When I was about 12, my father, an investment banker, asked me if I wanted to go into finance just like he, my uncles, and grandfather all had. I told him absolutely not because finance is too much about being dishonest and unethical. When I told him I’d rather work in the entertainment industry he called up my uncles, told them my thoughts on finance versus entertainment, and had a good laugh.
Ethical scenarios in show-business are different than most of the scenarios we’ve looked at so far. Where as cases like Enron and Nike focus on the ethics of a big giant corporation manipulating little common folk, often times in show-business it’s the little guys manipulating the big ones. Perhaps that’s not the best way of putting it; it’s more like larger than life guys manipulating a larger than life industry or company. The industry is chock full of interesting of ethical/unethical situations from David Geffen forging a letter from UCLA to prove to William Morris Agency that he graduated, to Ari Emanuel sneaking out of the International Creative Management office at midnight with crates of company files to go start his own company Endeavor. Among the most interesting ethical/unethical actors is Michael Ovitz, who’s been all but banished from the industry since being CEO of Disney/a power-agent at Creative Artists Agency and has publicly claimed the “gay mafia” of the industry is responsible. The entertainment industry is like an oil well waiting for a prospector (like this class).
Paper 2 I plan on tackling a few of these ethics in the entertainment industry scenarios, tying them all together, and then contrasting them with the ethical scenarios we’ve looked at in the past. Jim Berg recently left ICM after being forced out of a partner deal and took “half of the firm’s clients with him”, as someone in the industry put it. The actors within this particular industry are so intrinsically competitive that their actions sometimes border on the unethical, but if and when do they cross the line?