Byline: Lisa Lockwood / With contributions from Peter Braunstein / Jacob Bernstein / Valerie Seckler, New York
SCENE AND HEARD: How do New York’s media and entertainment elite feel about “A Beautiful Mind’s” controversial win for Best Picture? Judging by the responses of the guests at the Entertainment Weekly party Sunday night at Elaine’s, most were unswayed by the smear campaign. “I’m not a Hollywood guy,” said Bill O’ Reilly, whose first novel was recently optioned by Mel Gibson. As for the behind-the-scenes Oscar push: “It’s ruthless. Nobody’s keeping an eye on those guys.” Author Gay Talese was a bit more philosophical. He saw schizophrenia as a metaphor for life. “I identified with how screwed up we all are,” he said. “Here’s a person that is many persons, but we’re all many persons.” He named the film as his choice for Best Picture. Writer-DJ Anita Sarko said the same thing, only blunter. “Who gives a flying f— what they did or didn’t include? It’s a movie. I loved it.” Candace Bushnell’s gay issue? “I wish straight men could be more like gay men.” As for her Best Picture choice? “They all deserve it. There’s always someone who wins and says [in their speech] they’ve been working on a film for 10 years. I mean, I can’t even make a relationship work for two.” Ethan Zohn, “Survivor’s” latest winner, thought he had more in common with the night’s Oscar winners. Comparing “Survivor” and the Academy Awards, he said: “They’re both about who you know, who likes you the most, who is the most popular.” Yeah, but what’s harder to win? “‘Survivor,’ definitely.”
HEARST-GO-ROUND: A veritable flurry of executive movement at the never-say-die Hearst Corp. At Cosmopolitan, Rachel Hayes has been promoted to deputy beauty director from beauty editor. At Marie Claire, Amber Rodriguez has been named accessories editor, replacing Jennifer Hung. For the past year, Rodriguez freelanced for Teen Vogue. Prior to that, she was accessories editor at Allure. Beau Quillian has also joined Marie Claire as fashion editor. He previously held the same post at Mademoiselle. Genevieve Monsma has joined as deputy beauty director, a new position. Monsma comes from Cosmogirl, another Hearst magazine, where she was beauty director. Succeeding Monsma is Molly Nover, who was formerly beauty editor at Sephora.com.
KMART’S MULTICULTURAL MOVE: Was it serendipity or clairvoyance? Just hours after the unprecedented triumph of African-American actors at the Oscars, Kmart, the $37 billion mass marketer operating under bankruptcy protection, rolled out the first phase of its new multicultural marketing program with the launch of a nationwide radio campaign in areas where African-American shoppers have a strong presence. The spots, created by Southfield, Mich.-based Don Coleman Advertising, Kmart’s multicultural agency of record, feature original music performed by Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans. The spots reflect Kmart’s latest effort to target the multicultural consumers who, it estimates, account for around 11.7 million, or 39 percent, of the 30 million people who shop the discounter’s 2,100 stores each week. The new marketing effort is part of Kmart’s overall corporate branding campaign, which kicked off Feb. 24. But are the words “Blue Light Special” in the new song lyrics?
PEELING AWAY: The ice is continuing to crack beneath the feet of Wallpaper editor Tyler Brule. A report in WWD earlier this month had Brule being put on a tighter leash at Wallpaper by his boss Mike Soutar at IPC Publishing, the subsidiary of Time Inc. But Brule is said to be unhappy anyway, not just with his bosses. According to one source, “He’s bored with the magazine and it shows.”
Wallpaper was founded in 1996 as a fusion of fashion and interior design, and quickly made a splash. In the last two years, though, it has floundered. “It’s gotten stodgy and it feels a little dated,” said our source. “The whole modernist idea that it represented just seems very nineties.”
For those interested, Soutar is said to be taking applications.