Hugh Jackman proved Wolverine has the stuff as his “One Night Only” concert at the Dolby Theatre raised $1.85 million dollars for the Motion Picture & Television Fund Saturday night in Hollywood. Each year the …
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
The recent war of words between the Motion Picture & Television Fund and the union representing caregivers employed at the fund’s various facilities has somewhat obscured what the MPTF actually does. In a slick PR move that also shines a light on the fund’s mission, the MPTF has launched a new documentary web series, Alive And Kicking, which follows Tony Lawrence and Larry Kelem, two residents living in the MPTF retirement facility in Woodland Hills, as they collaborate on an original musical. Lawrence is a writer whose credits include the original Hawaii Five-0 and The Twilight Zone. Kelem, who died December 18, 2012 at 91, was a music composer and arranger, agent, and manager. The eleven-episode series of shorts is available Wednesdays and Thursdays through March 21.
The Motion Picture and Television Fund‘s long-term care facility, which the care-givers union has criticized repeatedly over staffing levels and other issues, got some validation this week by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine rated the MPTF facility among …
OSCARS: Jeffrey Katzenberg On Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — “I Don’t Feel Like This Is My Award”
On Saturday night, four shiny new Oscars will be handed out at the fourth annual Governors Awards being held at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Those receiving Honorary Oscars this year are legendary stuntman-director Hal Needham, documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, and producer and film champion George Stevens Jr. And receiving the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award that has gone in recent years to Jerry Lewis, Sherry Lansing and Oprah Winfrey is DreamWorks Animation head and philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg, who tells me he was “almost totally” surprised to be getting the honor.
Related: Academy Names 2012 Governors Awards
“There were two people who shall remain nameless who had said over the summer, ’Hey you know there’s a little bit of talk that maybe this is the right moment, the right time to acknowledge the work you’ve been doing’, but honest to God it didn’t register,” Katzenberg said. “I tried to be humble and gracious and say I appreciate it but no need. So when (Academy president) Hawk (Koch) called me, I had no idea they were meeting. I was floored. I get this urgent call at 10:30 PM from Hawk and I was genuinely taken by surprise.”
So what does it mean to him?
“I am gonna talk about it on Saturday night because I have had time to think about it like I hadn’t before”, he said. “What I really believe is in a way is this is a reflection back on our own community. The real fact is all I did was ask, and it’s Hollywood that has done the giving. I really feel I am receiving this on behalf of Hollywood and our community and the extraordinary generosity that we have for the real world that we live in. The Oscars are given out for great work in the fantasy world that is moviemaking. And the Hersholt Award is about the great work that is done in the real world that we actually all live in together. I don’t believe there is a more generous community than ours. I don’t really feel like this is my award. I don’t feel this is me. I feel this belongs to all of us together”.
Los Angeles, CA, (October 16, 2012) – In an extraordinary commitment, the three men who created DreamWorks SKG: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, are each donating $30 million to the MPTF Campaign as announced today by George Clooney, MPTF Board member and co-chair of the Campaign. The total commitment of $90 million is a major shot in the arm for the $350 million Campaign announced earlier this year to build the endowment and support the charitable operations of the industry’s charity.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) today announced a gift of $20 million from News Corporation for its MPTF Campaign. Fox’s Filmed Entertainment co-chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos sits on the MPTF board. “Rupert Murdoch has …
Birthday wishes are in store for the famous Beverly Hills Hotel celebrating its centennial this year and kicking it off with a two-day affair, just ended at the famous Los Angeles landmark. With all proceeds benefitting the Motion Picture & Television Fund (which also holds a major fundraiser ahead of the Oscars called The Night Before) high-rollers were treated on Friday to comedy and jazz by the pool hosted by Bill Cosby and Saturday night to cocktails, dinner and a mini-concert by Mary J. Blige who said it was her favorite hotel, where she married the love of her life. She definitely had the Crystal room rocking.
Earlier in the evening MPTF founding Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg welcomed guests including one of the evening’s hosts Brett Ratner, and the main attraction for many in the room, Warren Beatty who serves on the MPTF board. “Somehow or another this place is the center of the universe. There’s no one in this room who knows this hotel better than Warren Beatty. I mean no one,” he said to laughs as Beatty took the stage to lead a toast.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just received confirmation of what I’ve suspected since September 4th: the Motion Picture And Television Fund’s pact for Providence Health & Services California to take over the acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities is no more. That’s right, the deal has fallen through whose existence I scooped back in on February 23rd, and then announced with such fanfare, called for Providence to broaden and expand healthcare services to the entertainment industry on the storied Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.
However, an MPTF insider tells me tonight that there’s a “better alternative” on the way and that any rumors about the facilities “closing [are] not true”. I know that several major Hollywood moguls have been and still are working behind-the-scenes to find a way to keep servicing acute care patients.
