What we can learn from the Fat Jew debacle

Re: Fat Jew, there's a lesson here for folks who hope the industry will help them "make it" in show business. Increasingly, the industry is just looking for someone who has a "platform." If you've got 5 million followers, they will give you a deal. Execs care about numbers more than talent or originality. They chase more than they create. They say things like, "If ‘Ghostbusters’ is still shooting, they should find a way to put in Amy Schumer." (That's an actual quote from Variety.) It's annoying but also liberating. You can lament the decisions of the gatekeepers or you can realize the gate is wide open already and make something that people dig and follow. Then, the gatekeepers will come to you and ask you if they can build a gate around the land you already own.

Update: Posted this stuff in replies at Facebook version of this post.

I don't think the quality of the content matters at all to these people. If you have the followers, they'll give you a deal. Figure out how to do that making stuff you're proud of...or be a butt model. The choice is yours!

Other than the whole stealing content thing (which is obvs terrible) this guy has done a brilliant job of building a platform and gaining followers though. Most comedians are terrible at doing this. We throw up occasional funny tweets and hope that they will magically turn into gold. This guy took a methodical, businesslike approach to building a platform and that is why the industry is interested in him. Comics could learn something from that aspect of the story. Josh Spector at Connected Comedy writes about this frequently. Comics would be wise to heed the advice being given there rather than just complaining about the injustice of joke thievery.

Too often, comics romanticize the industry as some sort of comedy guardian angel that will swoop down and turn them from a pumpkin into Cinderella. Truth is 90% of 'em are dudes looking at spreadsheets who say things like "We need to put Amy Schumer in a Ghostbusters reboot because LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS."

OK, hope this post goes VIRAL so I can say LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS. Also, I'm currently listening to The Smiths. "In my life, why do I give valuable time to people who don't care if I live or die?" Morrissey knows all.

1 comment:

aalap said...

Morrisey's ancient proverb holds up!
If it's not love, than it's bomb that'll bring us together.

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