The Most Feared Woman in Hollywood

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Ben Cohen
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by Ben Cohen

A great piece picked up by Simon Owen on the most feared woman in Hollywood - a 55 year old blogger with an insiders knowledge of the business name Nikki Finke. She runs the blog 'Deadline Hollywood Daily', and is by all accounts, not to be messed with. From the NY Times:

Right now, there’s a good chance a Hollywood executive is leaning
into a colleague’s office and quietly asking, “Did you see what Nikki
just wrote?”

That would be Nikki Finke, a well-traveled newspaper reporter who has found her moment as a digital-age Walter Winchell.

In the three years since she started Deadline Hollywood Daily, a
daily blog about the entertainment business, her combination of
old-school skills — she is a relentless reporter — and new-media
immediacy has made her a must-click look into the ragingly insecure id
of Hollywood. 

Among movie executives, the stories of Ms. Finke’s aggressiveness
are legion, but they remain mostly unspoken because people fear being
the target of one of her withering takedowns.

“I’d prefer not to ever deal with her,” said a senior communications
executive at a studio who declined to be identified. Many others
declined comment saying, variously, “she gave me a nervous breakdown,”
“she terrifies me,” and “there’s no percentage in me saying anything to
you about Nikki no matter what it is.”

I live in West Hollywood (although am originally from London), and grew up around the entertainment industry. I won't go into detail, but I have close family members who work/know many of the people featured in Ms Finke's blog, and generally speaking, its a very, very accurate depiction of what happens at the top end of Hollywood.

The insane amounts of money that changes hands between the top execs is sickening, and the nature of the business is not for the faint of heart. You have to really love what you do to make it in the industry, and it will swallow you live if you don't develop a very thick skin. It's an industry built on ego, insecurity, greed and incredible shallowness.

Personally, I can't imagine dedicating my life to an industry that essentially exists to distract people from serious issues and is responsible for turning millions of teenage girls into anorexic, celebrity obsessed idiots. But I do respect how hard people work there, and there are other sides of the industry that make it a very appealing place to be. I know many wonderful people who work in the business, and all of them are incredibly humble, very creative, and work extremely hard (and that includes the above family member). And thankfully, Ms Finke spends a great deal of time ripping apart the people who make their lives difficult. Definitely a worthwhile endeavor if you ask me.