But as of this week, employees and staff of the hospital began telling family members that the Providence deal has collapsed and there is nothing in place to keep it open. So basically the MPTF is back in the same mess it was starting in 2009 when the first announcement was made about the MPTF’s decision to close its acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities because they were losing $10 million a year. This became a huge Hollywood story with major ramifications for everyone who considered the MPTF as their safety net in times of sickness and old age. And it underscored how, with all the enormous wealth in showbiz, that the community couldn’t or wouldn’t look after its own better than this.
I understand that the grassroots activists who fought so hard and long to keep the facilities from shuttering have not been officially told yet about this terrible development. Who is served by keeping this secret? Certainly not the patients or their loved ones.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I’ve learned that the MPTF deal is with Providence Health & Services, which will take over management of the acute care hospital to keep it open on campus and even expand the intensive care nursing services and other long-term offerings. “It couldn’t be a better scenario,” one of my insiders exults. Providence Health & Services of California describes itself as a Catholic, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing quality and compassionate health care and reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable in the communities it serves. Providence California operates five acute care medical centers in the Los Angeles area: Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Tarzana Medical Center, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. The region also operates programs and facilities including Providence Medical Institute, Hospice care, long-term care, outpatient clinics and a high school.
EXCLUSIVE 9 AM: I’ve just received word that there’s good news coming for the Motion Picture & Television Fund and those acute care patients who depend on its services. I’ll get you details as soon as I can, but for now I can report that essentially the MTPF is making a deal to keep the acute-care hospital open and even expand intensive care services. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this resolution comes on the eve of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation’s 9th Annual “Night Before” Pre-Oscar Fundraiser hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation Board, two years after he announced the closure of the MPTF’s acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities because they were losing $10 million a year. Nor that it follows a California Department Of Public Health inspection of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s skilled nursing facility completed on June 4, 2010, citing the MPTF for rights violations and service failures. Nor that it follows the forced resignation of Dr. David Tillman, MPTF’s president and chief executive, and his replacement by the more responsible and conciliatory Bob Beitcher. Nor that it follows nearly two years of bad publicity for nearly everyone involved at the MPTF because of protests by the families of the acute care patients and grassroots activist groups like Saving The Lives Of Their Own to ensure that the entertainment industry’s promise of “Taking Care of Our Own” remains unbroken now and for future generations just as it did when it was founded back in 1921 by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to help showbiz people who fell on hard times. Nor that it follows recent weak Hollywood Guild agreements with the studios and networks that will have the result of robbing more members of their middle class livelihoods and imperiling their health and pension benefits so that in the future even more stress will be put on MPTF infrastructure.
Back on November 24th, I reported that MPTF’s recently installed President/CEO Bob Beitcher was trying to effect a compromise and was told “odds are favoring a face-saving yet real solution for the LTC and a major capital campaign, over a continued war of attrition and negative PR”. So a dialogue has been ongoing between Beitcher, Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation CEO Ken Scherer, and MPTF bigwigs including Casey Wasserman, chairman of the Wasserman Foundation which is one of MPTF’s biggest benefactors (and whose namesake Wasserman campus in Woodlands Hills is the venue for the acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities), and even Jeffrey Katzenberg.
It was two years ago, that without any warning the shocking announcement was made that the MPTF’s acute care hospital and long term care nursing home were losing $10 million a year and that the shortfall was expected to widen significantly in coming years.
I have received a sickening statement from Bob Beitcher, the MPTF President/CEO, which redefines the term chutzpah. In it, he asserts, “The deficiencies asserted by the California Department of Public Health based on its annual ‘unannounced’ survey in June have been widely misreported in the industry news media and blogs.” That’s right, it’s all my fault! At the heart of Beitcher’s argument is that, hey, the California Public Health Department says the MPTF broke state and federal laws by transferring its acute care patients and making them sicker — but not to worry: that was an “unannounced” visit (which means MPTF didn’t have time to fool the inspectors). Plus, the MPTF is caring for even more frail patients (so what they did to the transferred patients doesn’t count). And the MPTF’s law-breaking was the result of only documentation errors so they are “tightening up procedures and re-training staff [for] lapses in administrative paperwork” (not bothering to actually give better care). I wish I were kidding. Here is what I emailed back to the MPTF’s PR people who gave me this nonsense: “Excuse me but I am not an idiot. I read the report and I know what it says. I misinterpreted nothing.”:
STATEMENT FROM BOB BEITCHER, MPTF President/CEO
The deficiencies asserted by the California Department of Public Health based on its annual “unannounced” survey in June have been widely misreported in the industry news media and blogs. As a result, the MPTF long-term care situation continues to be cast in the negative light created by the vocal family members of some of our residents.
The current president of the studios’ lobbying group MPAA and former SAG National Executive Director/CEO replaces Frank Mancuso:
WOODLAND HILLS, CA, April 28, 2010 — Veteran entertainment industry executive Bob Pisano has been elected as Chairman of the Motion