Geffen, Redstone trade barbs in article
So is there a cease-fire between DreamWorks and Paramount? Reading the new Vanity Fair story about the Geffen vs. Redstone battle, it’s hard to decide.
In the piece, penned by Bryan Burrough, Geffen goes on a rant about Redstone’s camp, saying the sale of DreamWorks to Paramount has turned out to be a “poor choice.” This was prompted when Burrough explained that Redstone’s people blamed Geffen for making Redstone and Par look bad in the press.
Continuing, Geffen said, “Redstone is accustomed to bullying people. And I will not be bullied. There is no fight I will run from. I am absolutely unafraid of Sumner Redstone.”
For their part, Redstone’s people tell Burrough that Geffen doesn’t scare them. “What are we supposed to do? Bend over some more? Uh-uh, no more.”
But then, just before the article goes to press, Geffen tells Burrough that he and Redstone have cleared the air.
“So Sumner called up, he apologized to me for anything he said that may have upset me. I apologized for things that may have upset him,” the article says. “And we don’t have a problem with each other. We may still have problems between Paramount and DreamWorks. But not with each other.”
Hmm … still problems between Paramount and DreamWorks?
In terms of any new insights, Burrough suggests Geffen took up arms because of Spielberg, who had wanted to sell DreamWorks to Universal, a point DreamWorks vigorously denies.
One Viacom exec said that Burrough conducted his interviews in August and early September, reiterating that the situation has indeed improved since then between the two camps.
Another thing that’s changed since then — DreamWorks’ winning streak at the box office came to a dramatic end in October with the disappointing box office perf of Ben Stiller laffer “The Heartbreak Kid” and the even worse opening of “Things We Lost in the Fire.”