Today's LAT profiles Bobby producer Edward "But My Parole Officer Called Me Michael" Bass, whose shady past in mail fraud, Oscar gala guest-list deception, and poetry contest judging irregularities may be coming back to haunt him now that there's awards buzz around the movie, especially since Bass's clashes with director Emilio Estevez (writing that never feels quite comfortable, as much as we revere Men at Work) resulted in him being tossed off the movie. The Times kicks around some of the bones in his closet as Bass laments an inability to leave the past behind:
His 1992 Oscar night gala touted prominent attendees such as then-Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin and actor Jack Lemmon. Neither showed, and an irate Lemmon said he'd never had anything to do with the event. Bass' "celebrity airlift" called Toyskis for Totskis, designed to bring Christmas cheer to needy Russian kids, stalled when the toys got stuck at the airport. And his 1993 Beverly Hills poetry contest, promising $50,000 in prizes and a star-studded gala celebrating the 85th birthday of comedian Milton Berle, was marred by complaints from some poets about a lack of prizes, judging and meals.
Fast-forward about 20 years, and Bass, 49, still finds himself in the thick of controversy, this time on "Bobby." Before shooting started, he battled with Emilio Estevez, the film's director and screenwriter, and it wasn't long before the cast and crew were whispering about Bass' background. Ultimately, Bass was asked to part company with Bold Films, the production company.
Whether Bass can successfully put his past behind him remains to be seen. He doesn't want his past to affect the movie and said he is willing to withdraw his name if his involvement jeopardizes the film's chance at an Oscar run: "Why can't we just let Michael Bass die and let Edward Bass live? He's my evil twin."
Unfortunately for Bass, the attempted (and rarely successful) murder of an evil twin in Hollywood is a remedy only available to those notable enough to merit an on-camera interview with a Diane Sawyer-level interrogator, where one can try to drown the devil in flopsweat and crocodile tears, so the producer will probably be hearing about that Oscar party as long as people think Bobby might win an Academy Award.