A writer's assigned by the New York Times Magazine to go to Hollywood to profile a major star. During the interview, star suggests that the writer pen a script for star--and writer agrees to "take a meeting" on it. Unthinkable!
But there it was in b&w; in last Sunday's NYTM. Tama Janowitz's "Adventures in Tinseltown" began as a Bette Midler profile but ended up as Janowitz's impressionistic account of her bewildering trip after Miss M unexpectedly offered Janowitz a development deal to script a Midler idea (with Janowitz unabashedly going for it--though the potential deal quickly disintegrated).
NYTM Editor Edward Klein admitted that he was "a little bit" uncomfortable about the conflict of interest when the piece came in. But: "It was all done tongue in cheek, with a sardonic quality. And since nothing came of it, I saw no problem.
"My thought was, this was not a journalist on assignment, but a fiction writer (Janowitz wrote "Slaves of New York") using her experience as part of her nonfiction report. I was very happy with the piece. I thought it was very amusing, a superb piece of work."