Monday, June 24, 2024

Paramount Pictures Crumbles as Fall Slate Marked with Disasters, Beloved Female Exec Exits Claiming Gender Discrimination


It’s not fun to report that Paramount Pictures is crumbling before our eyes. Under the late Brad Grey they were steady and fun to work with. There were plenty of hits and lots of good will. It was a Renaissance for the studio.

But now my old pal Megan Colligan, who’d risen to be worldwide president of marketing and distribution, is exiting after 11 years with the company. Literally loved by everyone who deals with her, Megan put together a crack PR team on both coasts and did a superlative job.

With her exit she’s claiming gender discrimination. Her lawyer told “Megan had no choice but to leave after enduring a pattern of gender bias and discrimination. The disparate treatment of women by Paramount is evidenced when you unfold the truth of the exodus of high-level women in recent months. At least four other women have left and we believe that there are more to follow.”

Since Grey was forced out and died almost simultaneously (something that still boggles the mind), Paramount has gone into free fall. They blew it with Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” They are currently grasping for a lifeboat on “Suburbicon.” And coming next is Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing.” Three strikes and you’re out.

On top of that trio, we have “Daddy’s Home, Part 2” or whatever it is, coming fast with Mel Gibson. This is designed to normalize Mel Gibson. This is not happening. Mel Gibson is anti Semite and a racist. His team can try it, but Gibson is not waltzing back into Hollywood. No way.

What a shame that Paramount has taken this turn. I thought new president Jim Gianopolous would set the ship straight, so to speak. According to Deadline, Colligan sent this memo to her troops today:

To my incredible team,

I’m writing to let you know that today I am leaving Paramount. I’m indebted to you for your hard work, inspired talents and true professionalism.

You are a team in every sense of the word. You never give up and never give in, n o matter how great the challenge. You are true collaborators who respect one another, but are never afraid to challenge one another.

You will work yourselves tirelessly to get the job done, but will always find a way to make one another laugh.

You made me to proud to come to work every single day and I will miss you all very much.

Thank you for everything and I look forward to what’s next.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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