Car Culture Entitlement Runs Rampant In Film Industry Rag

12_15_09_clooney.jpgStill gets free parking.  Photo: Hiding in the Lignt/Flickr

I don’t write too often about the film industry or celebrity business here because the lives of L.A.’s celebrities seems to be in a different universe than the one most Angelenos live in.  When there’s something exciting or different going on, such as the "Rebel Without a Car" production of "At What Price," we certainly take notice.  But a story forwarded me today is so dripping with Car Culture outrage, it was just too good to ignore.

Sharon Waxman, a columnist at The Industry rag, The Wrap, spends her most recent column spewing outrage at the power-agency Creative Artist Agency (CAA’s) decision not to validate for vehicle parking. 

This was a shocking breach of Hollywood etiquette just months after
the talent agency moved out of Mike Ovitz’s I.M. Pei-designed lair in
central Beverly Hills.

And it was particularly painful because some of us had already noticed that
parking was a sickening $34 for a couple of hours. That rates as the
highest parking fees uncovered by Waxword in a completely unofficial
Hollywood survey.

Now I’m told that the agency has saved
something like $800,000 a year by cutting out validation.
Paradoxically, I’m also told that the agency had a fabulous year, and
that all the senior people are getting their bonuses.

In short, CAA decided to save over three-quarter of a million dollars by requiring that people who do business with them to either pay for a parking fee or FIND ANOTHER WAY TO GET TO THEIR HEADQUARTERS.  I get that traveling to Avenue of the Stars isn’t the most pleasant trip, I’ve done it myself by bicycle, but Waxman doesn’t even consider other options besides driving and paying the fee.  The outrage continues.

Doesn’t seem right to me. As a result of this un-hospitality,
visitors to CAA   – really, I’m not kidding – have taken to parking at
the Century City mall about a half-mile away, and walking to the
hulking glass monolith. At least at the mall you get two hours for
free. I’d like to see Natalie Portman and Nic Cage taking that hike.
No, seriously.

You know what’s really awesome about this?  The Metro 16/316 runs down Santa Monica Boulevard and drops people off a couple of blocks from CAA’s offices.  I know that CAA didn’t make the decision for the good of the environment and because they’re Shoupians at heart; but this sense of entitlement oozing from Waxman’s writing, that it’s CAA’s job to pay for her transportation choices, is just overpowering.

Oh, and seriously? I would be willing to bet that Portman and Cage don’t cruise for parking.


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