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BP Oil Spill Makes Good PR for Hollywood's Costner and Cameron, Bad for BP's Hayward, Obama

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 19, 2010 at 9:38AM

The BP Gulf oil spill is playing better for Hollywood players James Cameron and Kevin Costner, who seem to be genuinely helpful, than hapless BP oil exec Tony Hayward or President Obama, who lacks the gravitas to act like the Daddy-in-charge. (Some pundits say that Obama is a better communicator than he is an actor--which is not always a good thing.)
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Thompson on Hollywood

The BP Gulf oil spill is playing better for Hollywood players James Cameron and Kevin Costner, who seem to be genuinely helpful, than hapless BP oil exec Tony Hayward or President Obama, who lacks the gravitas to act like the Daddy-in-charge. (Some pundits say that Obama is a better communicator than he is an actor--which is not always a good thing.)

Hayward is becoming the man Americans love to hate. I've never seen someone with such a bullseye on him. He seems remarkably dim-witted about putting his best PR foot forward, as he not only famously expressed wanting "his life back," but after a day of incommunicative "I don't know" Capitol Hill testimony, he attended a weekend yacht match. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. Idiot move.

Meanwhile a Hollywood film critic gives as smart an assessment of the oil crisis as anyone. All hail Roger Ebert.


This article is related to: Directors, Politics, James Cameron


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.