Thursday, July 14, 2011

The thing that got me pissed enough to start a blog

Above is a link from 2009 about the Hollywood Home facing financial ruin. The Motion Picture and Television Fund was started by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and many others in Hollywood to help anyone who'd been in the business more than 20 years with retirement care.  Anyone from makeup artists to actors and their families could come here, it was by the acting community, for the acting community, and was started with silent stars and directors own donations.  Everyone pitched in to ensure a safety net for themselves and their colleagues, and now it's fallen to ruin from greed.

The original board of trustees were people in the industry, Cecil B. Demille and Hal Roach to name a few. Originally gaining funding from collection boxes set up in the studios, later it was funded by Mary Pickford's Payroll Pledge Program, taking .5% from payrolls of industry workers making over $200 a week.

Today bean counters run it an have squandered the funds and, amazingly, current Hollywood "royalty" (which is a dead title now if you ask me) have hardly lifted a finger to save it. David Tillman is the current CEO and is listed as the highest paid CEO of a health care center, making $750,000 annually.

While not all of Hollywood has turned a blind eye,  (Michael Douglas, Warren Beatty, Kevin Spacey, Samuel Goldwyn Jr, are or had once been on the board) it seems with the hundreds of thousands of people employed in the movie industry in Los Angeles there would be no way this place could fail.  Seems the goodwill has long faded and no one has any concern aside from themselves.

In 2010 there was a benefit held for the home.  "It wasn't the moguls or reigning superstars that turned out", it begins.

“Spielberg and them raised $100 million for Israel like it was nothing,” Taylor addressed the bidders before the auction began. “I think we should just raise $100 million to keep the [home] open.”

WHAT'S HAPPENED?  Today's stars have more money than ever yet between mismanagement by the home's corporate heads and complete lack of appreciation from today's top billers these elderly folks who have donated their lives to paving the way to make today possible are being put to the curb?  What is wrong with people?  I've always attributed the major differences to classic stars being from the stage, but this is beyond that.  Greed and apathy, yet again, taking down something started by one of the greatest philanthropists of all time.  being filthy stinking rich comes with social responsibility.  You are lucky to have your fortunes, especially today when you don't even need much talent or work very hard to be a household name. Chaplin knew this (Chaplin wasn't even a citizen, and never was, thanks to McCarthy).  Paul Newman knew this. Now everyone wants to give the illusion of being good by helping Africa or setting out on factless campaigns (Like Kutcher and Demi Moore recently on sex trafficking) but what about right here at home, for your own people and the people who paved the way for you to begin with? 

Chaplin would kick you in your teeth, Hollywood.

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