MICHAEL DAVIS: You’ll never work in this town again

Michael Davis

Master Of The Universe, Lord Of All Media, Most Interesting Black Man In the World, Sexiest Man on Earth, Mentor, Writer, Artist, Producer & Uppity.

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17 Responses

  1. Elayne Riggs says:

    Well done, Michael. I think it's important to note that just because individuals claim they haven't had (or do not think they've had) experiences being victims of racism or sexism, it doesn't mean that (a) discrimination against groups of people doesn't still exist or even (b) that they themselves haven't been discriminated against and just don't know it. If I'm in the minority of women who, for instance, have never been sexually harassed on a subway, it doesn't mean that harassment isn't endemic. It just means I'm one of the lucky ones.

  2. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    "There is actually a report that some watch dog group does that list just how many blacks, Asians, Latinos, etc. are featured on TV."I love that report. I always wondered how they count people like The Rock, Dean Cain and Jessica Alba. It's right up there with when the PTC counts all the sex and violence on television. They count people honking horns as acts of violence.You spend a lot of time talking about how a lot of the time people are hated because they themselves are unpleasant individuals, yet you use the widespread hatred of Hillary Clinton as a sign that we have not progressed as far as a nation as we should. So if people hate you, it's cause they just hate you, but if someone hates Hillary they're a sexist? I have a problem with that. To be fair, that unspoken "If you don't vote for her you're a sexist" implication will indeed get her votes from well-meaning mushes out there. It's a popular dodge, and has been used quite often in politics, sometimes not based on gender.Personally I don't think Hillary's gender has as much to do with her success as her last name. If her name was Hillary Smith, with the same upbringing and education, I don't think she'd have become a Senator, and there's no WAY she'd be a seriously considered Preidential Candidate. She's the closest the Dems will get to a third term from Bill, and as much as she tries to distance herself from him, he's really her only selling point.

    • Steven Grant says:

      Um… why wouldn't they count The Rock? He's half-black and half-Samoan. I don't see how that excludes him from minority status.

      • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

        I meant I wondered how they get counted when counting members of particular demographics and/or minorities. Does Tiger Woods count as black, asian, both, or half of one each? It's the very fact that we have so many people of mixed ethnicities that makes these penny-counting method of clocking people to determine how many of each group are employed seem so silly. I keep hoping more people will remember that "not by the color of their skin but the quality of their character" bit in the speech.

        • Steven Grant says:

          I think you're missing the point: there aren't really enough of either group, or most minorities, employed in front of the camera in media, in proportion to white actors, that which slot a particular actor falls into affects the results. "Not the color of the skin but the quality of their character" (and talent, I think we have to add) doesn't really mean it's perfectly permissible to pretend you're ignoring skin color, since, in TV, almost no one does. If it's not a "black" show (like, say, EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS) you're not very likely to find a black actor in a lead role on a TV show. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but there's no reason that, say, NUMBERS, couldn't have been cast with blacks in the three main roles as the family members – the FBI agent, the math whiz brother, their father – and have the same show. Except it WOULDN'T be the same show, because the instant you center a show around black actors, Hollywood believes they have to center the show around "black issues." Or Asian, or whatever minority. Put a woman in a central role, she has to deal with "women's issues." Why? Because she's a woman. So it's far from uncommon for producers and networks to NOT cast "those types" in prominent roles. Why? Because they don't WANT to do "those stories." Is anyone FORCING them to do "those stories"? No, and I imagine there are many minority actors who would love to work on shows where THEY aren't forced to do "those stories." But producers/studios shy away from casting them in prominent roles on the premise that NOT doing "those stories" if those actors are cast would be unacceptable to "the audience." And what this allows them to overlook or disguise is their belief – which is NOT racist or sexist, oh no – that casting minorities in lead roles will cause "viewers" to tune out. So their underlying argument is that it's the viewers who are racist or sexist, not them, but they've still got to meet their bottom line, so what can they do?I mean, that's the system there. And you can't just say, "Well, you shouldn't take skin color or sex or sexual orientation into account," because they'll tell you they don't, and they believe it.I think you're underestimating Hilary's appeal and qualifications, even though personally I have no use for her.

  3. Mike Gold says:

    Vinnie, I don't think you're aware of Senator Clinton's background and experience. She has the educational and political chops to compete with anybody running for president today… for what that's worth. Yes, there are some who will pose the anti-Clintonites as sexist, but there are a lot of people whose hatred for Mrs. Clinton comes from her last name and not her experience and skills. She's not my favorite candidate — I don't think Gravel has much of a chance, and there's a couple between him and Clinton — but I'd vote for her over any of the Republicans running today.

    • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

      I said given that her background and experience were unchanged, I feel she would not have advanced as far in politics as she has (if at all), and I stand by that opinion. She's using her husband's name and reputation to gain inroads, placing her in the same camp (in my mind) as Yoko Ono and Courtney Love, just on a far grander scale, and her husband is not (to her credit) dead. If they could, they'd keep her off television altogether, ask everyone to "vote for Clinton", and an all-too large block of voters would think they were voting for Bill. (I'm reminded of the Eddie Murphy comedy where he ran for Congress using the same name as the recently dead incumbent, and many voters just remembered his name and voted for him.)I feel she's being put up as a candidate because solely they think she will win, and not as much because she is the best person for the job. Last time they went with an uncharismatic cipher, almost believing they could nominate a can of foot powder and win the election. (Much in the same way I always envisioned a bar bet between Lucas and Spielberg: "Just you wait, I'll put all this crazy crap in Episode 1 and they'll STILL all come and thank me for the privilege!") This time they're front-loading the fight and putting up their best guns that people will have that first good impression of, and not worrying as much about how they'll do once the confetti is swept up.Your statement that you'd vote for Clinton over any of the Republicans (tho I'm pleased you didn't say "any Republican, period") is indicative of too many Democrats today – the "anybody but Bush" mentality that has plagued the country in the last 7-odd years has further marginalized the entire Democratic party in many eyes, mine included.This ties into the other thread we've commented in, in that the Democrats have done very little of what they said they'd do when they gained the majority. It's not even a case of getting bills passed that the President shot down, they're never able to get anything out of Congress, or they pass their little non-binding resolutions that have all the importance of…well, this thread of commentary. How will a Democrat in the White House change that?

      • John Ostrander says:

        Hey, Vinnie — how much difference do you think a Dem in the WH the last — oh — six or seven years would've been? I'm guessing a lot. It's not just the party, it's the individual. Hillary isn't just coasting on Bill's name — there are a lot of people out there who hate her because she is Hillary. That was one of MY major concerns — I'm not convinced she'll win except for the fact that the Repub pickings are so poor. OTOH, I thought Bush was a joke when he started running and had no chance of winning. Guess I was wrong on that.I think racism and sexism is just as alive as homophobia these days and I think our esteemed Mr. Davis is right about that. Not every case is about race, sex, et al. I had a guy who once told me I had problems with him because he was black. I toild him he was wrong; my problems with him was because he was an a$$hole and he'd be an a$$hole is he was chartreuse.And in case you haven't noticed, "Anyone but Bush" seems to be the sentiment of the country right now. To paraphrase Comic Book Guy — Worst President Ever. Not just because of Iraq although that's plenty. The Katrina/New Orleans fiasco, the staggering national debt, the undermining of liberties, ignoring all the evidence on climate change because he's in with Big Oil — do I need to go on? The thing I'll agree with Mike Gold and others from my own thread is that I do not doubt that he is sincere about what he believes he is doing. Sincerity, however, doesn't mean competence.If anyone has been marginalized, it's Bush. Just look at vhow all the Repub nominees (with the exception possibly of McCain who seems to have a Nomination Deathwish) are distancing themselves from him. Act of Political Survival.As for nominating someone they think will win — well, yeah. That IS the purpose of the exercise. "Best person" is subjective anyway.

        • Mike Gold says:

          John, you said "I thought Bush was a joke when he started running and had no chance of winning. Guess I was wrong on that." Well, no, I don't think you were wrong at all.Vinnie, you said "I'm reminded of the Eddie Murphy comedy where he ran for Congress using the same name as the recently dead incumbent, and many voters just remembered his name and voted for him." John and I are Chicagoans, and we're used to his: Carter Harrison II mayored the city from 1897 to 1905 and from 1911 to 1915 after Carter Harrison I mayored from 1879–1887 and again in 1893 (he was assassinated by a single lone gunman); Richard M. Daley is serving his, what, 99th term after daddy Richard J. Daley mayored from 1955 to 1976.But the beautiful part about voting in Chicago, which I started doing when I was 4 1/2 years old (no shit), is that the dead can actually vote for the dead. No wonder John Landis is a Chicagoan !

        • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

          "And in case you haven't noticed, "Anyone but Bush" seems to be the sentiment of the country right now." But to quote Mr. Roger Waters, The Tide is Turning. News coming from Iraq is positive enough that the NY Times, AP and numerous other sources have written stories to the effect of "Mighod, we could actually win this". Bush's approval ratings are creeping back up, and more people are considering that we may well have had the correct plan all along. It's far from perfect, but the very fact that there's positive progress at all casts statements like "The war is lost", not to mention those who said them, into serious question.And I could go for HOURS on global warming. I'll summarize – I believe Global Warming is the first successful packaging of the (completely positive and neccesary) message "Do not pollute so much" that the environmentalists have ever pulled off. Unfortunately they've done SUCH a good job that they've got people in an unsubstantiated panic over a series of extreme nightmare worst-case scenarios (fueled by the wonder word "if") that are portrayed not only as if they will assuredly happen, but according to a strict (and short-term) schedule. Ecology didn't work, Woodsy the Owl didn't work, Global COOLING didn't work, the hole in the ozone failed, but turning the newspapers into the script of an Irwin Allen movie went over like gangbusters. Getting off the oil habit is vital, and should have been started decades ago. But as long as certain politicos will vote against windmill farms because they're too near their family homesteads (in Massachusetts), and other groups will maintain that Nuclear power is a sin against man and god, though no less than the founder of Greenpeace has said it's our best bet for large-scale alternative energy source, we'll never get much done. Washington on the whole is intersted in what Alan Moore has called "The illusion of change, as opposed to actual change". Far easier to convince people to use flourescent bulbs than to buck the trend and actually spend money on something controversial.

