Hollywood, an entire industry dedicated to people pretending to be someone that they’re not (both onscreen and off), pretty much invented the concept of “fake it ‘til you make it.” In this world, people have secrets, and those willing to tattle are tantalizing.
First appearing in 2010, the Twitter account @MysteryExec, purportedly penned by an anonymous Tinseltown movie executive, amassed over 16,000 followers for telling it like it is. As Mashable explains, the exec “gave every impression that he ranked in the Hollywood production ecosystem” but ranted, raved, and stood against the worst Hollywood bullshit.
Turns out, it was all a fake.
Not that MysteryExec didn’t mean what he said. The real ruse was that MysteryExec was not an executive, but, as Mashable’s Josh Dickey reports, simply a young writer “trying to make it in Hollywood whose prank turned into a mini-phenomenon.”
This still-anonymous writer did ride his fake account to some version of making it—MysteryExec is now one of Hollywood’s most well-known internet-spawned personalities. The fake-it-‘til-you-make it rule, though, assumes that eventually, the faker won’t have to fake anymore and will learn how to do their job. Unfortunately, “fake movie executive” is not a real job. The only way to make it here is to get out before the game is up.
Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Since this is Cheat Week at Atlas Obscura, those finds will all be fake. Got a favorite hoax? Tell us about it! Send your finds to firstname.lastname@example.org.