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Influence peddlers

<i>Variety</I> divides uber-agent Ari Gold and disgruntled scribe

The following is a series of emails, written in the fall of 2001, between one time wunderkind writer Peter Baynes-Schnider and his agent, Ari Gold. At the age of 26, Schnider created the NBC hit “My Girl Meredith,” which ran from 1990-1995 and sold into syndication, earning Schnider in excess of $100 million. Currently, Gold is one of the senior partners of “The Agency” in Beverly Hills. Schnider lives in Nassau County where he is professor emeritus at Nassau Community College. He is now working on his biography, which he plans to self-publish.

Dear Ari
I must say it’s been a while since we’ve interacted like in the good old days. First off, let me congratulate you on your incredible success. While I won’t be so bold as to say as one of your first clients I jumpstarted your career, you will forever be my agent (even if I can only get your assistant on the phone now, ha ha).

Anyway, I have a small problem, and I would be honored if your greatness would take a stab at solving it. This Variety reporter, Brian Lowry, has set his sights at ruining my latest show, “My Pal Sal,” calling it “an insulting, elitist romp through Middle America.” If you read the pilot, you would know that there are both Latinos and Asians in the apartment building (residents, not just workers). Lowry’s simply an ass with a computer and a power trip. Anything we can do?

— Peter

 Peter —
Live well, Peter, it’s the greatest revenge.
— Gold

Hey Ari —

I don’t mean to be pushy, and I know you are a very busy guy but this is important, and I really don’t ask much of you. As I stated rather generously in my previous email, you are still my agent. Perhaps you’re pissed that I haven’t been in touch and then sprung this on you. I would love to get dinner. Perhaps the Grill (on you, ha ha). Just please do something about this guy first.

— Peter

 Hey Peter —
Any suggestions on what you’d like me to do? Would you like me to have him killed? My new rapper client, Rock Solid, is possibly a sociopath as well as a very gifted actor. I could have him shoot Mr. Lowry when he’s released from prison in June (he’s serving three months for indecent exposure).
– Gold

Ari —
I’d like you to at least get angry. Show some emotions. Like I used to show sympathy for you back in the ’80s, when I was flush full of cash and you were just a lowly assistant getting blown off by strippers at Crazy Girls.
— Peter

 Peter —
am angry, Peter. So angry that you, a man who made 100 million green American dollars, can spend time worrying about what Brian Lowry thinks. So take comfort in that and go sit by your Olympic-size swimming pool, Peter. Go shoot hoops on your indoor, Staples Center replica basketball court. Go order a hooker or two and remember what your life could have been had we not made it to 100 episodes.
— Gold

 Ari —
Stop writing “Gold,” you incredibly pompous jackass. I wrote a sophisticated pilot, a pilot that the N.Y. Times said, and I’m quoting, “… is a show that the UPN should kill for.” This guy Lowry belittles and demeans it and is doing everything he can to try and take money out of my children and my ex-wives’ mouths. You are a powerful man. I had a hand in making you such. PLEASE DO SOMETHING OR I WILL FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN.
— PETER

 Ari —
You have not written me back. Are you ignoring me?
Helllooooooo …..
— Peter

 Ari —
I still pay commissions there you know.
— Peter

 Ari —
I knew you were a jerk from the very first day I met you. Do you think there’s anybody in this town who doesn’t know you mocked up that Harvard diploma at Kinko’s? My fourth wife told me you tried to molest her in Echo Park the night of my Showtime premiere. You are an animal. How do you sleep at night? A man who lives off the talents of others with no discernible talents of his own is no man at all. YOU MAKE ME SICK AND I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NOTHING BUT MISERY.
— Peter

 Schnider —

Once you go after my family you’ve gone too far. Let me say this, YOU ARE A HACK. You always have been a TALENTLESS HACK. Your one hit show was garbage, written with the wit of an autistic 4-year-old. But you were a friend, and I was connected at the networks. That’s why it got sold. BECAUSE OF ME! Not because of your writing. Now you may be asking yourself, how did it go six years? I brought in a second writer who helped you turn that piece of crap into the piece of crap success it became. Bob Wyman was my client who I begged to do it. HE THOUGHT IT SUCKED. But he did it because I asked him to. Oddly enough, he’s had four hit shows since then and you have had none. Doesn’t that tell you something? So not only should you be thanking your lucky stars for the 100 million-dollar payday you got but you should be KISSING MY ASS every chance you get. Now, Peter, I hate critics like Brian Lowry just like you do. But I don’t go after them. I pity them for where they’ve found themselves. And none do I pity more than the TV critic. Because those guys, Peter, have one job. To watch crappy hack writers’ shows like yours all day and night.
— GOLD

 
Ari —
My show has been cancelled.  I HOPE YOU DIE.
— Peter

Ari —
It’s been six months, Ari. Are you not talking to me?
— Peter

Ari —
If this is his assistant reading this, has Ari Gold left the biz? I didn’t read anything in the trades.
— Peter

Ari —
I’ve got a great pilot and I’ve got Courteney Cox attached.
— Peter

Peter —
Send it over and stay gold.
— Gold

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