Jennifer Lopez makes uncharitable demands
November 2, 2001 5:46 AM   Subscribe

Jennifer Lopez makes uncharitable demands and The Smoking Gun has all the evidence. Basically - she was supposed to be filming a brief part of a video for the Marvin Gaye song "What's Goin On" - which is being released as a charity single. But Lopez demanded (amongst other things) a 45 foot trailer, CD player, TV/VCR complete with a white room with white flowers, tables, curtains, curtains, candles and couches, a vast amount of fruit and desserts, over 40 CDs (specified individually) and flowers. She was on set for 90 minutes and didn't go near any of it! Charity begins at home...
posted by barbelith (35 comments total)

 
Jennifer Lopez is a self-centered prima donna. And the news is .... ?
posted by darren at 5:52 AM on November 2, 2001


I think the news is the SCALE of her self-centered prima donna. I think that's like saying Hitler was a bad man, and the news is...?
posted by barbelith at 5:55 AM on November 2, 2001


I think the news is the SCALE of her self-centered prima donna. I think that's like saying Hitler was a bad man, and the news is...?
posted by barbelith at 6:01 AM on November 2, 2001


Meanwhile, yes, it is for charity, but a CD featuring 9 bad cover versions of a song whose original can never be improved upon? Who the hell is going to drop $17 on 9 versions of the same song, 9/11 and AIDS charities benefitting or otherwise?
posted by Dreama at 6:06 AM on November 2, 2001


Me like dumb threads now-but am going to wait for Mariah Carey one...
posted by y2karl at 6:10 AM on November 2, 2001


> a 45 foot trailer, CD player, TV/VCR complete with a
> white room with white flowers, tables, curtains, curtains,
> candles and couches, a vast amount of fruit and
> desserts, over 40 CDs (specified individually) and
> flowers.

Sounds absolutely indistinguishable from the quarters demanded by and provided to the performers at the most recent, disastrous, Woodstock rock festival. I actually think this is pretty typical for big-name touring acts who've graduated from staying at the Holiday Inn.
posted by jfuller at 6:14 AM on November 2, 2001


Good point - although people bought that Tom's Diner thing all those years ago. Hmmm.

I'm actually gradually becoming immune to the ludicrousness of celebrity lives, ever since starting work with TCN a month or so back. The stories that I have had to read each day - you honestly wouldn't believe them. George Clooney's pig gets run over, Puff Daddy thanks his gay uncle for his dress sense, that Gwyneth Paltrow has uncontrollable sexual needs... It's bizarre.

But the thing that sticks out more than anything else is how completely spoilt they can be. COMPLETELY unaware of anyone else around them. This J Lo story got to me just because of its monumental stupidity - I couldn't actually BELIEVE that she could be so stupid...
posted by barbelith at 6:14 AM on November 2, 2001


But jfuller - for NINETY MINUTES!? for CHARITY!? That's a bit different from a huge rock concert, right?!
posted by barbelith at 6:16 AM on November 2, 2001


1. Who cares? You have nothing better to talk about than this?
2. Envoking Hitler violates Godwin's law, and this thread must be, by law, ended.
posted by jpoulos at 6:31 AM on November 2, 2001


Contract riders are just easy ways to bash celebrities. I'd like to believe that a celebrity can just ride a bike into town, show up, do the gig and bike home. Sorry, if you want J-Lo or most any other celeb you're going to have to play by their rules, a lot of which make sense [ever spend a lot of time on the road?] and some which are over-the-top pampering. The charity is the one calling them, not the other way around. Complain to the United Way. If the UW brought in David Duke for a speech am I going to be pissed at Duke or at the UW's poor choice of speaker?

I'd also like to believe that the charity is some kind of victim, but they know exactly what they're getting into when they go the route of celeb handling. Not to mention charities aren't exactly quick to disclose where their money is going. The United Way isn't exactly above criticism itself.
posted by skallas at 6:31 AM on November 2, 2001


Exactly. She's on the set for 90 minutes, and yet 40 music CDs are an absolute requirement? How much of that music can she listen to in 90 minutes? This is just another disgusting example of "because I'm famous and I can."
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:31 AM on November 2, 2001


Yeah - quite! I mean - she's supposed to be there to work right? Fit in the work into the 90 minutes and yuo've not got enough time left to deal with the chocolate biscuits and the white flowers...
posted by barbelith at 6:48 AM on November 2, 2001


I think that this really has relatively little to do with J-Lo herself, and more to do with her management. Managers for stars seem to feel that it's an essential part of the maneuvering to ask for as much as possible on these riders, as if it somehow establishes their diva status. It's part of some interminable war between managers and promoters. It's stupid, but I don't think it necessarily reflects directly on the perfromer herself (although of course who she surrounds herself with says volumes).

Pointless anecdote: many years ago I was part of a group of people who decided we wanted to bring Wild Man Fischer to Michigan for a concert. (For those of you who have no idea who he was, Larry Fischer was a goofy guy on CA mental health disability who made up silly songs, kind of a Daniel Johnson* type; Frank Zappa plucked him off the street and made him a minor celebrity for a while.) So anyway, the process went like this: someone talked to Larry's mom on the phone and got an address. We sent a bus ticket to that address. A few days later, Larry got off the bus in Pontiac and said "I need to take a piss!!" And that was pretty much the whole extent of his diva-hood. He did a show, hung around until he was driving everyone crazy, we put him back on the bus, and that was the end of the story.

