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Buddy Ackerman

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Do me a fucking favor. Shut up, listen, and learn. Look, I know that this is your first day and you don't really know how things work around here, so I will tell you. You. Have. No. Brain. No judgement calls are necessary. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You are here for me. You are here to protect my interests and to serve my needs. So, while it may look like a little thing to you, when I ask for a packet of Sweet-N-Low, that's what I want. And it's your responsibility to see that I get what I want.

Buddy Ackerman is a highly influential Hollywood producer and is the main antagonist of the 1994 Comedy-Drama Swimming with sharks, He is played by Kevin Spacey.

Plot and Character development

Buddy Ackerman hires Guy, a naive producer's assistant who has recently graduated from film school with high hopes of becoming a successful producer in the Hollywood film industry. His dreams of succeeding swiftly are crushed however when his Buddy turns out to be a Boss straight out of his worst nightmares. 

Buddy quickly becomes abusive towards his assistant, verbally berating him in front of the rest of the workforce for seemingly no real reason, the manner in which he belittles Guy is quite sadistic with him using insults such as: "My bath mat means more to me than you do." on a regular basis as well as throwing paper weights and other stationary objects at him when angered for the slightest reason. As a result of Buddys attitude towards him, Guy is forced to endure constant humiliation in order to keep his job, to the point of having to run pointless errands outside his working hours just to appease his Boss. The only thing that allows Guy to cope with the way he is treated is the hope that one day his suffering may pay off in the form of a promotion, as well as the short amount of time he gets to spend with his girlfriend, Dawn who he meets when he is first employed by Buddy. 

Eventually Guy snaps after Buddy's treatment of him becomes too much, as a result of this he kidnaps Buddy and holds him prisoner in his own home, there he exacts his revenge on his cruel boss, subjecting him to both psychical and mental torture in order to make Buddy regret the way he treated him whilst under his employment and show him how it feels to suffer under another's power. It is revealed as the film progresses that Guy was finally pushed over the edge and prompted to do all this when he learns that his girlfriend Dawn who had a history of working with Buddy, was planning to meet Buddy at his home for a rendezvous, this makes Guy threatened in addition to the usual humiliation he suffers and provokes him to seek revenge on his boss leading to the events that take place.

As the plot develops however, Buddy is shown in a more human, sympathetic light, he reveals to Guy that he once had to tolerate the same kind of treatment that he inflicted on him, and that it took an entire decade of this gruelling treatment in order for Buddy to acheive the postion of employment has by the time he hires guy. He argues that order to get anyware meaningful in the production industry, it is necessary to put up with the constant bullying and humiliation, and that the way he abused Guy was his way of making him realize that success is earned rather than simply given. He also reveals the tragic circumstances of his wife's death prior to the events of the film, in which she was raped and murdered, with Buddy's display of emotion over the ordeal making his character that much more sympathetic. Things reach a head when Dawn finally arrives at Buddy's home and finds the pair in their current situation, at this point Buddy begins to ask Guy what he really wants out of life and makes it clear that he is going to have to take steps if things are going to progress in a way that benefits him following this situation, he then provokes Guy (who has a gun) into taking action on his situation with Guy after some hesitation taking a shot ending the scene.

In a plot twist it is revealed that Guy has shot Dawn dead rather than buddy, rather than turning Guy into the police for what he has done, Buddy helps his kidnapper frame Dawn for the events that took place the previous night, with all the blame for kidnapping and torturing Buddy being convieniently heaped on her instead. Buddy rewards Guy for his ruthlessness, promoting him to a higher position as an aknowledgement that he feels that Guy now realises the price of success. During the final scenes, Guy is shown giving advice to a colleague about how to rise in the business,  Guy coldly tells him to find out what he really wants and then do anything to get it; during this speech, Buddy stands by from the doorway, smiling as he calls Guy into his office for a meeting, an understanding finally achieved between the two.

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