In the week since Ron Meyer stepped down as vice-chairman of NBCUniversal, the mystery of why he had to go and what was really at the center of this scandal, which has now engulfed several Hollywood titans, has only deepened. In recent days more information has come to light about the world of Ron Meyer, but the more information that comes out, the less sense the entire affair, and his downfall, seems to make. It all may say more about how Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, boots an executive to the ground in what many in Hollywood see as a particularly brutal manner.
The revelations come amid a rare sense of sadness in which the town speaks of the events befalling one of its most universally beloved figures—a marked departure from the festival of Schadenfreude which typically envelops these downfalls, as it had with his former CAA co-founder Mike Ovitz, in his slow slide down the totem pole. Meyer is a valuable commodity with an enviable Rolodex, and within hours of his departure he was fielding calls not only of commiseration but of future business opportunities. It also comes at a moment when, thanks in part to the coronavirus’s economic impact on the town’s fortunes, many of Hollywood’s institutions are crumbling, and new players are seizing on the weaknesses. Just this week, all of the big three talent agencies—CAA, WME, and UTA—were scrambling to contain an exodus of young agents decamping to start their own firms. One of those firms is being bankrolled in part by Steve Cohen, the billionaire hedge-funder and jumbo donor to Donald Trump.