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Chris Kattan's Lorne Michaels allegation casts the SNL honcho's domineering careerism in a different light

  • In his new memoir Baby, Don’t Hurt Me, Kattan claimed Michaels pressured him to have sex with director Amy Heckerling to get the SNL movie A Night at the Roxbury made -- which an SNL spokesperson and Heckerling's daughter both say is false. Yet, says Hazel Cills, "Kattan’s story raises the question of how much Michaels can potentially break (a career). For decades, the stories of Saturday Night Live’s brutal work culture and Michaels’s cruel managerial style have manifested as quirky anecdotes from good, old-fashioned show business, with Michaels a tough, finger-wagging father figure to young comics. But as Hollywood has seen, again and again, the contours of that good, old-fashioned, cruel show business scramble into something darker; once acceptably flirty producers revealed as predators, 'edgy' comedians labeled rightfully as average racists." Cills adds: "The kind of fear-inducing aura that has followed Michaels has long been accepted as part of the typical Saturday Night Live gig, and it’s something he can get away with because it’s been established as a cornerstone of his creativity and work ethic. But Kattan’s story crumbles the convenient barrier between what makes a man a celebrated perfectionist in the entertainment industry, whose notorious work ethic makes him a visionary, and what might just make him an abusive boss."

    TOPICS: Lorne Michaels, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Amy Heckerling, Chris Kattan