The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Katzenberg's grade for Motion Picture Home closure: F

February 11, 2009 |  4:22 pm

The new showbiz blog The Wrap has been doing a fantastic job of reporting on the Motion Picture and Television Fund fiasco. In fact, after the blog's latest hard-hitting revelations about inconsistencies between the fund's public statements and its official financial documents, fund chieftain Jeffrey Katzenberg -- who has his hands full with fiascos these days, coming off of his botched "Monsters Vs. Aliens" Super Bowl ad -- held an audio news conference today designed to exercise some damage control. The result? Katzenberg came clean, saying, "We give ourselves a failing grade" in terms of communicating the board's actions.

The Wrap's Andrew Gumbel, who's been the blog's lead reporter on the issue, wasn't satisfied. He writes: "The MPTF officials gave only the most superficial of answers, however, when asked why they had announced the closures without warning. They also did not explain why a document prepared by the Camden Group laying out the case for closure had been kept confidential and why they had not even waited to see if the Hollywood community could raise funds to make up an anticipated multi-million dollar shortfall for 2008 and 2009."

The case is far from closed. And speaking of the Hollywood community: If the industry's deep-pocketed film studios can still afford to throw dozens of parties and run endless "for your consideration" ads during Oscar season, why can't they cough up some money to help ensure the care of the desperately ill members of the showbiz community? It's about time Hollywood got its priorities in order. 

-- Jeffrey Katzenberg in 3D: Hollywood is Rolling its Eyes