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Paramount Left Out Behind-the-Scenes Folk

August 15, 1993

So, Paramount Pictures--eager to lure actor Tom Cruise, director Sydney Pollack, producers Scott Rudin and John Davis into their family--offers them each a brand-new Mercedes-Benz ("The Biz" column, July 9). How sweet.

But what about the other cast, writers, technicians, artists and behind-the-scenes crafters who contributed to "The Firm"? Are they not "part of the family"? Is it only the billboard talent--already mightily compensated for their efforts--who are allowed to eat at the Paramount table?

With their millionaire salaries, the star and above-liners of "The Firm" need new cars like the Mississippi Valley needs more rain.

How much more appropriate and classier if Paramount Chairwoman Sherry Lansing had shared the film's success by making charitable contributions or public gifts on behalf of everyone involved. (Davis did reportedly opt for a charity donation instead of the pricey wheels.)

It is truly ironic and pathetic that the same studio Establishment that so vocally supported a Democratic President's promise of a fairer and more equitable society conveniently ignores that decree when it suits. The ostentation of the Tinseltown elite is becoming increasingly hard to swallow. When the disgusted laborers in this country finally decide to eat the rich, ask not for whom the teeth gnash, Hollywood. They gnash for you.

KEVIN LAUREN

Playa del Rey

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