Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sari Kamin wants to be an actress. A lot. This is the story of a man who is possibly a creepy letch, and a woman who is definitely too stupid for Hollywood.

PROLOGUE  |  Sari Kamin has joined countless women to post details about her encounters with Hollywood screenwriter and director James Toback (Bugsy; Two Girls and a Guy). Sari Kamin evidently expects applause for doing so. But what Sari Kamin can’t seem to wrap her mind around is her own foolish, stupid, even dishonest actions that led her to participate in a series of rather lame, disgusting, but harmless encounters with Toback, encounters which she could easily have walked away from at any point. She didn’t walk away, but kept at it until, lo and behold, Toback allegedly followed through on the intentions he had very clearly made to her, after she traipsed up to his hotel room. Shamed and angry, she fled.

It is not as if Sari Kamin was an actress with a career and a reputation and a body of work. She was not an actress at all, but an aspiring actress, and she knew that, and has now admitted it. When the writer/director hit on her in a Kinko’s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, she let that detail slide and lied. Yes, she was an actress, she told him. And all along her quest, she allowed that lie to stand. She took a good hard look at someone she obviously found disgusting, and globbed up the same food he was glopping up at fancy restaurants while horrifying her with his lecherous stories. She pretended it didn’t offend her, the only acting she has done, for an audience of one.

Now, in the Weinstein debacle, Sari Kamin has bravely jumped on the bandwagon with the rabble of misfits and wannabes who have had brushes with fame, disappointment, and hairy old men.

The Sari Kamins of the world, countless women and men in Hollywood, still can’t seem to come to grips with the reality that it is their own unbridled lust for the fame, money, and glory that causes them to chase dreams and careers in an industry that produces quite a lot of garbage.

I communicated this to Sari Kamin in a lengthy comment at Medium, the site where she self-righteously recounted her foolishness in detail. On Medium, when writers post their stories, not only do they have the ability to give “Applause” to positive comments (Medium’s cheesy equivalent of a Facebook Like button), they also have the ability to block users who criticize them, and even have offending posts deleted. This is the equivalent of an actress applauding back to the audiences who applaud her, while expunging bad reviews from the record.

But Sari Kamin is not an actress, at least not that I can find. After all these years, she has no credits at, and she lists none at her Web site,

Does Sari Kamin still have a taste for fame? Does she think she will find relevance or notoriety during the Weinstein scandal by going after an easy target like Toback? Or is she just a bit self-absorbed?

Below is my comment as it appeared beneath her article today at, before she blocked me and had it nuked from the site. Since this afternoon, all other comments and threads which criticized her have also been expunged, and only five applauding comments remain.

You can read her article here (“I am one of the countless women that filmmaker James Toback has harassed”). It is the same article I read before I posted the comments below:


This is beyond the pale.

First, I wish Ms. Kamin the best in all things, and have no animus towards her. Also, I wouldn’t know Mr. Toback if he stood up in my soup, and will, in advance, concede that he may well be a creep, or far worse.

Are we clear? Have I sufficiently virtue-signaled? Good. Now for the ‘beyond the pale’ part:

In 2017, as the entire Hollywood industry is imploding over the consequences of its inhabitants’ long, disgusting quest for sex, money, fame and power, by the men and women alike, Ms. Kamin, writer of things, comes forward and describes some ‘harassment’ she experienced in 2003, fourteen years ago.

This is her story.

Sari really wants to be an actress. She is Xeroxing a script, and is approached by a 60-year-old bearded man with a cane, who she describes in these words: heavy, goateed, beady, dark, slow, creaky, girth, weight, frail, capricious. Quite descriptive. She was obviously extremely observant and paying attention. She never really says whether this man was her type. No “geez, he was disgusting,” or “I held back my vomit,” or “not in a pig’s eye.” 

Sari really wants to be an actress. When asked if she ‘is’ an actress, she lies to this Weak and Weighty Fop, knowing she is only ‘an aspiring actress.’ Her words, her admission.

Sari really wants to be an actress. She continues talking to the frail and becaned Mr. Slow & Creaky. When he pulls out a DVD with his name on it, and — wait for it — his Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences membership card (impressive, right?), she doesn’t see this as a red flag or a ham-handed gesture of desperation. No, quite to the contrary, she has just examined his bona fides, concludes he is The Big Deal he says he is, and continues talking to him.

