Low Concept

Great to Hear From You, Harvey!

Leaked emails from Hollywood big shots indicate a new trend of politeness and respect.

Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Harvey Weinstein, the politest emailer in Hollywood.

Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

In recent weeks, a number of rude and borderline racist emails between Sony executives and their movie industry associates have been leaked to the public by hackers. Now, using high-level computer tricks such as, uh, firewall barfing, Slate has obtained a number of emails from other studios and industry figures. Do fears of another hack have Hollywood on its best behavior, or is Larry David always like this? We will continue barfing the firewall until we have the answer.

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FROM: harvwein2000@aol.com
TO: foreign.indie.director@hotmail.com
SUBJECT: new cut

While I believe your film’s chances at awards-season recognition would be improved by shortening its running time, I respectfully defer to your prerogative as a director—and as an artist. Would it be possible, even, to add 20 minutes to the picture?


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FROM: warnerbrosCEO@twc.com
TO: rdly.sctt@gmail.com
SUBJECT: Cleo cast?

I really think you should consider casting Kerry Washington for your Cleopatra remake, Ridley. It’s about time a person of color played an Egyptian on screen. I’m sure you’ll agree!

P.S. We’ll double your budget if you do this. Some might say that American audiences aren’t ready for a black actor in this kind of leading role, but we’ll never know until we try it. We don’t make black movies or white movies. We make American movies.

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FROM: AriEmanuelTheFamousAgent@wme.com
TO: Michael.Bay@explosions.edu
SUBJECT: Re: Angela Lansbury

Abs. agree that she is perfect for Transformers 7. Maturity is a type of beauty.

P.S. Integrity is more important than the bottom line.

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FROM: AmyPascal@ilovescottrudin.com
TO: ScottRudin@iheartamy.com
SUBJECT: Re: xoxoxo

No, YOU’RE doing a great job.

> You’re doing a great job. Just great. So great!

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FROM: jennifer.aniston@famousactress.biz
TO: brad@joliepitt.com, ang@joliepitt.com
SUBJECT: I’ve been holding back for years, but I’ve finally worked up the nerve to tell you two …

That those candles that you bought me for my birthday in 2008 are so, so lovely. Thank you for that, and for everything.

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FROM: bestdirectorever@jamescameron.com
TO: unimportant.sfx.assistant@yahoo.com
SUBJECT: deadline extension

Take as much time as you need to get those new renderings to me. And don’t worry too much about my instructions. Film is an inherently collaborative medium, and I want the final product to reflect the unique talents and visions of the men and women working with me. You are the soul of this motion picture, and the engine that keeps this industry going. Attached is a $10 million Amazon gift card.


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FROM: Jeff@larrydavid.com
TO: Larry@larrydavid.com
SUBJECT: Bad news

Spielberg is pulling the funding from your project because of how you got caught paying the clown to spill wine at his nephew’s birthday party so you could intentionally ruin the ugly jacket your aunt bought you. Remember? You saw someone else spill wine on themselves and realized that if the jacket got stained you wouldn’t have to wear it—and that you could also use the incident as an excuse to leave the party to play golf with Richard Lewis. But you pulled the clown into the pantry to ask him about it, not realizing that Spielberg likes to sneak into the pantry to indulge his craving for Bavarian pretzels—a habit that is ironic because, as you put it during your interaction with him, such a German-manufactured foodstuff is “probably not on Schindler’s grocery list.” Anyway, that’s the deal.

FROM: Larry@larrydavid.com
TO: Jeff@larrydavid.com
SUBJECT: Re: Bad news

I understand completely. My behavior was inappropriate and immature.


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FROM: TCruise@sea.org
TO: David.Miscavige@scientology.hq

Should we consider not having our enemies secretly followed and recorded at all times by sinister nanorobots?

–Tom Cruise, the Scientologist

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FROM: tom@hanks.com
TO: booking@make-a-wish-foundation.org
SUBJECT: Re: would just need five minutes of your time for a really special kid