I’m a man of the people. I do yoga!
What should we find when we opened the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly but this bit of nefarious propaganda under the headline, “Jeremy Piven Needs You To Know That He’s Not An @#*hole. He Just Plays One On TV”:
Jeremy Piven is not a jerk. He just plays one on TV. But he plays one so well, with such sharky gusto and oily charm, that people can’t help thinking he’s a grade-A a-hole. …
The truth — at least according to Piven — is that he couldn’t be more different from Ari [Gold, his character in “Entourage”]. Yes, there has been one unfortunate public episode (we’ll get to the “sushigate” scandal a little later), but for the most part, he insists, he’s just an ordinary, boring Hollywood celebrity.
Oh, you must be thinking. What a poor, unfairly maligned Hollywood celebrity! I wonder what this rare and frequently misunderstood creature does to pass his days?
In his spare time, [Piven] does yoga. He hangs out on the beach with his 6-year-old niece. He takes spiritual journeys throughout India.
Yoga, beach time and spiritual journeys throughout India! How boring! How ordinary! By golly, Jeremy Piven is just like you and me.
We have heaped quite a bit of snark upon Mr. Piven for some time now, for so long that our readers may have forgotten our original beef with him. We do not dislike Jeremy Piven for the fact he plays obnoxious, abrasive characters in his movies. We do not dislike Jeremy Piven because he claims he ate so much sushi that he came down with mercury poisoning and dropped out of a Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow. We don’t even dislike him for 2009’s The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, a movie we’ve never seen but which perturbs us simply for existing.
No, we dislike Jeremy Piven because he’s a terrible spokesperson. Two of the companies he has endorsed with his characteristic smarm — Cincinnati Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings — are also two of the companies which have delivered to us the lousiest customer service of our lives. We won’t pick at an old scab now, but if you really want to revisit the sordid details, go here, here and here.
So despite your latest charm offensive, Mr. Piven, and the untold thousands you slipped Entertainment Weekly under the table to write a flattering profile of you, we are not fooled. If you really want to earn our respect, how about you endorse a company that doesn’t hornswoggle its customers? Or, better yet, how about you not endorse anything at all? Think of it as more time to do yoga on the beach.