Vanity Fair apparently landed in the Hollywood doghouse faster than you can say “Tom Cruise Katie Holmes Scientology.”
You don’t have to take our word for it; just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, who told her actor/publicist friends to stop working with the mag back in June after she soured on a planned cover story.
Even The New York Times reports that VF “has toughened its coverage of Hollywood” by writing stories about on-set problems and associated minutiae, leaving stars’ handlers miffed at their inability to manage the message. Publicist Leslee Dart says stars don’t need to grovel before editor Graydon Carter like they once did because “magazines are less relevant”, to which Carter replied:
We wouldn’t be doing our job if there wasn’t a little bit of tension between Vanity Fair and its subjects. In any given week, I can expect to hear from a disgruntled subject in Hollywood, Washington, or on Wall Street. That’s the nature of the beast.
This could be further evidence of traditional publications losing their influence in the face of blog creep, or it could simply be a change in editorial direction at VF.
Is your client an A-lister looking for a gooey puff piece with accompanying soft-lit photo shoot? According to Paltrow, you might want to think twice about pitching to Vanity Fair. We’d ask if anyone has ever had similar problems with VF‘s coverage of clients, but we know you’ll never tell us.