Rumor Has It: Butter Group Is Splitting Up

I guess it’s official, as Frankie Sharp – that promoter/host with the most fabulous following – lands on the cover of the Village Voice. It was 430am this morning and I was walking the puppies and grabbing bagels with the gal, when I saw Frankie’s fierce puss staring up from a stack of papers. We have been banging Frankie’s drum loudly here forever. He is the new, while almost everyone else is… experienced. Frankie has blown everyone away. His boyfriend is David Davis, my assistant/co-worker/partner in design.

The Voice tends to use terms like "savior of nightlife" and stuff like that and say there was little going on when Frankie burst on the scene, without recognizing the great divide in nightclub culture. While the rest of the world is getting closer to embracing gays as full-blown members of our society…(shoot, even Dirty Harry himself – conservative stalwart Clint Eastwood – is supporting gay marriage) clubdom has become even dumber. The gays and the straights rarely mingle in the same room as once was.

Frankie’s party is mostly gay and, of course, we love that, but there is another side of the coin as well. There are two parallel universes co-existing with one, not recognizing the existence of the other. Clubs, once so forward and influential, are more divided in lifestyle and music and ways of doing business than ever before. Congrats to Frankie for the well-deserved recognition.

On that straight front, there is rumor and innuendo on the top-tier places. I was asked by a realtor-type why I hadn’t talked about the imminent takeover of the Shadow space on 28th street. I told him I did chat with Mike Satsky of Provocateur about all that a while back, but have left it until now. Wanted to let them cross all the T’s and dot all the i’s. The realtor says its a 99 percent-done deal. In club life, when someone says it’s 99 percent done, I think there is bound to be trouble ahead. If someone says it’s 50/50 I think it might happen. 

With that in mind, my same source says there is trouble percolating at Butter Group. It’s always been brewing, but my realtor dude says that Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano are on the outs, with various scenarios being talked about. Dividing up of properties is being chatted about. In the "I can’t believe it’s not Butter" category, my first design gig Butter on Lafayette is being renovated by my ex-partner Mark Dizon. Scott seems to be gearing up to run this show and maybe the new 1OAK LA, while Richie is on The Darby and 1OAK NYC all the way. My source says 1OAK Vegas isn’t worth fighting over. How much of this is real or not, I just don’t know, but a call that I am bound to get later today should fill in the blanks.

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Manti Te’o Case Reminds Us Fake Topical Twitter Accounts Are the Worst

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, you’re familiar with the story of Manti Te’o, the star linebacker from Notre Dame and Heisman trophy candidate who either made up the story of his late girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, or was the victim of a cruel, Catfish­-esque prank, depending on whose version you believe at this point. But regardless of whether Te’o was complicit in this matter or not, one thing is for sure: topical fake Twitter accounts are pretty much the worst and should not be a thing anymore.

After the story broke late Wednesday, someone tweeting under an account formerly used by “Lennay Kekua,” promising to make a statement at noon PST on Thursday. Hoping it would be some sort of revelation about whether or not Te’o was in on the ruse, people actually blogged about this and hung on to it. What actually happened underwhelmed: “My statement: This is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, but I have been told by Alabama’s offense that Manti Te’o is not real.” Someone actually strung the Internet along and set up an incredibly cheap joke about the BCS Championship that had already been made on Twitter by probably a good couple hundred other people. The future, amirite guys?

And that wasn’t the only fake Lennay Kekua after the news (examples include @Lennay_Kekua_ and @Lennay_Kekua), either. Everyone rushed to get their own piece of the joke because Internet and personal branding or whatever, all essentially spewing the same jokes and appealing to cheap high-volume, little-effort and occasionally low-stooping.

This isn’t anything new. As noted here, @InvisibleObama, a parody account inspired by Clint Eastwood’s deranged Old Man Yells At Cloud “Empty Chair” speech at the Republican National Convention, is still active, and even spewing Lennay Kekua jokes. It took about five minutes for someone to become @RomneysBinder after the “Binders Full of Women” debate. Big Birds, escaped cobras from the Bronx Zoo… you name it, it has a fake Twitter account. When will it all end? Is this how the world responds to current events now? We can do so much better, you guys. I know we can. Oh, and Drunk Predator Drone is actually kind of funny, but the rest of y’all need to pack it in. 

