UPDATES EXCLUSIVE: MPTF Pushed Tillman To Exit
UPDATES Tillman Exits Controversy-Plagued MPTF
Despite president/CEO Dr. David Tillman’s forced resignation, there has been no reversal of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s decision 15 months ago to close its long term care hospital and nursing home facility on the Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills. In fact, accusations are flying there has been a reduction in care due to staff cuts. Not only that, but the new CEO Bob Beitcher is still refusing to accept donations specifically earmarked for the long term care facilities.
As a result, there will be another protest rally held outside tonight’s “Night Before” Oscars MPTF fundraiser organized by Jeffrey Katzenberg at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s ”to remind donors that MPTF leadership adamantly refuses to use proceeds from the lavish annual fundraising event to benefit the nursing home or hospital, despite the MPTF’s claim that lack of funds forces the closure of these vital facilities.”
Tonight’s rally once again is organized by “Saving the Lives of Our Own”, a grass-roots coalition of thousands of family and industry members, healthcare workers and community supporters who will be joined by SAG, DGA, WGA, AFTRA, IATSE and Teamster members. The group also is asking Oscar attendees to wear a gold awareness ribbon to remind … Read More »
UPDATES Tillman Exits Controversy-Plagued MPTF
Sources associated with the Motion Picture and Television Fund have confirmed to me that president/CEO Dr. David Tillman was pushed to exit because of the public relations nightmare over the closing of the acute care hospital and long-term elderly care facilities. “He left because of the process and how it was handled. Life is about execution. So if you can’t execute something well, it doesn’t matter how good the plan is. He resigned because that was the appropriate way to handle it,” an MPTF insider explained to me late last night. Nor, I’m told, was the $600,000-a-year Tillman — at one point named by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ”World’s Worse” person because of the closures — surprised to hear that board members were dissatisfied.
I also learned that Jeffrey Katzenberg, who’s been on the receiving end of the criticism for the closures, was not directly involved in Tillman’s removal because the DreamWorks Animation CEO doesn’t sit on that board subcommittee which made the decision. But “it’s safe to assume that nothing there is going to happen unless Jeffrey is OK with it,” the MPTF assured me.
Tillman’s exit came yesterday just a few weeks before Katzenberg hosts his major MPTF fundraiser, “The Night Before” party held annually on the eve of the Oscar broadcast. Last year’s limousines arriving for the Saturday fete were greeted outside the … Read More »
UPDATES EMAILS TELL THE STORY: A-List Board & Foundation Members Hiding From MPTF
Kevin Spacey has responded with this letter to me after I posted that email exchange between his London PR and an Independent UK journalist about the Motion Picture & Television Fund:
It’s time to once more highlight the discraceful silence of Hollywood stars over the long-term care closings at the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Particularly appalling is the extent to which A-list board and foundation members now are distancing themselves from the MPTF and its scandal. I’ve obtained the following email exchange between Kevin Spacey’s publicist and Guy Adams, the Independent UK newspaper journalist whose article about the closings generated the following correspondence.
It’s quite an eye opener:
From: Nicola Howson
To Guy Adams, Independent UK
Subject: MOTION PICTURE & TELEVISION FUND
I am writing in regard to your story today about the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the decision to close its nursing facility in California.
I represent Kevin Spacey who has asked me to point out that he is not a member of the Board of that organisation as you suggest in the piece, and as such has had no involvement in this decision. We would be grateful if you could ensure that the piece is corrected online ASAP and that you issue a correction in the main paper tomorrow.
Many thanks and I would be grateful if you could contact me to confirm receipt of this email.
