After we all huddled in our own corners, frantically consuming the leaked Sony emails, Duana texted me:
F-ck Jolie, f-ck Jobs. I want a movie about the Pascal Rudin friendship.
It’s true. I know that most of you today are drawn to the Angelina Jolie headline but don’t let the movie star distract you from the most fascinating aspect of this entire drama: the Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin situation.
Sure, Angelina Jolie seemed to be manipulating Amy Pascal. But wasn’t Rudin also manipulating Pascal?
It’s like this:
Why are you letting Angie do this? Why are you letting her get to you? Can’t you see what she’s doing?
That, in and of itself, is a form of manipulation, non? Especially when Rudin wanted something from Pascal too, just like the Jolie.
This is how teenagers behave when they’re torn between two besties.
Why do you like her more than me? She never waits for you before gym class and I always wait for you. Why do you care if she didn’t call you? She just does it so that you’ll sit with her at lunch. I always sit with you at lunch so you should invite me to your parents’ cabin for the weekend and not her.
Basically the same thing.
Except these people are adults with a lot of money to throw at and keep away from each other. So maybe another analogy is a rich, divorced couple. There’s a lot of love and hate between Pascal and Rudin, non? It’s codependent, it’s toxic, Jesus, it might even be Liz & Dick. After all, they’ve been tangling for years, these two. Business associates, business partners, Pascal and Rudin have had a very successful working history. And this just might be the way they work together – with hostility, with aggression, with passive aggressive coercion…
You can tell in the way they communicate, in the phrasing of their emails. How he tells her that “you always do this” and almost coaches her through what he perceives to be her weaknesses.
And then how she responds back…
He’s writing long ass sentences, practically apoplectic, and she’s almost eerily calm:
“You know you can do this.”
“I would do this for you.”
It’s a really intimate way of engaging someone in battle, non?
So why should you care? Pascal and Rudin don’t cover magazines. They’re not in front of the camera. You care because they determine the destinies of the people you watch in front of the camera. With a few exceptions – hi Angie – the people we watch in front of the camera are puppets. This is what they have to answer to. This is the ass they have to kiss.