HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—You really have to wonder what it is about the mainstream Hollywood gossip crowd that makes them such a snake pit of hostile intent. Actually, porn gossip isn’t any better, so it must just come with the gossip territory—destroying is better than creating. Along those lines, the infamously and viciously unrepentant Nikki Finke this week decided to “out” a man named Vicangelo Bulluck—who was hired this February by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences to hold a new position as managing director for outreach and strategic initiatives—for the apparently unforgivable crime of having formerly produced “soft porn” movies for Playboy.
Pushing the prude pedal to the metal, Fink takes an outraged tone in her Wednesday column, claiming, “It’s especially shocking to the various Academy Governors with whom I spoke and who told me they didn’t know anything about his background.”
How’s that for stirring up a witch’s brew of bullshit and then turning around and using it as fodder for a column that shamelessly insinuates dark doings by the producer for having the temerity to no longer crow about what Finke calls his “prolific list of soft porn VHS titles." The VHS reference alone sets off our vapid alarm.
According to IMDB, Bulluck's Playboy years lasted from 1992 to 2000, during which time he produced and/or directed titles such as Playboy: Sisters, Playboy: The Best of Anna Nicole Smith, Playboy: The Best of Jenny McCarthy, Playboy: The Best of Pamela Anderson, Playboy Girls of Radio: Talk, Rock and Shock, Playboy: Fabulous Forties, Playboy: Women of Color and Playboy’s Playmate Bloopers. That’s right, all of Bulluck credits, including the “soft porn” that has Finke so funked, are on IMBD. Not enough.
Bullock, according to Finke’s “insiders,” has “prominently displayed his previous non-profit job as executive director of the Hollywood Bureau of the NAACP on the impressive resume he submitted to the Academy at the NAACP, but he deliberately left off his 10-year soft porn credits.”
The insider continued, “When concerned female employees brought this issue to management, they confronted him. He said, ‘If it was OK with the NAACP, I thought it’d be OK with you.’”
Where was the NSA when all this was going down?!
Confronted by Finke, AMPAS shrugged. “An AMPAS executive who asked not to be identified insisted to me that Bulluck’s soft porn past did not come as a surprise to the Academy and said, “We knew this when he was hired. It absolutely gave people pause. But he had enough recent references and great relationships. Besides, he was doing that producing 20 years ago. He was a struggling filmmaker.”
Still not good enough for Finke, who sticks to her conspiracy theory, writing, “No recent articles about Bulluck mention his soft porn past, not in publicity for the NAACP Image Awards shows or a February 2009 profile in The Hollywood Reporter about his ‘mission advocating for the involvement and representation of minorities in entertainment.’”
THR wrote about Bulluck’s time “at USC, studying cinema, journalism, philosophy and theater,” his “involvement with the NAACP,” his “stint as a production assistant on the Image Awards [that] evolved into a career, and even the fact that “he became what he calls a ‘small footnote in civil rights history’ when he opened the Hollywood Bureau and became [the Image Award’s] first executive director,” but nothing about Playboy and his egregious involvement with soft porn.
All I can say is that a despicable screed like this only proves why an apparently accomplished man like Vicangelo Bulluck would not want to highlight his work with Playboy on his résumé. Playboy, by the way—and in case Finke is not aware—is a mainstream brand, and not porn, though more likely than not she does not know or care to know the difference.