Oscar Buzz Watch: Ben Affleck Is Definitely Getting Oscar-Nominated

Ben Affleck is definitely getting Oscar-nominated for Argo. When it opens in theaters next weekend, and you make it your compromise movie because nobody can agree on Pitch Perfect or Seven Psychopaths (and no one wants to see Here Comes the Boom, come on), you should watch it with the full knowledge that Ben Affleck is a stone-cold certainty to be nominated come January, for either Best Actor or (more likely) Best Director. It’s just absolutely going to happen.

You can try to pretend it won’t happen—maybe you’d rather it wouldn’t? Maybe you’re still holding on to some of that Bennifer resentment. And who could blame you? He was actually kissing her butt in the "Jenny from the Block" video! That’s how much they thought the public wanted to see them! Or maybe yours is a more high-minded resistance. Maybe it was that five-year-or-so stretch in the 2000s where he made an unbroken string of terrible movies, roughly from Bounce in 2000 through Surviving Christmas in 2004 (we’re being kind and granting his Golden Globe-nominated role in Hollywoodland as a streak-breaker. You’re under no obligation to do so). For a long while, Ben Affleck was about as far from Oscar material as you could possibly be. But that is exactly why it’s even more certain that he’s DEFINITELY getting Oscar-nominated for Argo

If there’s anything Oscar loves more than an actor-turned-director—do I even have to mention the award-winning names? Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner (Kevin COSTNER!)—it’s a comeback story. Particularly a comeback story where the individual is "coming back" from trying to make studio heads and agents lots and lots of money with movies like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. Oh no! How will these businessmen ever forgive him for pulling in $118 million domestic for The Sum of All Fears?? Of course, what he’s really coming back from is a reputation as a great Hollywood doof. Sure, he won an Oscar seemingly right out of the gate with Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, but having to stand on all those red carpets next to perfect little Hollywood-sized Matt Damon, Affleck couldn’t help but look like the big dumb galoot along for the ride. Then Damon proceeded to go on one of the more interesting career arcs in recent memory, careering from art house disaster (noooooo, All the Pretty Horses!) to Bourne billions, ultimately becoming one of the better-liked A-listers in Hollywood. All of which only made Affleck look even worse in comparison, when people even bothered to think about him at all. (Never mind that while Affleck was getting slammed for cashing a paycheck on a movie actually called Paycheck, Damon wasn’t exactly covering himself in glory as Greg Kinnear’s conjoined twin in Stuck on You. See? You’re starting to feel a swell of sympathy for Affleck even now, aren’t you?) Then, in 2007, Affleck made the dubious-seeming decision to step behind the camera, and the result was the quite good Gone Baby Gone. So good that it nabbed an Oscar nomination for Amy Ryan and at least made people stop chuckling when talk turned to "Ben Affleck: Director." Three years later, Affleck directed The Town which, this writer’s contrary opinion of it notwithstanding, was very well-received by critics and was generally considered to have missed the Best Picture top ten that year by a hair’s breadth.

And next weekend, Affleck will see his third directorial effort hit screens with Argo, the "based on recently de-classified documents" political thriller / Hollywood farce (like chocolate and peanut butter, those genres!) that sees Affleck co-starring with a serious ’70s beard as a CIA operative who gets the bright idea to impersonate a Canadian film crew in order to infiltrate Iran and rescue six Americans during the 1979 hostage crisis. By the way, if the logline doesn’t sell you, Argo might end up being worth the ticket price for the sheer volume of character actors alone: John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Chris Messina, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, Phillip Baker Hall; I could go on (Clea DuVall!) and on (Titus Welliver!). This is classic Hollywood mythmaking (Zeljko Ivanek! Sorry, last one), where the very idea of The Movies is the apparatus that will free six American heroes during one of the darkest times in American history. Who’s NOT nominating this thing?

"Sure, for Best Picture, maybe," you say. "There could be ten nominees. How can you be so sure Affleck will be one of five directors so honored?" To that I say: ARE YOU SERIOUSLY CRAZY? You’re seeing all the ingredients here, right? Actor-turned-director. A wet dream of a campaign narrative. The slight air of being "owed" for his previous movies coming so close. Oh, and also, everybody who saw Argo at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals freaked out and started screaming "OSCAR!!!!" out their hotel windows into the late-summer air. Not every movie currently sits atop the "Gurus o’ Gold" Oscar prediction charts, you know. Argo also sits comfortably in the Best Picture ranks on both Hitfix and Vulture, though Vulture is RIDICULOUSLY blind to his Best Director chances, which is just too preposterous to consider. This is HAPPENING! Accept it.

