You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Michael Douglas’ Bizarre and Brilliant Media Strategy

Michael Douglas' Bizarre and Brilliant Media Strategy

Michael Douglas is a genius. 

Not only because he won his first Oscar, for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in his early 30s. 

Not because he has managed to have a largely distinguished acting career for decades — winning an Oscar for Wall Street along the way.

Because of his most recent move.

Fresh from a winning depiction of Liberace in an HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra, Douglas told the Guardian newspaper that oral sex gave him cancer and …

To quote Ellen Foley in Paradise by the Dashboard Light: Stop right there!

That one sentiment alone — which Douglas’ publicist is now throwing cold water on — guarantees Douglas a lifetime membership in the Public Relations Hall of Fame.

Douglas will be widely quoted and re-quoted. He will have staying power, thanks to that line. He will be immortalized in talk radio. He’ll appear on year-end lists of all kinds.

He will stay in our minds for a long time. Reporters will want to interview him about any movie or TV show he appears in simply as a way to ask again about you-know-what.

Was it outrageous? Sure.

Irresponsible? Possibly.

Embarrassing? Arguably.

Brilliant? Absolutely.

Douglas works in an industry where name recognition means everything. Every gimmick is legit. If someone can concoct a way to remain in the public eye, so be it. The Kardashians gets mocked all the time and they are laughing all the way to the bank.

I salute you, Michael Douglas. I’m glad you’re healthy and busy and productive. 

You manipulated the media like a maestro. You’re brilliant, too.

This Article is related to: News