Movietone News Presents: News On The March!
Hollywood! Land of dreams and fantasy! But it’s not just all make-believe in this town, no, it’s business, and the ongoing pursuit of putting the right person in the job that helps make those dreams come true. Why, there’s Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM—given the amount of money he’s helped the company make, there’s no doubt that he’s the right man for the job. Wave to the camera, Louis! And there’s Edith Head. Movies today wouldn’t have those actresses decked out in all those dazzling costumes that we all love if it wasn’t for Edith.
But wait, there’s a new corporate head honcho in town! It’s Lassie, star of such beloved classic family fare as Lassie, Come Home; Lassie, Come Here; and Lassie, Get Off The Couch. The smartest dog in Hollywood has just been given a new position: Art Department Director for Walt Disney studios!
“We recognize the great contribution that Lassie has made over the years to the company,” said vice president of production Dixie Dee Dee Disney, “and it’s time we gave Lassie her and/or his due, we’re not actually sure of Lassie’s gender since she has a girl’s name but the trainer said it’s really a guy dog. It’s really hard to tell with all that hair. But Lassie’s done everything we ever asked of her, him, herm, it, hermit, and so we have great confidence that Lassie will shine in this new corporate position.”
I talked to some of the staff working in the animation department that is now working under Lassie to get their take on the star’s promotion.
Me: “What’s it like having Lassie as your supervisor?”
Some guy with a pen: “Well, sometimes she stands behind me for a long time while I’m drawing. Just watching. And then she’ll lick what it is I’m working on, which kind of ruins it, so I have to start over again with another piece of paper.”
Me: “She’s got a critical eye it would seem for what she doesn’t like, wouldn’t you say?”
Guy: “I don’t really know.”
Me: “Communication between a supervisor and employee is key to any successful office relationship. How would you assess the communication between you and Lassie?”
Guy: “Well, she doesn’t talk. And when she barks I don’t know why. So, I’m going to say poor?”
Me: “But she’s smart as a whip, isn’t she. Probably the smartest dog that ever lived, wouldn’t you say?”
Here’s present Disney CEO and son of Walt Disney, Donald “Doohickey” Disney.
Me: “Don, it was your decision to put Lassie in an upper management position. Certainly a brave—and I should say noble move, given that dogs are generally not found in the corporate world.”
Don: “On the contrary, it was a no-brainer, nameless person with a microphone.”
Me: “Len Woolsley, Movietone News.”
Don: “Uh huh. Everything I ever asked that dog to do, she did.”
Me: “I think it’s actually a male.”
Don: “Well, I don’t want to get into that. That’s a completely different issue. But just let me say that I respect the choices people make, and damnit, dogs too.”
Me: “I’m sorry, what?”
Don: “But as I said, Lassie did everything she was ever asked to do: roll over, play dead, beg, shake hands, chase her tail—that was hysterical, whimper and bark when told to whimper and bark, heel, go wee-wee and poo-poo at reasonable times of the day that I preselected, and if that’s not management material I don’t know what is.”
Me: “Still a bold and grand decision on your part.”
Don: “I believe in removing barriers from people on their road to corporate success. In my mind there’s no difference between somebody with two legs and somebody with four legs, or somebody who’s competent and somebody who through no fault of their own is very questionable simply because they’re stupid. It’s a matter of just giving everybody the opportunity to fail. That’s what America is all about.”
Guy: “Ha ha, well said, sir, well said. And perhaps someday we’ll see Jimminy Cricket as Chief Financial Officer. Ha.”
Don: “It’s not beyond the realm of possibility. Everybody should get a fair chance as I said.”
Guy: “I was just making a joke.”
Guy: “Because he’s not real?”
Don: “Barriers. Barriers and judgmental attitudes. That’s what I’m talking about. We need to remove barriers and judgmental attitudes from the equation.”
Guy: “Along with reality.”
Yes, there you have it! Lassie at the top rung of the corporate ladder. A well-deserved reward for a job well done. Got get ‘em, girl…boy, Lassie. This is Movietone News: News On The March!