*I'm not going to explain who Daniel Johnston is.
posted by rodii at 6:49 AM on November 2, 2001


The ridiculous thing about demands like these is that stars will continue to get all of the things they ask for, and as long as that happens, they will ask for more and more outrageous stuff, untill their career tanks and they realize that people around them don't actually give a fuck about them anymore and suddenly C. Thomas Howell is suing them for assault.
posted by bob bisquick at 6:50 AM on November 2, 2001


Hey, I made those same demands during salary negotiations...
posted by adampsyche at 6:52 AM on November 2, 2001


Those celebrities! They act like we're going to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about no matter what they do! What do think we are--idiots with nothing better to do? It's an outrage!
posted by y2karl at 6:55 AM on November 2, 2001


rodii- that was pure magic. really, that made my day....madman fischer. Did lopez pay for these amenities?
posted by clavdivs at 7:17 AM on November 2, 2001


I'm really not into defending Jennifer Lopez in general but did anyone else notice that there's nothing on the photocopied paper to directly link this rider with the charity event?
Riders such as these are fairly typical at this level of "entertainment"; now you could argue the point that none of those "'artists" deserve such bennies but there you go . . .
posted by jeremias at 7:27 AM on November 2, 2001


The actual documents don't mention Jennifer Lopez nor do they mention the gig. Is there a chance that those docs are nonlegit?
posted by Darke at 7:31 AM on November 2, 2001


Also, it should be pointed out, that these riders are generic: they are distributed by management to everyone who hires the star; they don't re-write them to suit the delicate sensibilities because it's not worth the time.

Also, Lopez may have spent only 90 minutes on the soundstage, but what about transit time? What about other costs she incurred? Opportunity costs, even?

What I most want to know is if the rider was even followed beyond the green-for-white couch substitution. Riders are often ignored, since most performers will do their schtick anyway, rider fulfilled or not. We only hear about their bad days...
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:40 AM on November 2, 2001


Well there's always a chance, although The Smoking Gun is pretty cool and reliable...
posted by barbelith at 7:40 AM on November 2, 2001


Hang on - not worth the TIME?! How many gigs do they do?! And how much do they get paid for them? You telling me that they couldn't draw up two or three variations for different circumstances?
posted by barbelith at 7:43 AM on November 2, 2001


"My name is Larry.
My name is Larry.
My name is Laaaary.
My name is Larry."

ah, Wild Man Fischer. Eight years old, listening to Dr. Demento. I think he only demanded a 30-foot trailer, five 8-track tapes and some cereal.
posted by billder at 7:43 AM on November 2, 2001


In reality, that rider is probably just a generic list of requests that gets attached to all of her performance contracts. The person who has poor judgement here was the zombie at her booking agency who probably just automatically submitted it for the video shoot without thinking.
posted by spilon at 7:47 AM on November 2, 2001


For comparison: Mojo Nixon contract rider. "Bathroom or three piss jars."
posted by Gilbert at 8:10 AM on November 2, 2001


Godwin's law does not state that the thread must end; it simply states that a comparison with Nazis or Hilter will occur.

You can find Godwin's law here.
posted by hadashi at 8:20 AM on November 2, 2001


> Godwin's law does not state that the thread must end; it
> simply states that a comparison with Nazis or Hilter will
> occur.

Riders attached by general Usenet convention are that the thread ends and whoever first invoked Hitler or Nazis is considered to have lost the argument. It isn't obvious that Usenet conventions must transfer to community-blog discussions but this one sure is useful (everything seems to remind some folks of Nazis...)
posted by jfuller at 9:02 AM on November 2, 2001


jfuller, I witnessed the same convention and its not the thread that ends its the argument of the particular poster. The thread is neutral, switzerland style.
posted by skallas at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2001


jpoulos: Envoking Hitler violates Godwin's law, and this thread must be, by law, ended.

Down with your oppressive laws, you fascist!
posted by crunchland at 9:58 AM on November 2, 2001


> The thread is neutral, switzerland style.

Ah. Closet Nazis.
posted by jfuller at 11:32 AM on November 2, 2001


Back when I was a youngster and booking bands I had never seen a rider until we had an English band come through town. My partner and I scrambled all day to make sure that they had everything...not that it was a lot (if memory serves mainly stuff like candy, beer and a vegetable platter), but we were used to just handing over some drink coupons and making sure that the band had a square meal and a place to stay for the night. When they got there, they actually laughed that we had gotten them everything on their rider. Even their manager laughed. So I imagine it is a generic rider, but I don't know if "stars" have the same sense of humor as English space-pop bands.
posted by kittyloop at 12:29 PM on November 2, 2001


My guess is her reps sent the standard appearence rider, and just didn't bother to draw up a new one for this gig.
posted by sixdifferentways at 4:07 PM on November 2, 2001


Did you read about J.Lo and her magic butt?

Some favorite moments: J.Lo is not just an actress. She is not just a singer. She is not just a celebrity. She is a movement.

and maybe

I don't want to see her go to jail FOR RIPPING OUT YOUR ORGANS WITH HER BARE HANDS!
posted by NortonDC at 10:15 PM on November 2, 2001


Clearly this was her typical tour appearance rider, that doesn't excuse sending it in this instance. If the staffers that work for these celebs can't do anything better than that, they clearly aren't worth their 15-20%, which can be quite a chunk of money when you're on the JLo level. It's not a huge faux pas, it isn't inexcusable, but it is sloppy, and it's damaging to the reputation of the artist who ends up looking like a slothful, greedy, ignorant git through no fault of their own.

As an aside, barbelith said: George Clooney's pig gets run over. When did that happen? Poor piggie. Poor George.
posted by Dreama at 1:30 AM on November 3, 2001


What the hell reason are these "superstars" making all these millions for anyways?

She can't fucking upgrade her own rich, ample ass? What a vacuous product of American culture! As if. . .
posted by crasspastor at 2:29 AM on November 3, 2001


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