“Hollywood’s Most Exclusive Club Is Password-Protected on Zoom – Agent Richard Weitz produces Quarantunes-combination concerts and house parties for the glamorous and homebound.”

“Los Angeles Times”:

“Inside Zoom’s exclusive A-list, invite-only, money-raising-juggernaut quarantine party”

“Rolling Stone”:

“Hollywood’s Exclusive Zoom Parties: Creators Share Top Moments – From Kermit the Frog singing with Josh Groban to Alex Rodriguez attempting to buy the Mets mid-stream, Richard Weitz’s Quarantunes has brought celebrity flare to the quarantine”

If it’s so damn good, make it available to all.

This is what’s wrong with America. The elite telling the punters that they’re inconsequential, not good enough, not smart enough, not connected enough, not rich enough to get into the club.

In case you’re out of the loop, and if you’re in the entertainment business I doubt you are, an agent at WME has been holding private Zoom parties with his daughter and they’ve become the in-club of in-clubs in this Covid-19 era. Household names galore, from Gavin Newsom to Alex Rodriguez to every performer you’ve ever heard of, from Luke Bryan, to Jackson Browne to Gal Gadot to…

Supposedly they’re fundraisers. Fine, the public doesn’t have any money? Last time I checked, there are a lot more members of the hoi polloi than there are richies. And, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren proved that they can raise just as much money from the public as the fat cats and corporations if the cause is right.

Once upon a time, musicians railed against corporations.

Now they are corporations. They go on about their fans, but then they can’t turn down a private, have no backbone, will do anything for money and opportunity…meanwhile, their fans, who truly keep them alive, get nothing more than lip service.

Welcome to celebrity culture in the twenty first century.

It’s not only D.C. that is whacked, but Hollywood too.

WME/Endeavor…a house of cards that even Wall Street wouldn’t buy. Meanwhile, Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell get $160 million each. That’s right, the company can’t go public, but they still got their dough. And if you’re following the Writers Guild fracas…the scribes are complaining that you can’t be both buyer and seller. Every client is entitled to his own attorney, you’ve got to sign off on conflicts if you want to use the same lawyer, but those rules are irrelevant in the talent agency world, because Endeavor needs to make that money, never mind that Silver Lake Partners is a major shareholder. And private equity is never a charitable operation. It’s based on outsized returns to its investors, the goal is to hit a home run, no, forget that, a grand slam, outpacing the stock market and other investment vehicles at large. Do you think the writers are gonna get a piece of that upside? Ari and Patrick did, but even the agents did not. As a matter of fact, they agreed to forgo income for lucrative payments when the company went public, which it was unable to do, which it’ll probably never be able to do, not in this incarnation.

Talent representation doesn’t scale. So, assets like the UFC are purchased. So, talent becomes second class, the agents who represent talent become second class, but it’s just too bad, you shouldn’t complain, you should be thrilled that you get to work with these titans of the universe!

Which leads us to this week’s biggest rumor. That Marc Geiger is negotiating to jump to Spotify. Who knows what will happen, but it’s demonstrative of turmoil in the ranks. After all, how much money can you make agenting anyway? Better off to jump to Spotify which is eager to invest in any music avenue that will throw off profits, that scales, as opposed to its main streaming service.

Now in a world of billions, the rich and famous cannot interact with each and every person. But they don’t need to lord it over us peons that they have access and we do not. That’s so 1990s, so velvet rope.

In other words, if you’re just an average citizen you’re screwed. You’ve got to go to work at the grocery store while the rich get delivery. The Aspen Institute gets relief money, despite its gargantuan endowment, meanwhile your employer gets none. Not only is the system rigged, they’re rubbing your nose in it!

I’m not saying every party has to be open to the public.

But I am saying during a pandemic, you don’t employ your PR people to publicize your behavior. Furthermore, if reporters get wind, you can refuse to participate, just say no. But Richard Weitz can’t say no, he’s enjoying being the talent, getting the fame, as opposed to those he represents. Now he too can be a star! What a bunch of hogwash.

It’s a floating club and you’re not in it.

And the truth is if you’re anyone in Hollywood, you can get an invite. If you make the call, if you promise you’ll deliver in return… It’s a world of favors, you scratch my back and I scratch yours…but is this really a club you want to belong to?

I’ve been to private events that have gotten no publicity. Because those who’ve held them insisted upon it. So, everybody involved in Quarantunes could keep quiet, but no! That’s not the goal, the goal isn’t even the fundraising, the goal is to show how cool they are!

As for being invited myself…

I haven’t been.

But I’m savvy enough to know if I was I would not brag about it. The blowback would be insane. That’s another problem with the people in Hollywood and D.C., they’re completely out of touch with the public. I interact with people all day long. You don’t want to boast that you’re rich and privileged, they despise you for it.

Our entire nation is upside down.

Let’s look at the corporate titans, paid their double-digit millions. In order to maintain those paychecks, they used profits to buy back shares, so their stock would go up. So when a crisis occurred, there was no money in the coffers, they had to go begging to the government for relief, for OUR money! After all, most of these corporations are international outfits that pay little or no taxes, and we’re supposed to be fine with this because they’re our employers…huh?

The rich get lower taxes, and we lose services. There’s not enough money for schools, never mind arts programs in those schools. Art is superfluous, it’s only for the privileged who can afford enrichment programs.

And there’s no national conscience. Complain about inequality and you’re labeled a socialist, you’re excoriated for class warfare. Don’t they get it, that there’s already class warfare?

If Richard Weitz were smart and insightful, and he’s neither, he would immediately post these Zoom parties on YouTube for the public to consume shortly thereafter, with a button to donate to boot. He’d take suggestions for performers from the regular people, the little folk. Hell, he could even turn it into a competition, with an ongoing chart. Hell, he could base the chart on donations. But NO! Quarantunes isn’t about money but exclusivity. Richard Weitz and his minions are part of the problem, not the solution. And they need to be called out.

That’s another problem, members of the club refuse to criticize, refuse to cry foul because they’re afraid they won’t be invited next time.

Who’d want to be a member of this club of tone-deaf wankers constantly telling us they’re better than we are?

Not me.

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