OK technically it was an editor's note. And the day was Sunday. But it was just pointed out to me. The subject is architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's piece in Sunday's Los Angeles Times Magazine about the designs for the home offices of Hollywood agencies. Hawthorne built the piece around conversations with Endeavor's Ari Emanuel, William Morris' Jim Wiatt and, notably, CAA's Bryan Lourd.
"We didn't want our new space to be too grand in some futuristic way," Lourd said. "We're actually pretty simple in our tastes. More than anything, our clients look to us to be a rock."
"That building was designed to intimidate," he said. "And they"--meaning Michael Ovitz and his CAA partners, Ron Meyer and Bill Haber--"were proud that it made people uncomfortable. But for me, as a young agent, as somebody who was just joining the company, it freaked me out....I'm from the South, and I love the old federal buildings...they always have a grand stair like that....We think of the building as a museum...and our clients' ideas are the art."
Except that Hawthorne agreed not to quote Lourd, according to Times editors. This note ran in the front section on Sunday:
Editor's note: A critique in the Dec. 9 Los Angeles Times Magazine about the architecture of the buildings in which talent agencies are headquartered included details from a tour of Creative Artists Agency offices given to The Times critic by managing partner Bryan Lourd. The critique said that CAA typically makes a point of keeping itself at arm's length from the press but that after weeks of back and forth CAA agreed to provide a tour by Lourd. While the tour itself was on the record, Lourd's comments from the tour should not have been included in the critique.
Well, either Hawthorne agreed not to quote Lourd or the Times capitulated to one of Hollywood's most powerful agents. Not to suggest, of course, that the LAT has become addicted to access for the celebrity puff features the editors have deemed crucial to Calendar...and Image...and the Magazine..and The Envelope...and The Guide...and sometimes even Home. Remember when the place where the Times tried hardest to emulate "Access Hollywood" was the Hot Property column?