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There was also the oversight of not being named to succeed James Truman as Condé Nast’s editorial director, though Carter at one time coveted the job. Not to mention the distinct lack of buzz for this year’s stale Hollywood issue, which itself provoked questions about Ellen Barkin’s photo spread and whether it was a sop to her husband, Ron Perelman, the Revlon magnate, who is a Carter pal.
Speaking of friends, sources tell L.A.Weeklythat, over the past three weeks, Graydon inside and outside his magazine offices has been attacking the very Hollywood players he plays with: heads of big media, heads of studios, heads of networks, heads of agencies, managers, producers, etc.
The insiders — who are from the boldfaced ranks of New York’s media, business and literati circles — say Carter seems to launch his diatribes the same way: “I don’t know how anyone works there . . . ,” before segueing into an overwrought condemnation of the entertainment business in general — “Hollywood is filled with nothing but scumbags” — and then a specific targeting of persons whom Carter individually called “scumbags.”
The two people most often named by Graydon, according to these insiders, are Katzenberg and Grazer — the same two Hollywood bigwigs who have been regulars at his Oscar party, who see him socially in L.A. and N.Y., who once offered him an absurdly lucrative gig to work for their joint Internet venture, the short-lived Pop.com.
The insiders quote Carter as complaining that the DreamWorks partner doesn’t act “like a real friend” to him anymore. “Graydon says Jeffrey calls him twice a year, harangues him on projects, and then he doesn’t hear from him again,” one source related. Another heard Carter grouse about the huge money Katzenberg made from the recent DreamWorks animation IPO (initial public offering).
Someone close to Katzenberg expressed shock at the revelation, speculating that if there is bad blood between the two men, it may be an Oscar-weekend rivalry.
For three years now, Katzenberg has organized a smash night-before-the-Academy-Awards party that’s the exact opposite of Carter’s glitzy photo op — casual, no media, no photographers, “nothing but a good time,” one insider explained. “It’s an unbelievably star-packed event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, so Graydon may see it as a serious threat to his czardom as the Oscar party giver.”
Actually, it’s Katzenberg who should have a bone to pick with Carter, not vice versa. The last time Katzenberg attended the V.F.party, Graydon sat him at a terrible table, even though this was the year that DreamWork’s Gladiatorwas nominated and later won. Carter put Katzenberg not just “very, very far back in the room,” according to a source, but also seated him with Monica Lewinsky. “To someone who had been a huge Clinton person, like Jeffrey, it was like a slap in the face.”
As for Grazer, he was Carter’s first real friend in Hollywood; later, Carter would even join Grazer’s mogul gang on vacations to Cuba, Brazil and the like. Sources quote Carter as saying that he believes it was the Imagine producer who ratted him out to reporters for receiving that ABeautifulMindfinder’s fee paid by Universal at Grazer’s request because of Carter’s nagging. A source close to Grazer confirms that, after the stories came out, “There was tension, between Graydon and Brian and others mentioned around that time. It put Graydon on the outs with the people he’s counted on.”
The source continues, “As far as I knew, it got all resolved. But I don’t know what ‘resolved’ means in this town. Do you just file it in your mental Rolodex? If that’s true, then it’s not nice ragging on your friends. It doesn’t sound like it has any morality to it.
“But, what else is new?”
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