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Michael Douglas' Bizarre and Brilliant Media Strategy

by Jon Friedman
June 4, 2013 2:21 PM
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Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas is a genius. 

Not only because he won his first Oscar, for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in his early 30s. 

Not because he has managed to have a largely distinguished acting career for decades -- winning an Oscar for Wall Street along the way.

Because of his most recent move.

Fresh from a winning depiction of Liberace in an HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra, Douglas told the Guardian newspaper that oral sex gave him cancer and ...

To quote Ellen Foley in Paradise by the Dashboard Light: Stop right there!

That one sentiment alone -- which Douglas' publicist is now throwing cold water on -- guarantees Douglas a lifetime membership in the Public Relations Hall of Fame.

Douglas will be widely quoted and re-quoted. He will have staying power, thanks to that line. He will be immortalized in talk radio. He'll appear on year-end lists of all kinds.

He will stay in our minds for a long time. Reporters will want to interview him about any movie or TV show he appears in simply as a way to ask again about you-know-what.

Was it outrageous? Sure.

Irresponsible? Possibly.

Embarrassing? Arguably.

Brilliant? Absolutely.

Douglas works in an industry where name recognition means everything. Every gimmick is legit. If someone can concoct a way to remain in the public eye, so be it. The Kardashians gets mocked all the time and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

I salute you, Michael Douglas. I'm glad you're healthy and busy and productive. 

You manipulated the media like a maestro. You're brilliant, too.

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  • LauraLasher18 | June 5, 2013 4:07 PMReply

    uptil I looked at the check ov $8243, I be certain neighbour was like actually bringing in money part time on their apple laptop.. there mums best friend had bean doing this less than twenty one months and just cleared the morgage on there apartment and bourt a top of the range Cadillac. read more at,

  • No | June 4, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Yes, it's a brilliant maneuver for him to claim he got cancer for eatin' pussy.

  • Pascal DiMaria | June 4, 2013 2:36 PMReply

    I think it's irresponsible of you as a writer to claim that this was simply PR. There's a wide range of evidence that links oral sex to throat cancer, which you completely glossed over. We need more public figures to engage their audiences on topics like this if we want to make positive progress in dealing with substantive public health issues. Michael Douglas deserves more credit for making the statement. If Angelina Jolie is going to be praised for having a radical preemptive surgery, so should Michael Douglas.

  • Margaret | June 5, 2013 12:15 AM

    Well then lucky for him he didn't get cancer in his anus using your logic. He doesn't know how he got the throat cancer but I see no problem with him having fun with the media. This is not a comparison to Angelina Jolie as to whose cancer is more important. That is a silly assumption

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