Secretary of State gathered a roomful of moguls to ask for help on terrorism, but it’s not clear what Hollywood is prepared to offer
A meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and top Hollywood brass covered topics including ISIS and piracy, but offered no specific commitments, plans or ideas on fighting terrorism, multiple individuals familiar with their discussion told TheWrap.
En route to meet President Obama for a summit near Palm Springs, Kerry gathered executives from Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Disney and Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Partners on the Universal lot on Tuesday for what one insider described as a “forum to exchange ideas.”
But it seems that few ideas were in fact exchanged at what was actually more of a photo opportunity. The get-together “was more Kerry checking the temperature of people in the room,” said another individual familiar with the meeting.
A third individual familiar with the meeting said the unstructured conversation also touched on content piracy, how the world perceives American show business, and combating terrorist narratives, like those of ISIS, in the media.
“[Secretary Kerry] sought their perspectives and their recommendations about how the United States and the coalition can better counter the propaganda of terrorist groups like Da’esh,” a statement from Kerry spokesperson John Kirby said. Da’esh is another label for ISIS.
Radical Islamic groups have previously shown significant influence on platforms like Twitter, and the platforms have grappled with censorship issues as a result. Hacktivist groups like Anonymous have also pledged to help limit the reach of terrorists.
Kirby added that Kerry “welcomed the opportunity to discuss a range of other issues confronting the entertainment industry in their foreign interactions.”
The meeting was organized by filmed entertainment chairman Jeff Shell, who also heads the Broadcast Board of Governors.
Other honchos present included Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley and Universal Pictures President Jimmy Horowitz, Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Amblin Partners CEO Michael Wright, 20th Century Fox CEO Jim Gianopulos and Co-Chair Stacey Snider, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Walt Disney film production head Sean Bailey and NBCUniversal vice chair Ron Meyer.
“Good to hear their perspectives & ideas of how to counter #Daesh narrative,” Kerry captioned a picture of the group on Twitter.