[Nicola Howson, Freud Communications]
From: Guy Adams
To: Nicola Howson
Subject Re: MOTION PICTURE & TELEVISION FUND
Kevin Spacey’s named on the website of the MPTF as a member of the MPTF … Read More »
The group “Saving the Lives of Our Own” has released an Open Letter to Jeffrey Katzenberg in answer to two full-page advertisements by the Motion Picture & Television Fund in a print trade publication last week. Katzenberg is the Chair of the “MPTF Foundation Committee,” and a member of both the Fund Board of Trustees and the MPTF Corp Board of Directors. Saving the Lives of Our Own is a grass-roots coalition of thousands of Entertainment Industry workers and community members whose mission is to keep the MPTF long-term care facility open, to stop the evictions of its elderly residents, and to ensure that the MPTF promise of “Taking Care of Our Own” remains unbroken – now and for future generations:
Tonight is the 3rd annual “Evening Before Emmys” fundraiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund. But outside the event in Century City, the grassroots organization “Saving The Lives Of Our Own” held a candlelight vigil to protest the “Evening Before Eviction” — its moniker for the MPTF closures of the acute- and long-term care facilities. Tonight’s protest was expected to include members of SAG, Teamsters Local 399 (one of the leaders, Steve Dayan, is being interviewed photo), AFTRA, the WGA, DGA, IATSE and others. “Saving The Lives Of Our Own” is a grass-roots coalition of entertainment industry workers, long-term care residents, their families, and community members. In weeks leading up to the event, the protest group wrote to the partygoers and said:
We respectfully ask that you please reconsider your decision to participate in the MPTF’s September 19 ‘Evening Before Emmy’ event.
Unfortunately, the money raised at this event will NOT go towards saving this historic and vital long-term care facility, which these residents depend on now and future generations of Hollywood’s rank-and-file workers will depend on in the future. Though fundraising offers have been made, the Fund’s administrators have responded by saying that no amount of money would change their closure decision.
The MPTF’s sacred promise, ‘We Take Care of Our Own,’ its noble mission since its founding by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford in 1928, has been broken.
The appeal was directed to “Evening … Read More »
Interesting how the same Hollywood moguls who say the necessary millions can’t be raised for the expansion and modernization of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s acute care hospital and longterm care nursing home are instead meeting lofty fundraising goals for the expansion and modernization of the USC School Of Cinematic Arts. But then we know the reason for that: one institution is producing tomorrow’s talent whom the studios and networks can then exploit for years to come. And the other simply houses yesteryear’s old and sick and used-up workers.
Don’t get me wrong. Supporting institutions of higher learning is a wonderful thing. Especially when they’re already well-funded private schools like USC. A news release just issued on the occasion of SCA’s 80th anniversary and the opening of its new campus lavishes praise on the Fox Entertainment Group, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros, the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Dana and Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli Foundation, and Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, among many other prominent individuals and foundations who have contributed significantly to SCA’s fundraising goals.
Interesting, too, how Hollywood moguls have clammed up about the MPTF despite so many journalists’ requests. But on March 29, SCA will open its doors to the media when the school’s long-time supporters George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg join USC in a press conference presenting the all-new complex.
In 2006, SCA broke ground and kicked off the current campaign to construct and equip a new state-of-the-art campus. Since that time, the school worked with Industry leaders and others to raise … Read More »
The reason, according to today’s unexpected announcement (made while I was gone for the afternoon), is because the MPTF’s acute care hospital and long term care nursing home are losing $10 million a year. ”This shortfall is expected to widen significantly in coming years. The problem is that the vast majority of hospital and LTC patients are covered by government insurance programs whose reimbursement rates have not kept pace with fast-rising operating costs. MPTF has been making up the shortfall by dipping into its investment reserves. Based on current projections, continuing to subsidize the hospital and LTC facility would likely exhaust available reserves within five years.” About 100 retirees currently live in the MPTF home in Woodland Hills with what I know to be a waiting list. (Everyone I talk to always says there are not enough MPTF health care facilities, not too many!) Yet the MPTF’s press release claims that the closures come because of “declining demand” and that MPTF’s acute-care hospital “for the past few years has rarely been called upon to care for more than ten patients at any one time”. It says these closure decisions are the “result of more than three years of study and analysis by MPTF staff and outside experts”.
So much for the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s promise of “unwavering commitment” to the entertainment industry, and vice versa. This is a huge story with major ramifications for everyone who considered the Motion Picture And Television Fund facilities … Read More »