          • Mike Gold says:

            Interesting that you use the phrase "unsubstantiated panic" when it comes to global warming but not to Iraq.And, no, we can't win Iraq. Bush never defined what a win is. Is it making the area stable for the first time in 1300 years? Is it rendering the "nation" harmless to Americans? Is it ending Islamic terrorism as it affects us in America? Is it ending Islam entirely? Is it making the area safe for Dubaian exploitation? Bush can't seem to make up his mind.We live on an ever-shrinking planet, a planet were the United States of America is hatred for the great works of George W. Bush and Oswald Cobblepot Cheney. These clowns have screwed up everything they've touched and we are in greater physical danger now than ever before because of it.So if "winning" means "safer" in any way, we ain't winning.

          • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

            Placing the hatred of the entire world solely in the laps of Bush and Cheney is, at the least, a simplification. Terrorists have been targeting the US (and many other free nations) for quite a few years, well before Dubya took office. We didn't start reaming the world suddenly in 2001. But it's easier to lay the blame at Bush's feet, since he's the current face of the opposition.I don't recall "ending Islam entirely" ever being mentioned as a goal of anything or anyone since the Crusades or so. Yet it always seem to pop up in conversations like this. And if making the area ripe for exploitation was the goal, I think we could've done that by now. But we spend a great deal of time trying to rebuild the infrastructure of the nation, when all we'd really need to do is secure the oil fields and open up the spigots. That's another one that I always hear about – talk of these "master plans" Conservicans have, that curiously enough, never seem to be put into play, no matter how long they hold power. All told, I AGREE that going into Iraq and taking out Saddam was badly timed, tho doing it was something that practically every leader in the last decade and change has said was a good idea. I get the impression that Iraq was like the world's equivalent of that one wimpy kid in your grammar school class that everyone knew was safe to pick on. he's an easy target, and you knew he couldn't fight back. But then one kid actually hits him and makes him cry, and all the other kids back off and say "hey man, that wasn't cool…"Having said that, the mythical "Pottery Barn" statement by General Powell is fairly valid – we need to clean up what we broke, regardless of how crappy a state it was in when we got there. And if doing so will result in one less potential hiding place for terrorism, and perhaps provide a more stable influence on the middle east, I think that's a good thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Vinnie from what I know of Michael, he is not "Unpleasant" as you depict him. He simply takes no crap! He has a wonderful sense of humor and people who really know him, love him. But love him or hate him, he is upfront about who and what he is. How you read "Unpleasant" because some people would rather not work with him (and he's honest enough to say it) is beyond me.

        • Mike Gold says:

          Well said, Anonymous.

        • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

          A matter of misread semantics; which I'm happy to clarify. I didn't call Michael unpleasant, nor did I intend to suggest he was. I mentioned his (reasonable) point that some people are disliked just because of who they are, and not their gender/ethnicity. I used "unpleasant" as a summarization, but did not say HE was unpleasant. I brought up the point to compare it to the (IMHO unreasonable) suggestion that in Hillary's case, it IS because of her gender, and is symptomatic of how far we have yet to go as a nation. Michael does use himself as an example of a person who people chose not to do business with, not because of his demographic, but "because some people in positions of power did not like [him]", but I did not intend to say, imply or intimate that the opinion was, in fact, warranted. Apologies for the nebulous grammar and the resultant confusion. To quote Barry Farber, "I'm sure you didn't mean to infer what I did not intend to imply".

  4. Ami Angelwings says:

    *claps* Yay! I agree with everything you've said and esp how you can make the distinction that altho not EVERYBODY is sexist, or racist, or homophobic, it still DOES exist, sometimes even subconciously. :)I find it dumb that they'd want your concept but not you doing it tho. Tho I guess it happens a lot, but it sounds very insulting. :( Did you ever get it published or nething? :O Sorry, I'm new here :(

  5. Michael Davis says:

    Ami-I'm doing the project with another publisher. In fact there are 2 who are interested. But before I go and finalized a deal I want to try the original publisher again. Hey all they can do is say no. Hey-love your name BTW