Do rotten personalities eventually pay for it?

In the world of stardom, there are any number of people who are not very nice people, I’m sure. Do they eventually get what they deserve, and fall from grace and stop getting jobs, etc, or do they stay successful regardless of how miserable a human being they are? I would like to think that a real loser would burn so many bridges that at some point they would have no options left, but I have no idea if this actually happens in reality, or if popular stars remain successful due to their huge talents and in spite of their shortcomings as human beings.

Anybody have any ideas on this?

I have a theory about this. People like to be around “selective” jerks. That is, people who treat only some people badly and not others. This is because if your friend knocks someone else down a peg, both of you can feel good. But if your friend treats everybody well, you don’t feel as special. Jealousy is human nature.

But if you are the recipient of the rotten behavior, you tend to believe the person is nasty and evil to the core and how can anybody like this person? But if you flip the situation and look at it from the other person’s perspective, you might see that they do gain from your detriment.

It is my theory that since it is human nature to be benevolent, that jerks suffer all their lives from the terrible guilt of being nasty to other people. I think they get what they deserve in guilt, which makes them very miserable.

I fear that this might just be wishful thinking on my part. I would not expect a jerk to tell me the truth if I ask him if he is miserable, so I might never know the truth.

This is from an review of “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again” by Hollywood producer Julia Phillips (bolding mine):

In her Oscar acceptance speech for Best Picture, Julia Phillips described herself as a “nice Jewish girl from Great Neck.” Well, she got 2/3 of it right. But nice? No way.
This book is one of the greatest acts of literary self-immolation ever published. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Phillips at first, suffering as she does from a toxic mother, a workaholic father, insomnia and a Talmudic intellect.

But you get over that feeling in a hurry, as Phillips bullies, maneuvers, sleeps and stomps her way to the top, winning an Oscar for The Sting at the unheard-of age of 29. Her motto: overcompensate; overachieve. If you can’t be best, be first.

As she notes, no young person is ever ready for massive success, and her career crashed just as quickly. After being more or less fired from Close Encounters by Steven Speilberg, her life became a broken record of drug abuse, failed relationships, financial problems and closed doors gleefully slammed by those she used and abused on the way up. Through it all she makes it all seem like a big game, but the human wreckage strewn across the landscape will give the reader pause.

I think her story is an exeption. I sadly believe there are many more successful jerks in the world than those who are jerks because they became successful, if that’s clear.

Having said that, Jeremy Piven’s character as mega-jerk / agent Ari on HBO’s “Entourage” is by far the best character on this great show, since he insults everyone except his clients. Must be that selectivism The Controvert is talking about.

Hasn’t Cybill Shepherd killed her career twice by looking down on everyone she meets?

Pro athletes often “suffer” for being jerks off the field. How many advertisements have you seen with Lawrence Taylor, Barry Bonds, Mike Tyson, Latrell Sprewell, or Allen Iverson?

I recall one story where Lawrence Taylor owed a bunch of money in child support. He said he didn’t have it. The commentators noted that players with bad images don’t get into commercials and don’t have a lot of income sources after they stop playing. They don’t want their product associated with people like that, apparently.

Can’t answer this, but I do know that I’d look down on hers twice, or even more, if she doesn’t catch me.

The former if they’re dumb and/or unlucky, the latter if they’re bright and/or lucky.
Being a jerk is a disadvantage, as people will tend to shun you. But being smartly not nice, not being too burdenned with moral concerns without being a psychopath, being uncaring without being a jerk will give you a signifiant hedge.

Not specific to stardom.

I’ve heard Chevy Chase is a major prima donna and a colossal jerk, which explains why he hardly seems to act anymore.

Just off the top of my head, Al Jolson and Laurence Olivier were known to be two of the biggest sonsabitches in the industry, and they were fully employed till the day they died. They had talent and brought in money, so they got work—though everyone dreaded having to work with them.

I concur. I find this to be particularly true in business.

I’ve never known anyone that was in the motion picture industry, but just from what I read and hear reported it would seem to me that you could be the biggest horse’s ass on the planet and you’d still have no trouble getting work if people were still willing to pay to see you in a film. Let’s look at it from the producer’s angle:

I can work with Pollyanna, who is a pefectly wonderful woman and a joy to be around. Her films do OK at the box office.

I can work with The She-Bitch from Bel-Air, who is a perfectly awful woman and is hated and despised by all. Her films do BIG box office numbers and will make me even richer than I am now.

This seems like a no-brainer to me, but maybe I’m missing something (and I don’t think talent has all that much to do with it. Can you make me money? You’re hired.)

I’ve also heard things about the difficulty of Shannen Doherty and Val Kilmer, and neither of them work as much as they used to.

Yeah, but Shannon is a horrible overactor and Val has that mole thing that keeps distracting me from the movie dialogue.

I didn’t know that Shannon and Val were in any movies together!

That was bad. I’m bad.

Not as bad any moving starring Shannon and Val.

I don’t know much about movies, but in theatre very few people have the talent to be a divabitch and get away with it. Very few stars are bigger than the show, and there have been examples of people closing shows rather than let them continue with a divabitch. I could give examples and name names, but I’m not going to get into that type of noise and funk.

My thoughts on this are that most jerks are completely self centered and don’t really care if people like them or not. So if people start giving them “a taste of their own medicine”, they usually have no concept of what to do to regain a harmonious relationship. They are not introspective. They get into a pattern of causing strife and they never get out. The only thing that matters is that everything is “all about them”. And interestingly enough, that kind of person is the kind who would get into the entertainment business.

So, if they get what they deserve, would they realize this is bad karma, or would they think, they are having some bad luck?

I’ve heard that Joe Pesci was a total sumofabitch to work with and he apparently hasn’t been in a movie in 8 years (the last being Lethal Weapon 4).

But what’s the cause of him not working? His son-of-a-bitchiness or the drek that was probably Lethal Weapon 4?

I see what you’re saying; I was interested in the stardom angle, because the famous folk seem to live in a different world than the rest of us, and I wondered if the same rules applied at all.

plnnr, to borrow from your scenario, if Pollyanna is nice and very talented and will bring in big bucks, and (just to pick a name out of the blue) Shannen is a divabitch and very talented and will bring in big bucks, would the studios not choose Pollyanna in this circumstance? It seems to me like being a divabitch (or bastard) will eventually do you harm, because all other things being equal, you will lose jobs based on people not wanting to work with you.