Argo opens in theaters on October 12th. Oscar nominees are announced on January 10th. Which leaves Ben Affleck almost exactly three months to figure out how to convince us that he didn’t even know he was nominated until his agent called.

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Daughter of Clint Eastwood Burns $100,000 Handbag Just for the Hell of It

19-year-old Francesca Eastwood is a burgeoning reality TV star–her show, Mrs. Eastwood and Company, airs on E!–and, most notably, the daughter of screen legend Clint Eastwood. She’s also dating celebrity photographer Tyler Shields. Oh, and: she just bought, and then promptly destroyed, a $100,000 handbag. All for a stupid photo shoot!

The victim, a $100,000 Hermes Birkin bag, was purchased by Francesca recently and then featured in a photo shoot, shot by Shields, in which she cuts the bag in half with a chainsaw before setting it on fire (just in case it hadn’t lost all of its value yet). Blah blah blah "art" something something "free expression" something blah blah shut up.

Hey, Francesca! Guess what! You’re a ridiculous person. I don’t care that your father is worth more money than God–a sizeable portion of which must have magically (and by "magically," I mean "nepotistically") found its way to your privileged, over-indulgent little hands–and I don’t care that your boyfriend is a cool photographer who shot you doing this. You don’t go buy a $100,000 handbag–in general, but also–just to destroy it moments later so that you can get the attention you so clearly and desperately crave. $100,000 is a lot of money, in case you forgot, and to throw it away so cavalierly is a slap in the face to people who actually struggle to make a living for themselves and their familes. 

You know what else would’ve gotten you some attention? Donating the money to a charity, you knob.

Love the pictures, though! Xo [via TMZ]

Afternoon Links: Alec Baldwin is Engaged, Aziz Ansari Mows Central Park Lawn

● Alec Baldwin and his yoga-instructing girlfriend Hilaria Thomas have gone and gotten engaged. As long as we can keep her as our yoga teacher, we are happy for them. [NYDN]

● Musical parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic is suing Sony Music Entertainment for the $5 million dollars he is allegedly owed for licensing revenue and lawsuit settlements. [RS]

● Curtains are being held on the Spice Girls inspired musical, Viva Forever, because the the girls — who are not in the show, but are serving as advisers — "can’t agree on anything.” [PageSix]

● Ever so gallant, Prince Harry dismounted his horse mid-match to help secure a fallen and unconscious polo player from the opposing team. Harry, "was the first one off his horse," according to the lucky felled player. "I remember waking up with these piercing blue eyes looking at me." Swoon! [Us]

● If Tom Cruise signs on the line, he’ll be playing "basically Kurt Cobain" in Clint Eastwood’s much anticipated A Star Is Born. According to screenwriter Will Fetters, Cruise’s character is modeled after Kurt Cobain, if only he "never got to go Unplugged and survived and it’s 20 years later and it’s now, and he wanted to try to do that album with that understanding as this grunge icon." [Vulture]

● Aziz Ansari was nice enough to wake up early this morning and mow Central Park’s lovely Sheep Meadow ahead of its reopening later this week. [Gothamist]

Clint Eastwood Shooting Reality Show, Will Be ‘Much Like Bruce Jenner’

It’s almost 2012, but we have a late entry for “most wonderfully weird story of the year.” TMZ reports Clint Eastwood’s family is shooting a reality show intended to air on the E! network. Filming is already underway, and the show “will focus on the relationship between Clint’s wife Dina Eastwood, their daughter Morgan and Clint’s 18-year-old daughter Francesca.” TMZ’s sources say it should start airing in a couple of months.

Clint won’t be the protagonist of the show, but he will have a role. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine, take a seat, and read the following sentence from Movieline; it’s one the greatest assemblages of words ever written:

“Clint has allegedly agreed to appear occasionally but will remain a peripheral character to his female Eastwood counterparts, much like Bruce Jenner on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Finally, we’ll have Clint Eastwood in the role he was born to play: Bruce Jenner, only squintier.

Fittingly, Bunim/Murray, the same company responsible for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is producing the Eastwoods’ show.

