White House, Hollywood join forces

Over 40 key entertainment execs met with a top aide from the Bush administration Sunday at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, to discuss a seven-point White House message to be broadcast worldwide.

At the historic meeting, Karl Rove, a senior adviser to President Bush, met with several top Hollywood brass, including: co-hosts Sherry Lansing, chairman of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group and Jonathan Dolgen, chairman of the Viacom Entertainment Group; Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone; and Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The discussion concentrated on creating public service announcements but did not emphasize any kind of propaganda or tampering with content in movies and television programs.

“We’re not going to set out in any way to influence opinion in a manner which can be construed as a propaganda effort backed by the administration,” Robert Iger, president of The Walt Disney Co., told the Associated Press.

“This is a recognition that Sept. 11 was a day that changed the world and if we can step forward and help our country contend with how their world has changed, I think that’s the patriotic thing for us to do.”

Some of the points Rove proposed to the Hollywood execs to help reach the America public included that the war is directed at terrorism, not the Islam nation; that Americans should reassure their children; and that there should be support for American troops and their families.

No further meetings have been set but the studio brass will now confer with one another to solidify “some concrete forms and plan of action,” Lansing told the Hollywood Reporter.

The Bush administration will establish a regular and continuing communication with Hollywood.