Ashton Kutcher Weighs In On Clooney-Loeb Spat


Ashton Kutcher decided to wade into the spat between George Clooney and hedge fund manager Dan Loeb, calling both of them naïve according to Alyson Shontell at Business Insider. Having invested more than $100 million in various tech startups, including popular services like Spotify and Airbnb, Kutcher apparently sees himself as straddling the worlds of film and finance and in a position to mediate.

The argument started when Loeb criticized Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) for producing back-to-back Hollywood flops After Earth and White House Down, and called for the company to split its entertainment and electronics divisions into separate companies. Clooney responded that the movie business has ups and downs, and that judging it based on just two movies is the kind of short-term perspective that might work in finance but would kill a creative business.

Ashton Kutcher says entertainment companies are bloated

“I think it’s a little bit of naïveté on both sides,” said Kutcher. “To think you can walk into an artistic business and understand how that works or understand how the process works is naïveté on that side. But being in the business for some time, the companies are extremely bloated and they do spend money on relationships.”

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Kutcher plays Apple visionary Steve Jobs in a biopic due out later this month and seems to have somewhat idolized him as someone who found the right balance of creativity and business acumen. Some people even say that his focus on IT investments is an attempt to emulate Jobs.

Kutcher emulates and admires Steve Jobs in real life

“If you look at Steve Jobs as an example,” says Kutcher, “there are times when your R&D and your drive and your spin toward innovation come up with nothing. And then there are times when that is the very vitality of your company.”

The argument is already receding as Dan Loeb has said that he still has confidence in the Sony Entertainment division, and just wants tighter supervision on large projects, but Kutcher still felt the need to take the middle ground between Clooney and Loeb. “I wouldn’t necessarily say that George Clooney, or whoever is speaking on behalf of the studios, is necessarily 100% right,” he said. “At the same time I wouldn’t say that Dan Loeb’s position is exacting.”

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