doesn’t want to bear the brunt of it.
If Alec wanted to lie, fine, but to then to throw us under the bus while doing so? Not on my watch. https://t.co/N2s8auQEyX— Dana Brunetti (@DanaBrunetti) April 5, 2017
And Alec seems to get a few details wrong in his memoir (per THR and Dana): Nikki was 16, not 17. He was 46, not 47. And Dana said Alec did in fact yell at him once but it was over the phone and had to do with a producer and financier. So is this Alec telling a tall tale or is it simply a case of a faulty memory? Was there a bust-up that Dana wasn’t a part of? (He concedes that Kevin and Alec could have had issues, but he insists Alec knew Nikki’s real age the entire time.)
The real question is… why would Alec kick this hornet’s nest? I would guess that most people don’t remember or have even heard of the movie. It’s not like it was a scandal he needed to explain away. The movie didn’t break any laws.
You know who this anecdote will probably embarrass? Nikki Reed. She’s the Nancy O’Dell in this situation, minding her own business and doing her job while Trump and Billy Bush talk about her on the bus. Except instead of laughing about moving on her “like a bitch” they’re arguing over whether or not she was old enough for nudity and whether or not a waiver was required. If anyone should be fussed about Nikki Reed’s age, shouldn’t it be Nikki Reed?! Now she has all of this collateral bad press and attention over whether or not she was old enough to do the film. Without context, it’s hard to understand why Alec would have even included the anecdote in the first place and if he considered how Nikki would feel when it came out.
So in the case of blowhard vs hothead, I’m calling a draw. They will either continue to trade insults or, in a few months, they will meet for dinner at an Italian restaurant, puff chests and make up. Then this will be turned into a plot line for Boss Baby 2, starring Alec Baldwin and produced by Dana Brunetti.
Here's Alec Baldwin promoting his book at Barnes & Noble Union Square in New York the other day.
D Dipasupil/ Taylor Hill/ ANGELA WEISS/ John Lamparski/ Getty Images