Power corrupts everywhere. But in Hollywood, power corrupts more dramatically. Lurid accounts of crazed bosses are common knowledge among industry insiders — and some have been passed on to Entertainment Weekly. We can’t name names — but these are some of the horror stories that we have heard:
* A former network president leaned over a conference-room table and screamed, ”Shut up, you fascist!” when a programming exec suggested putting Cops on Saturdays at 8 p.m.
* An extremely successful feature-film producer moved his Los Angeles development person to New York City, then refused to pay her credit-card business expenses several thousand dollars later. In the ensuing battle, the employee says, her boss called her in the middle of the night to tell her she was ”an ungrateful c–t.”
* One independent producer regularly received pedicures during staff meetings and made the rearrangement of vegetables on her salad a part of her assistants’ job descriptions. (Another studio executive threw her lunch at an assistant because it was topped with the wrong salad dressing.)
* A successful producer, when confronted with a complaint from a female employee, responded by rising from his chair, announcing, ”This is what I think of you,” and then exposing himself.
* A major producer liked to lure his female assistants into the bathroom and would daily ask 1) whether they had had sex the night before and 2) whether they were wearing any underwear.
* A movie producer fired one of her assistants for using the wrong florist and required that another hand-wash her underwear.
* An award-winning film producer involved his assistant in his drug deals and regularly urinated into a Diet Coke can that he kept under his desk.
* A television-show producer employed his estranged wife, a former girlfriend, and the woman he jilted that girlfriend for at the same time.