6:15am PT by THR staff
Rob Moore Proposed to Girlfriend Days Before Paramount Ouster
He put a ring on it … then got the boot.
Days before Paramount's No. 2 Rob Moore exited his vice chairman post — hot on the heels of Viacom interim CEO Tom Dooley stepping down — the 54-year-old executive proposed to girlfriend Betty Zhou, 34, host of Talking to Hollywood With Betty Zhou, a show co-created by Moore for CCTV6.
Insiders in Hollywood have been buzzing about images from the appearance posted on C-NETZ Says, an English-language blog about Chinese entertainment. Moore slipped an engagement ring on Zhou’s finger in front of 30 friends at a reception at a Beijing hotel.
A Moore associate has said the executive believes he was abruptly let go because of his support for a very rich sale of a minority stake in Paramount to Chinese company Wanda, which Viacom's new shot-caller Shari Redstone and the board opposed and eventually jettisoned.
Moore proposing to Zhou. The couple also made the Vulcan salute.
Still on the job is Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey, who was seen dining with Redstone on Sept. 26 at the Tower Bar restaurant in West Hollywood. Redstone and the Viacom board had issued an unusual public statement of support for Grey on Aug. 26 following a regulatory filing that suggested the board might exercise greater control over the studio’s decisions.
Paramount has been through a rough spell at the box office this year, with weak performers including Zoolander 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Still, it appears that Redstone intends to keep Grey on the job as Viacom focuses on finding a new chief executive. The studio has a string of releases lined up in coming weeks that appears to include strong awards contenders, including Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis; Arrival with Amy Adams; and Martin Scorsese’s period piece Silence.
Oct. 31, 5:09 p.m. A previous version of this story incorrectly described the details of Moore's and Zhou's engagement and misstated her age.
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.