On Saturday night, two tables of moguls and their wives were wined and dined at TV & movie producer Leonard Goldberg’s swanky home at a dinner party in honor of that geriatric Viacom jerk Sumner Redstone. Among the guests were present or past major players Mike Medavoy, Joel Silver and Les Moonves. Well, it turns out today Hollywood is talking about Brad Grey — because Sumner outed Brad during the meal. Sumner told the gathering that Brad explained to him that the reason Dreamgirls wasn’t nominated for an Oscar was because “everyone hates David.” As in Geffen, who controlled the rights to Dreamgirls and greenlit the project at DreamWorks. That the Viacom boss would be so indiscreet in such a public setting defies belief. To be fair, Grey made his comment in a private setting. [This corrects previous. To clarify, Grey himself was not at the dinner. Instead, Redstone at the dinner repeated what Grey had said to him.] But I’ve already warned Grey that the sharpest knives in Hollywood are out to get him, and that everything he does and says is being repeated around town. Even by his boss.
I’ve already written about Brad’s boorish behavior before, during and after the Golden Globes dinner and the bad blood between his studio and Dreamworks. And all my reporting was backed up two weeks later by Claudia Eller’s Los Angeles Times piece which ran on Monday. (Even down to my scoop back on September 5th that Geffen called up Redstone as soon as Tom Freston was axed and suggested that the Viacom octogenarian hire Jeffrey Katzenberg to run the whole she-bang. But that Redstone said, fuhgeddaboudit.) Meanwhile I disagree with Brad: though he posited that the Dreamgirls snub was due to dislike of Geffen, I opined in my Oscar nominations analysis that it was due to envy of Geffen. Big difference. But, more to the point, doesn’t Brad know that everything he says will get back to David? “Does Brad have a death wish?” an insider asked rhetorically this morning. Indeed, few have taken on David Geffen and lived to tell the tale. (Just ask Robert Towne, John Branca and Mike Ovitz.) P.S. The person whom Brad Grey unseated at the Golden Globes’ Babel table was none other than John Lesher, whose Paramount Vantage released the film.