Ostrich alert: Only three tech people made the Hollywood Reporter’s list of 100 most powerful people in entertainment
Tech people have steadily taken over all the “lists.”
The Time 100. Certainly all the billionaire lists. Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list.
But one place where tech is still relatively unmentioned is The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment. This despite Twitter hashtags on every television show, Instagram’s power in promoting celebrity, and the fact that Facebook is actually paying celebrities to do live video. This in a world in which teens are more obsessed with YouTube stars like Tyler Oakley than they are movie stars.
Sure, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu get their due (kinda): With one slot each going to Hulu’s Mike Hopkins, Head of Amazon Studio’s Roy Price, and CEO Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos. Sarandos was the only one of the three to rank on the top half of the list at #5. The write up began, grudgingly:
As one agency partner noted, there isn’t a meal in Hollywood where Netflix isn’t discussed.
Then perhaps CEO Reed Hastings should also get a slot? Considering a handful of the list are all from Disney and the list has Shonda Rhimes and the agent who got her her TV deal?
Were the stories out of Sundance exaggerated? Because I thought Amazon and Netflix had turned the festival on its ear? Why then does Price rank a lowly 57?
Jeff Skoll -- formerly of eBay now Participant Pictures-- is on the list, but he’s long since gone full Hollywood so that doesn’t count.
One of my favorite listings was Skip Brittenham who gets credit for “guiding” Sean Parker’s Screening Room play. But Sean Parker himself isn’t on the list.
I was tempted to believe reading the list that, maybe, tech just hasn’t revolutionized entertainment as much as we think. But the list provided a few other clues that the list was simply clinging to a bygone world. Hamilton mega star Lin-Manuel Miranda, for one, made the list but only at #100. This despite Hamilton being workshopped at the White House, utterly revitalizing Broadway, and being on pace to become $1 billion Broadway show.
So, really? He’s #100? You are telling me Miranda’s power right now is that low? That he couldn’t waltz into any film, TV, or theatre producers office in the world right now and get anything he wanted? He has less power in the world of entertainment world than Chris Pratt?
There was also exactly one Chinese mogul on the list: Despite the well-known reality that China is dominated movie sales so much that movies are being written to play to the market. The lone nod was Jack Gao, whose Wanda Cultural Industrial Group bought Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion-- the first Chinese purchase of a US studio, certainly not the last. (He was #38.)
Traditional Hollywood moguls may be comfortable dominating some 95 slots on this list right now. But reality-- and the future-- is another matter.