Apple pulls iPhone app that upset Hollywood

An app that features a less than entirely honest Hollywood wheeler-dealer has been removed from Apple's App Store after a complaint from a super agent.

I am sure honest Hollywood agents do exist. It's just that they don't seem to employ the finest PR firms to proselytize their honesty.

This might explain why Oisin Hanrahan, the Irish creator of an iPhone app called SuperAgent, decided that the main character in his game might be a few scruples short of Mother Teresa.

SuperAgent seems to have been well received, a reception that might have led to its being noticed by, well, Hollywood super agents.

According to the Independent, one super agent may have enjoyed a particular interest in this app. His name is Ari Emanuel. He is the agent for so many important acting citizens such as Robert De Niro and Sacha Baron Cohen as well as directors such as Spike Lee. He is even thought to be the person upon whom the character of Ari Gold is based in the delightfully fluffy "Entourage" on HBO.

What is important for today's story, however, is that he has reportedly set his more toothsome legal dogs upon Oisin Hanrahan and his company, Factory Six. You see, the slightly less than honest agent in the SuperAgent game is called Ari.

CC JorgeMir/Flickr

While I leave you to gather your breath for a moment, let me just whisper that it is not the mere mention of Emanuel's first name that appears to have ruffled his hairline.

The Independent kindly offers details of the cease-and-desist letter that has caused Apple to remove SuperAgent from the App Store.

"The game uses the name 'Ari' for the main character, which clearly is a reference to Mr Emanuel, the co-chief executive officer of WME, one of the world's premier talent agencies," begins the forceful cease-and-desist letter.

It continues as forcefully it began: "[It] clearly intends to capitalize on using Mr Emanuel's and WME's names for the game and possibly mislead the public into thinking that Mr Emanuel and/or WME endorse the game - effectively trading off the goodwill, reputation and fame established by our clients."

Hanrahan deftly told the Independent that because of the "Entourage" series, "Ari" is a name that symbolizes Hollywood in general, not one person in particular. He added: "We're a very small firm, of just three people, and since Apple pulled it we have had no income."

I feel sure that many of you will sympathize with Hanrahan's plight. His arguments appear plausible. His game, just as the "Entourage" show, seems but an amusing diversion from the pains of everyday existence.

But perhaps others might consider that while saying truth to power is an often alluring concept, one should always think carefully before saying jokes to power. Power is a sensitive soul, one that isn't always comfortable with japes. Somehow, for some powerful souls, taking a joke is like Samson admitting he'd always wondered what it would like to be bald.

 

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