August 25, 2006
Richard Lovell, president of Creative Arts Agency–the talent management company of which Cruise is a client–is now exclaiming his anger over the star’s abrupt exile from the Paramount lot. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the CAA president criticized Viacom head Sumner Redstone for his very public admonishment of Cruise’s behavior, and chastised the media conglomerate for its ostensible lack of leadership. In fact, Lovell is so up-in-arms about the whole situation that the agency may put the kibosh on all future business dealings with Paramount.
Is this sudden outcry of support for Cruise due in part to his Scientology pals? In a word: no. Paula Wagner, Cruise’s producing partner and former Paramount lot-mate, was once herself an agent for the talent management company. She also happens to be married to Cruise’s current rep at CAA, Rick Nicita. No doubt a little bit of spousal prodding–and perhaps some big favors being called in–resulted in the public display of support.
Other power players in Hollywood aren’t so critical of Viacom’s decision. In fact, they’re applauding the action taken to banish Cruise from the land of Paramount. Both David Geffen of Dreamworks SKG, and power producer Brian Glazer reportedly offered congratulatory phone calls to Redstone shortly after his controversial announcement.
In response to the positive reinforcement, Redstone offered these fighting words:
“It is about time that the industry started dealing with these stars in a different manner and let them know that they are not going to get big money and act in a way that is inappropriate and embarrasses the studios.”