Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Never too young...

You're never too young to embarass yourself in the Hollywood trades, it seems.

Monday I was engaging in the unfortunate but amusing practice of trolling through the middle pages of The Hollywood Reporter. The least read pages in the least read Hollywood trade is truly a disturbing cesspool of beyond lame news, masturbatory features, and "congratulatory" ads.

I happened upon a real gem Monday in the midst of a "special issue" the Hollywood Reporter devoted to the momentous occassion of the 100th episode of "My Wife and Kids." Amongst the fascinating articles about this brilliant contribution to the American arts are many ads from various companies and individuals involved in the show congratulating exec producers Damon Wayans and Don Rio. These are typical.

What's not typical is that one of the ads was taken out by Noah Gray-Cabey, who is apparently a regular on the series. He appears to be six or seven. And his managers or agents or someone took out a half page ad congratulating the producers in his name. Which I can only assume means with his money. Apparently they convinced his parents that a few thousand dollars from the trust fund would be better spent on an ad in the trades than on his college tuition or something else trifling. Isn't this kind of thing prohibited by some kind of child labor law? It should be.

(Separely, I'd like to briefly quote from one of the articles. It's a Q&A between someone at the Reporter and Rio and Wayans. This is actually a question posed by an alleged journalist: "The show has consistently brought in viewers since the pilot aired in 2001. Why do you think 'My Wife and Kids' appeals to such a wide audience?")

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