Here is a series of strange events for you: Ron Meyer, one of the longest-serving chiefs in the film industry, was summarily fired from NBCUniversal this week after revealing to his bosses that he had an extramarital affair and was now being extorted over this information. Meyer co-founded CAA back in the 1970s, and then left his agency to run Universal Studios in the 1990s, a job he held until 2013, when he was promoted to vice-chair of NBCUniversal. This is an almost unprecedented run of success brought to an ignominious end by unsavory personal dealings. Sound familiar? The guy is basically the film industry’s Hamilton: a once-promising upstart with a meteoric rise to an apex position, whose career went up in flames after an extortion plot revolving around an affair. “I don’t know how to say no to this…”


But wait, there’s a TWIST. Remember Kevin Tsujihara, the former Chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers? He was fired from that job after an affair with an actress was made public. That actress? Charlotte Kirk. The woman with whom Ron Meyer allegedly had an affair? Charlotte Kirk. I’m not here to shame Kirk. You can imagine the jokes going around social media about her, and I’m not piling on. It is remarkable that one woman is apparently at the center of the downfall of two of Hollywood’s most powerful men (boy, I can’t wait for this biopic), but it is important to note that Meyer’s comments sound like a third party attempted to extort him after finding out about his affair, saying, “…other parties […] have continuously attempted to extort me.” During the Tsujihara mess, Brett Ratner accused Kirk of extortion via text, so now, of course, everyone is assuming she did the same to Meyer even though, again, he himself makes it sound like the extortion attempt came from someone else. (Also, why is anyone taking BRETT RATNER at his word?)

It is also remarkable that another powerful executive lost his job because of an affair. (Meyer has also stepped down as chair of the Academy Museum.) This is what has really changed in the industry over the last few years—any hint of impropriety, even consensual impropriety, is enough to see very powerful men ushered out the door. This is the same industry that used to suppress the vilest of crimes through the most underhanded and illegal means, and now they can’t bear even a HINT of scandal. Although this is more than a hint of scandal, this is Broadway-musical levels of scandal, but you know what I mean. There are consequences now.