Every time you walk past a magazine rack in your neighbourhood grocery store, your eye is instinctively drawn to those glossy images of Hollywood stars looking out from the covers of the entertainment magazines. More often than not, there is a method to the placement of these star-studded features. It is not unusual for the covers of entertainment magazines such as People, Entertainment Weekly and US Weekly to be emblazoned with headline-grabbing interviews with the stars ahead of the release of their movies.
Stars also make the rounds of late-night TV talk shows—especially those hosted by Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart—to promote their latest work. The hosts of these shows are certainly not movie critics but the celebrity cachet attached to their names is counted on to propel upward the fortunes of a movie and promote it among certain audiences. Aseem Chhhabra, an entertainment journalist based in New York, describes such coverage as “legit PR pieces”. Comparing it to Bollywood, he says, “The PR machine here tends to be much more ethical.”