Aloha? What's Aloha?
Commentary by W. Knox Richardson
Over the past few weeks, mainland celebrity management folks have demonstrated
downright disrespect for local Honolulu media -- be it the "Oahu Island
News," the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin," the "Honolulu
Weekly" or even the local network television affiliates.
Off-island public relations and artist's management people just don't get
it. Don't want it.
And can't figure it out. I
am writing about the Aloha Spirit.
The word "rude" doesn't quite describe the attitude shown us
poor local yokels who know absolutely nothing from nothing.
We're just Pacific hicks who haven't been anywhere or done anything.
In September, musician Jake Shimabukuro signed with the William Morris
Agency, one of the three biggest celebrity management firms in the world.
Congratulations, Jake. Since then, Jake's people reneged on agreements
with local media and basically misrepresented him so as to present a new albeit
plastic image of the local ukulele virtuoso.
Jake wants to rock out. Okay,
go for it. But don't expect us to stand up and cheer because Jake wants
worldwide adulation at the expense of those who helped him along this far.
In October, amateur golf phenom
and legal minor Michelle Wie also "signed" with the Morris agency and
announced at age 15 she is turning professional. Many local media, including the "Oahu Island
News," were turned away from the press conference.
Apparently, local media are not worthy of covering the great Ms. Wie.
Fine. From now on she will be treated just like any other sports
professional. We wish her better
luck in her career than in her choice of media representation.
We shouldn't overlook the mainland
people from ABC-TV who handle national media relations for "LOST."
At a recent event, they managed to insult dozens of local working
journalists on Oahu, earning an article on their hubris in the normally
thick-skinned "Honolulu Weekly."
This isn't sour grapes.
We don't wish anyone ill will. Nor
is this an example of the "A'ama Crab Syndrome," trying to pull down
someone fleeing the bucket. No, we
just don't want to be the little crabs stepped on when a big one escapes.
Everyone wants Jake, Michelle and anyone else with world-class talent to
go as far and as fast as their God-given talents can take them.
We just question the choice of devils they're employing to guide them
along the way.
W. Knox Richardson, B.S.L., J.D., is the editor and publisher of the Oahu Island News. He practiced national public relations for major American corporations for more than 20 years before moving to Hawaii.