So Crash producer Bob Yari isn’t paying out all the money he should be paying to the profit participants on Crash — director-cowriter Paul Haggis, screenwriter Bobby Moresco, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle and five other actors in the cast — and the meager money he’s parted with has been slow in arriving. This despite Crash having cost only $7.5 million to shoot and the total world income standing at $180 million so far. Why? Hollywood bookkeeping, people skimming, human nature.
A seasoned publicist who’s been at this racket since the ’60s once told me that people you work with will almost always fuck you financially one way or the other — by shortchanging you, by delaying payments, by disputing what you’re owed. Every damn time, he said. It’s probably built into our genes, he said.
Yari tells N.Y. Times reporter Sharon Waxman that he’s “aware of the dissatisfaction, but that [he’s] completely up to date on payments. The profit participants “have been correctly paid,” he told her. “They will be paid more. This is the process. We’ve done everything aboveboard. If we wanted to not pay people and have them sue us, we wouldn’t pay them at all.”
I don’t know about that. I think that if Yari wanted to stiff the Crash participants without getting into a bunch of lawsuits he would (a) delay, and then (b) delay some more, and then (c) he’d finally send two or thee of them a modest check for $19,000, and then (d) he’d piss around some more, and (e) then say that Lion’s Gate and other people on hoarding profits, not him, and then (f) if a reporter called he’d get on the phone and say that everything is in perfect order.