I know what you’re thinking. "Did he shoot a six-episode arc about getting a new puppy, or was it only a five-episode arc?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. You’ve got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

Clint Eastwood & Leonardo DiCaprio Spoke with the FBI About J. Edgar Hoover’s Sexuality

As part of their research for J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio separately met with Assistant FBI Director Mike Kortan to talk about the film’s titular subject. USA Today reports that both Eastwood and DiCaprio brought up J. Edgar Hoover’s rumored homosexuality during their meetings, to which Kortan replied, “Vague rumors and fabrications have cropped up from time to time, but there is no evidence in the historical record on this issue.” Perhaps the historical record is shady because Hoover was reported to have “hunted down and threatened anyone who dared to utter an innuendo about his sexual preference.”

Kortan mentioned that neither he nor the FBI had any intention of changing or influencing Eastwood’s film, which is a supremely un-Hoover move. For the 1959 film The FBI Story, Hoover reportedly had scenes removed that he felt portrayed the FBI in a negative light. This is odd because The FBI Story is entirely about how great the FBI is.

Had Eastwood and DiCaprio visited with Hoover himself to ask about his rumored homosexuality, they’d get a little more than a levelheaded yet boilerplate response. We imagine their phones would be bugged, their movements would be tailed, and they’d be blackmailed so hard, the next 20 films they made would be about how J. Edgar Hoover single-handedly ended crime while winning the award for “Straightest Man in America.”

Then again, J. Edgar isn’t out until November 9th. For all anyone knows, it could be about a super-hetero crime-fighter who only looked at men during perp walks.

Morning Links: Charlie Sheen’s Got a New Sitcom, Shia LaBeouf & Michael Bay Fight Over Feist

● Jennifer Aniston was caught wearing a ring. It’s (probably not) happening. [Jezebel] ● Now that people have mostly lost interest his crazy show, Charlie Sheen is edging back towards the less lucrative but more stable sitcom business. He’s apparently signed a deal with Lionsgate to star in a new show as a character “very similar to the one he played on Two And a Half Men, however the show will be a lot racier.” [Radar] ● If all goes according to plan, Beyoncé will be joined by Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming A Star Is Born remake. Two true stars, indeed. [DeadLine]

● After bowling a sad 97 at his manager’s birthday part, Jim Carrey blamed his lousy score on chicken grease. He sounds like bad bowler and a worse liar. [Page Six] ● Shia LaBeouf tried to play Feist’s “Brandy Alexander” before filming an emotional Transformers scene at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, but director Michael Bay wasn’t having any of that sappy sweet stuff on his set. “I feel something when I hear it,” said Shia of his man faux-pas. “But Mike doesn’t want to listen to ‘Brandy Alexander’ under the rocket with 50 military dudes around.”[LAT] ● Nick Carter says he would love to do an episode of Glee. Sadly, most of Glee‘s audience is far too young to remember the Backstreet Boys. [HollyScoop]

Morning Links: James Blunt to Play Organ at Royal Wedding, Chloe Sevigny to Play Lizzy Borden

● Extra sensitivity is needed as the situation in Japan escalates to terrifying new heights. Gilbert Goddfried, the voice of the Aflac/Afquack duck, was fired after making tasteless jokes on his twitter. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon’s Hereafter has been pulled from Japanese theaters because of tsunami scenes. [Perez] ● It can’t be easy finding time to hit the books while managing a media empire, but Tyra Banks is making it happen — at Harvard! She insists that Business School is something she’s doing for her female fans. “In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best,” she said, “So I went to the best.” [NYDN] ● The soon-to-be-wed royal couple have enlisted one of Britain’s most maudlin performers to play at their wedding, James Blunt. Thankfully, he’s going to be tethered to the organ, not singing. [Yahoo/AP]

● Chloe Sevigny’s reign as the driven Nicky Hendrikson on Big Love comes to an end this week, but Sevigny won’t be missing a beat. She’s set to channel her powerful and crazed energy into a staring role in HBO’s proposed miniseries about Lizzy Borden, Massachusetts’ famed murderous spinster. Apparently, the downtown queen has been preparing by spending nights in the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. [Variety] ● Babies in the Internet, babies on the Internet: apparently four out of five children under the age of five use the Internet on a weekly basis, lending new gravity to the oft-asked question, “Is this real life?” [Mashable] ● “The stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be,” said Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes of the band’s upcoming collaboration with David Lynch. And strange and beautiful they shall likely get, as Lynch is set to direct Duran Duran’s upcoming episode of the concert series Unstaged, streaming on YouTube later this month. [Billboard]