Sari really wants to be an actress. Mr. Creaky says he felt instantly connected to her. He only casts women he feels instantly connected to. So, wow, what a break! She wants to be cast, he casts women, but only women he’s connected with — and he’s connected with her! And she’s a woman! She’s hooked. This is her big break, her Schwab’s Pharmacy moment, but at Kinko’s.

Sari really wants to be an actress. A few days later, she’s dining with Toback at Elaine’s. No word about how they connected since they met. Did they exchange phone numbers? Did he ask her out, or did she ask him out? Did they go Dutch, or did he pick up the check? No details. I guess was just have to assume, then, don’t we, that Toback called Sari, she remembered him in vivid, beady detail, he asked her out, she said yes, and he picked up the check. I mean, I don’t wish to appear sexist, but that’s the way it works, doesn’t it, at least way back in the caveman days of 2003. I think if Sari had paid her share or treated the creaky old codger to a plate of pasta, she would have included that detail.

Sari really wants to be an actress. It’s Sari and James’s Big Night! Mr. Big is hungry. Mr. Big has sauce on his face. Mr. Big has pasta in his beard. Mr. Big has no napkin, and Sari never offers him one. Mr. Big has been talking big about all the big stars he’s worked with and his Big Career, evidently with his mouth full. Disgusting, but not disgusting enough to walk away from. The evening continues…

[Let’s pause for a moment: Are you seeing a pattern here? No? Not seeing anything just a bit weird? Keep reading.]

He talks about [his] career, his films, and his hobbies, like masturbating seven times a day to tune his equilibrium. So he’s energetic and balanced, not so frail after all. He asks her what she’s afraid of. Sari tells him she was “nervous” that he wanted to sleep with her and never intended to cast her in his film. Think about that. Not nervous that he wanted to sleep with her, full stop. Just nervous that she may later discover she was never really up for a part, that it was all a ruse. That would be a bummer, you see. Sleeping with someone and not getting a film role. No wonder she was nervous.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us pause for a reverie, a moment of Clarity, Wisdom and Truth from Ms. Sari Kamin about The Way Things Are in Hollywood:
“There is an unspoken understanding in the entertainment industry that if you are truly committed to finding success you will do whatever what it takes. When you’re a woman, this means making sacrifices.”
Sari really wants to be an actress. She is truly committed. She is ready to make sacrifices. After all that talk of masturbation coming out of Toback’s cavernous spaghetti hole, she didn’t walk away from the table. She stayed. And she went out for dinner again, and again, and again, all the while knowing exactly what Toback wanted (sex with her), what she wanted (a role from him), nervous it might not turn out that way (he wouldn’t hold up his part of the bargain, but she would hold up his part for him). She wanted to keep trying and give it a shot anyway. 

Sari really wants to be an actress. She plods on and on about her ordeal. She kept going out to dinner with The Cavernous, Spaghetti-Faced, Masturbating Bear. She felt sick. She hated being with him. She pretended to enjoy it… because (wait for it): “I was an aspiring actress and I wanted to be a real actress.” (It sounds like she never did come clean about that lie, doesn’t it?) He asks her to a hotel. She agrees. He paid $600 in cash at the desk. We’ll be charitable and assume it was to the hotel, not to her. They go upstairs. They go into the room. They close the door. The door to the room. The hotel room. The room with the bed in it. He asked her to take her clothes off. She doesn’t want to. She protests. He looks at her with scorn and says it’s what you have to do to be in the movies. 

Sari really wants to be an actress. So she takes off her clothes. Plush upholstery. Half-open window. Chilly air. She’s scared. He’s commodious. He talks of orgies. She was 23. But hey, this is the guy who wrote “Bugsy.”

Mr. Meaty-Hands kneels, stares, rubs, grunts. She’s confused. She wonders if he’s trying to “get off.” She asks him so. He says “absolutely.” She’s shocked! 

So this is what he had been talking about all this time? This is the connection he had been after? Holy crap! She’d been had, without actually having been had! 

“I bolted upright, threw on my clothes, and hurried out the door.”

Hooray! She managed to get away without rape, just rubbing, and a few free dinners.

She warned her dancer friend Lauren about Toback years later. Lauren is saved! Sari never saw Toback again. But damn it, she saw his name plastered all over concrete buildings. Those damn buildings. All concrete and stuff, with Toback’s name plastered all over them. And she had to see it. The shame.

But hey, she walked away with her dignity.