Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis highlights the need for due diligence in the entertainment industry.
The new Elvis film shines the light on the financial abuse that Elvis Presley suffered at the hands of his manager, along with other forms of exploitation that the artist was unknowingly subject to by “Colonel” Tom Parker and his entourage.
This story is old as time – great talent attracts great risks. We see it time and time again in many industries – be it media, entertainment or sports. Once a young star rises to fame, there is such a whirlwind of change that they rely on those around them for support and guidance; unfortunately, that’s when others get a chance to profit from them.
Elvis was a perfect example of being exploited in this way [spoiler alert] – his manager was not only taking 50 percent of his earnings, but also putting performances above the King’s health, making deals behind his back and keeping him trapped in the US for his own benefit. Presley spent years stuck in this unbalanced relationship dynamic, oblivious of the secrets kept from him by the man who was meant to be there for him.
Be it backhanders or other personal gain, we see so many deals that are placed at the table in front of the celebrity with a hidden motivation that is not disclosed to them. Oftentimes, (even when the deal feels off) rather than following their instincts, they follow their managers. By which time, it can be too late, and they find themselves Caught in A Trap…
This is why, no matter how much trust you have in your entourage or how long you have known them, proper risk management is the only way to look after yourself – because, sadly, way too often, others around you are looking after themselves first. Conducting thorough due diligence on new partners, investors, businesses, or endorsements – whatever the deal offered to you is – is the one foolproof solution for proactively avoiding being taken advantage of.
Just like with Elvis and Tom Parker, at times it is not just WHAT is being placed at the table in front of you, but actually WHO is sitting at the table with you that is the question. As it turns out, Parker was never a Colonel, lying for all these years about his background. The number of times we have discovered a fake identity, an alias or a huge skeleton in someone’s closet in our cases is no less than frightening. So, just because you know them in the present, does not mean you know their past.
We work with prominent figures in media, sports and entertainment to proactively protect them from risk by conducting thorough due diligence on individuals and companies that gravitate towards them. Too many individuals find themselves harmed or burned because they were too trusting – and Lost Boys are here to change that. So, who is your Colonel?