He’s one of three siblings profiled in the book. Youngest brother Ari — the Hollywood agent who fired off the angry letter — was the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s uber-agent character Ari in HBO’s “Entourage.” The third brother is Rahm, current mayor of Chicago, former Obama White House chief of staff.
Maybe Ari’s annoyed that Williams called Ezekiel “maybe the most blindingly smart” of the three — an Amherst-, Oxford- and Harvard-educated doctor who lectures on bioethics.
More from Lisa de Moraes
Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites.
(ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES) - Seth MacFarlane hosted this year’s Oscars, which score big ratings for ABC during its February sweeps period.
Ari reportedly was taken by surprise by some of Williams’s questions — none of which could possibly have made the interview that viewers saw Friday, since every question is exactly what you’d expect, and none of them was tough.
The New York Post cited an unnamed source who accused Williams of behaving “like it was for ‘Meet the Press,’ ” instead of a slap on the back to the guy who represents Justin Timberlake (a.k.a. the real star of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which is now doing bigger ratings than NBC’s prime time).
Silly Brian Williams!
Especially irksome to Ari, the unnamed source said, was the fact that the brothers had picked NBC and Williams over many other journalists who’d also wanted the interview. That’s classic Hollywood-agent stuff.
Ari’s Los Angeles talent agency has confirmed that the letter was sent. NBC, meanwhile, confined its comments about the letter to a statement saying: “We hope viewers saw the interview as a lively conversation with three famously colorful brothers who embody a great American story of success.”
Williams did note that an interview with the three men is “not for the faint of heart.”
And Ari is seen getting defensive during the interview, when Williams asks him about his “scorched earth” reputation in Hollywood and what, if anything he would like to have done differently in his life.
“I would have gotten into therapy a lot earlier and dealt with stuff,” Ari began, then changed course and insisted: “You know something: I’m actually really comfortable — I’ve done a lot of work on myself, and I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”
To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, visit washingtonpost.com/tvcolumn.