The Hollywood Reporter|June 21, 2017
Top L.A. shrinks advise on what makes four kinds of high-ranking studio execs tick — plus their secret anxieties.
There are many paths to getting to the top in Hollywood, meaning that power can be acquired with different styles. THR spoke with leading L.A.-based psychologists who work with executives in the entertainment business to find out how to understand and read the various types of clout emanating from corner offices.
Though the dynamic has declined somewhat in recent years, Hollywood is renowned for bosses who assert power at the top of their lungs. Some of the more notorious include Scott Rudin, Harvey Weinstein, legendary network exec Fred Silverman and the late Dawn Steel. Jeff Blume, a Beverly Hills-based psychologist, says these types succeed because yelling creates the perception of power: “Often people who are screaming are seen as people who make decisions forcefully, especially in Hollywood, where so many decisions have to be made and many people have difficulty making decisions.” Critical parenting is often the origin of this type. “As adults, they demand that others meet unrealistic standards, what is called ‘other-oriented perfectionism,’ ” says Philip Pierce, a clinical psychologist and producer-screenwriter. Or “they don’t know how else to handle stress, so they become a bully,” notes Blume. L.A.-based therapist Siri Sat Nam Singh, star of Viceland’s The Therapist, in which he speaks with music stars (most recently, Katy Perry) about their inner lives, adds: “These are unevolved beings. When people scream, they begin to look very crazy to someone who is conscious.”
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June 21, 2017