Sometimes it seems as though the phrase “being employed” automatically means, “Help! I’m being harassed.” Or are we all just snowflakes, melting when we should be standing firm?
Look Out For Horrible Hollywood Bosses
by David Silverman, MA, LMFT
With the whole writing staff watching, waiting to work, our boss would be trying on pants. A tailor was taking his measurements. When he was satisfied, he told the tailor he’d like thirty pair of these pants sent to his home in LA, and thirty pair sent to his summer home.
Thirty pair? Sixty total? That’s a lot of pants. What was going on?
This took place in the writer’s room of the show he’d created. His official title was Executive producer. He was our boss, our leader, the showrunner. He made all the high level creative decisions. Without him, the rewrites couldn’t begin. The writers were ready to work.
There was always plenty of work to do. However, it felt like he was always stalling. Procrastinating. He had a hard time getting started on all the rewrites. There was no urgency.
We’d leave at 2 AM, or sometimes stay up all night. What was going on with him? Didn’t he miss his family? Did he just like hanging out with us?
After working with him for a while it became clear that he wasn’t an intentionally mean boss (like so many others),but was basically a big kid.
He liked to race golf carts around the studio like they were go-karts. One time he had a staff writer riding on the back of the cart. The showrunner decided to “pop a wheelie,” causing the writer to fall backwards off the golf cart and break his leg. He spent the next few months wearing a cast.
It kind of seemed like he wanted to show off in front of us.
One time, while the writing staff was supposed to be working, he picked up the phone and ranted at the network suits for twenty minutes and banned them from the set. Then he hung up. And laughed.
These rewrite sessions took place generally in the late afternoon, after rehearsals. The entire writing staff would gather in his office as he got ready to rewrite that week’s script. At this point he’d look for things to do instead of writing. Anything….