This Melena Ryzik Carpetbagger piece about the security guys who handled the Manhattan premiere and after-party for It’s Complicated is sharp and briskly paced. But a major point is side-stepped. Security goons are solid and disciplined and nicely dressed, but they don’t know who anyone is and they don’t want to know. They refuse to be street smart. This is why they’re called goons or apes — because they insist on fulfilling the definition of these terms.
If you’ve been invited by a publicist handling an event and have a series of e-mails on your iPhone to prove it, the goons will refuse to even look at them. They don’t want to know anything. They will only acknowledge what the list tells them, or what their superior (who also doesn’t want to know anything) tells them. They refuse to be cool. No occasional stabs at being cosmopolitan or perceptive or amiable, even.
And they refuse to have “spotters” on their team, which is to say people who are familiar with the crowd and have a certain awareness of who’s who in the New York social-media world. At the It’s Complicated party I watched a tall African-American goon refuse to talk to or even look at Peggy Siegal, who’d been hired to handle key celebrity invites for that event, as she tried to reason with him. A few minutes later I heard another goon say, “Who’s Peggy Siegal?”
Now, that’s not just being uninformed — that’s a kind of arrogance. That’s analogous to handling security for Yankee Stadium and saying “who’s Joe Girardi?” Why have a team of know-nothings handle your security? Why not hire guys who at least try to be cool and cognizant from time to time?
That’s why if I was in the movie-premiere security business, I would call my company Very Cool Goons or Smart Ape Security or something along those lines.
(Ryzik’s video piece was very professionally produced by Jenny Woodward — cheers.)