Ted Turner, who owned CNN, said, “I want to meet Lack face-to-face before I do this deal.” Bob McGroarty and I met him at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston. Ted said, “Johnny, let’s go upstairs. I want to smoke a peace pipe with you. I want to look in your eyes.” He’s out of his mind, Ted Turner.
We went upstairs to a vacant ballroom. He said “I want a transponder from you. I know you guys are good salespeople. You can sell our ad time for year. If it works, you can keep selling it for us.”
He said “Do you get high?” Turner always had good weed. He pulled a corncob pipe out of his pocket, lit the thing, took a puff, and put it in my mouth. He said, “Let me see the whites of your eyes, big boy.” I smoked. He said, “We’re in business.” We walked out and I said to McGroarty, “We’ve got to tell Jack Schneider how the meeting went. You call him. I think I’m a little too high.”
And what I talked about in it was the idea of celebrity, and celebrities being treated like blacks were in the ’60s, having no rights, and the fact that people can slander your name. I said that in the toast. And I had to say this in a position where I, from the art world, am marrying Kim. And how we’re going to fight to raise the respect level for celebrities so that my daughter can live a more normal life. She didn’t choose to be a celebrity. But she is. So I’m going to fight to make sure she has a better life.