If you had driven down Sunset Boulevard on the night of Feb. 21, just outside of the Beverly Hills Hotel, you might have easily run over one of us. We were over 200 strong, wielding signs of protest and wearing masks in effigy for the elderly residents who face eviction at the Motion Picture Home.
Under the watchful eyes of Beverly Hills’ finest, we paraded proudly up and down the boulevard, acknowledging supportive honks while up at the hotel, the Jeff and Mike Show was about to begin.
Ensconced in a suite at the hotel that overlooked the families who were fighting for the lives of their loved ones were Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Douglas, fielding softballs that were being lobbed at them by most of the journalists in attendance.
One journalist however, whose work you might be familiar with on TheWrap.com, started asking some tough questions directed at Douglas.
Much like a stage mother who shouts cues and corrections from the sidelines to her unprepared child star, Katzenberg exerted some authority over the clueless Douglas and began to answer for him.
Both however, made assertions and allegations that were anything but truthful:
"It will get resolved in a way that will make everybody happy,” claimed Douglas.
"We are going to ensure that they are going to be taken care of in the first class manner that they have become accustomed to,” assured Katzenberg.
Don’t take my word for it — hear them yourself, at two minutes into the video:
Mike, we ain’t happy. Jeff, if you think that facilities like the s— holes that your social services departments are recommending for our families is first class, then crash on my couch anytime bro. You will really think that you’ve reached hospitality nirvana!
And … at my house, we have zero deficiencies! OK, maybe we aren’t equipped to take care of the elderly (you and your boys Tillman and Ellis think that aging at home is the wave of the future), but we do offer satellite TV and complimentary Diet Coke. That may be enough for you and Mr. Douglas, but my mom and the other residents require a bit more care.
The other facilities that you want to move my mother and the other 100-plus elderly and infirm residents to (that number is dwindling from 130-plus as 16 have died, and the rest have moved) are anything but “first class.”
For example, one facility has 143 deficiencies. As shown on the California Health Facilities Consumer Information website, this facility:
1. Has dealt with 64 complaints, some of which have been substantiated, dealing with accidents, quality of care and treatment, quality of life, resident and patient rights, and infection control.
2. Has 143 Survey Deficiencies since 2005.
At another facility, that I had the opportunity to personally tour — I was appalled. Tiny rooms where up to four people were occupying. At 3:30 in the afternoon, many residents were sitting in these darkened rooms, their faces illuminated by the cold glare of their small TVs. There was no visible interaction between nursing staff and residents.
It was depressing, dismal. Nothing like the incredible care and facilities of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, where even the most “out-of-it” resident is immaculately dressed and doted on by the best caregivers in the world.
So don’t tell us that “everybody will be happy,” because we’re not. And Jeff, please revisit your standards if you think these facilities are “first class.”
Better yet, come to your senses. Allow the industry to raise the money for any shortfall, if indeed there is a shortfall. Keep the heart and soul of the MPTF intact. Dump the douchebags Tillman and Ellis who have turned our beloved Motion Picture Home into Stalag 17.
They’re making you look bad.
These are your mothers and fathers, too. These are the ones who have worked tirelessly in your industry to allow you the success that you are enjoying.
Michael … Kirk would really take you down a few notches if he knew the full story of what’s really going on.
Do you even know what’s really going on?