“I heard someone from the music business saying they are no longer looking for talent, they want people with a certain look and a willingness to cooperate. I thought, that’s interesting, because I believe a total unwillingness to cooperate is what is necessary to be an artist — not for perverse reasons, but to protect your vision. The considerations of a corporation, especially now, have nothing to do with art or music. That’s why I spend my time now painting.”
From Robert Hillburn’s 2004 article on Joni Mitchell, AN ART BORN OF PAIN, AN ARTIST IN HAPPY EXILE.
Luckily for us, Mitchell did return to music. On her own terms.
The film industry is no different. In 2006, I was informed by a film exec at Fox that I would be termed “difficult” if I expressed my opinions. The exec then went on to tell me how and why they chose the current director for their new multi-million dollar comic-book action film:
“He doesn’t have any opinions of his own. Or if he does, he keeps them to himself. He does exactly what we tell him.”