Bush asks Hollywood's help

Monday, November 12, 2001

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Top Hollywood executives met with a senior White House official Sunday to discuss how the entertainment industry could help with the war on terrorism.

Participants said they talked about Hollywood-produced public service announcements and first-run movies for troops in the field, but emphasized there was no discussion of altering movies or television shows.

"Content was off the table," said Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. "Directors, writers, producers, studios will determine the kind of pictures they choose to make and the compelling stories they want to tell."

Karl Rove, a senior adviser to President Bush who met with the chiefs of Hollywood's biggest studios and the heads of its major unions, said the entertainment industry has much to offer.

Rove said he discussed several broad themes with participants, including encouraging volunteerism, offering support for American troops and their families, and showing that the war was against terrorism, not Islam.

Valenti said studios could have a role in producing public service announcements that could air both at home and abroad.

"We can try to tell people how America has been the most generous country in the world, we have fed and clothed and sheltered millions of people without asking anything in return," Valenti said.

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