Vanity Fair has long been the darling rag of Hollywood. It publicized filmmakers, and filmmakers returned the favor by turning out in droves to the magazine’s annual Oscar party — the swankiest of the year.
But the publication recently took a slightly less asskissy turn, particularly in its treatment of the production nightmares that plagued Brad Pitt‘s pet project “World War Z,” and in an article about Tom Cruise‘s creepy Scientologist underground.
So Gwyneth Paltrow is fighting back.
“Vanity Fair is threatening to put me on the cover of their magazine,” Paltrow allegedly wrote in an email to pals (via the New York Times). “If you are asked for quotes or comments, please decline. Also, I recommend you all never do this magazine again.”
Threatening? Oh, yeah. Because you hate being on the cover of magazines, right? What’s the deal here?
Well, Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair since 1992, is a 64-year-old man with a billowing tuft of grey hair and — if Rupert Everett is to be believed — a “monster cock.” He’s always been a journalist first and a socialite second. When he got the job at VF, one of the first people he signed on was the late Christopher Hitchens, a smart move by all accounts.
But Carter’s also been accused of mingling with the Hollywood elite, his subjects, a bit too much. There have also been accusations of conflicts of interest.
For example, Miramax Books cut Carter a $1 million check for his book “Spy: The Funny Years,” all while he was simultaneously running excerpts of other books from Miramax — and maintaining a friendship with the Weinstein Brothers, who own the company. Producer Brian Grazer also authorized a $100,000 “finders fee” for Carter for his suggestion that “A Beautiful Mind” be adapted for the screen.
So if anything, it seems Graydon has been too kind to his subject matters, not the reverse.
But then came the Tom Cruise story, which alleged that the actor held “auditions” for a wife. (Hey. It’s plausible.) But after Cruise’s legal team predictably squawked loudly about the claims, Carter responded with the following:
“We wouldn’t be doing our job if there wasn’t a little bit of tension between Vanity Fair and its subjects. In any given week, I can expect to hear from a disgruntled subject in Hollywood, Washington, or on Wall Street. That’s the nature of the beast.”
Indeed. But it is strange Gwynnie would assume Vanity Fair is planning a hatchet job on her. Let’s examine briefly the magazine’s 2013 covers thus far.
Two issues were dedicated to deceased celebrities (Audrey Hepburn and Princess Diana, respectively). One was a “comedy issue” with various comedians. Another was a photo retrospective of sorts. Four months had, essentially, puff pieces with Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington and Channing Tatum gracing the covers. And finally, the June cover had the negative “World War Z” story. That’s nine months with only one negative cover story.
So what, exactly, is Gwyneth so afraid of Vanity Fair digging up? What might a woman who publicly admits owning a $798 pair of leggings fear? What does she think her friends might say about her?
Maybe she’s a lizard person. Or she secretly owns the entire Nickelback catalog. Is she a shitty driver? (Yes.) Who knows?
Regardless, it’s prime time for the Vanity Fair offices to get an anonymous “deep throat” call reporting that Gwyn was spotted digging through a dumpster behind In-N-Out and ravenously devouring leftover fries.
We’d totally read that.