By: Sunnie Elliot
There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about Hollywood and social media. Has social media produced more headaches for studios and publicist than ever before? Before social media, studios and publicist had control over how a talent’s image appeared in the media and in business negotiations etc… In a recent article How Hollywood Embraced Social Media by Timon Singh. An insider states; “getting an ill-advised word out to the wider public required a TV camera or a gossip columnist; social media eliminates the middleman and enables an actor to broadcast to millions in an instant.”
Today an actor can be more involved in shaping their image than ever before…. This has to be attractive to any artist who wants to play a more active role in their career. It has taken studios and publicists awhile to catch up and figure out a way to get more control over the talent and social media. It appears today, studios have written into contracts that actors are not to super-cede studio press releases by way of social media.
Could the reason for studios trying to gag the talent, be due to their anxiety over a multi billion-dollar film riding on one actor? There is no doubt this could be the majority of the concern. Actors are up front and have a direct relationship with the consumer than a director, studio or publicist. The ability for an actor to change public perception by way of their middle finger is huge. A studio producing a film marketed to teens and pre-teens may want to create the impression the talent/actor is rated PG13 in real life. The Twilight franchise is a perfect example of a studio trying to overshadow the lead actress’s public indiscretions and bad press with good. The attempt at times has resembled an intense media blitz.
Although, Hollywood has had a long history of controlling what an actor can say in the media. The invention of social media seems to give actors more freedom and ways to get around the gag order written into contracts. Is it possible for studios to keep actors from using social media? Is this a loosing battle for Hollywood when the ideas for social media are still growing and changing?