We've Got Hollywood Covered

Katzenberg, How You Gonna Spin This One?

Obladi-ing and Oblada-ing a patient out of the home in song and dance.

In a classic case of "biting the hand that feeds you," I’m going to start off this blog post by complaining about the coverage of our Evening Before the Emmys rally that I read on The Wrap.


Normally, I have nothing but respect for the hallowed hyperlinked hallways of this website. They’ve given me a platform to launch into an almost weekly tirade that I hope reflects the outrage that the industry is feeling on the impending destruction of motion picture and television health care. 


But, they got it wrong this time. I read the story of our rally where we were supposedly "placed two blocks away by the police."


Adding insult to injury, I also read how we were "herded away by the police."


As a group, the families of the Residents wrestle with what is true fact and what is conjecture every day. In this case, the perception of the reporter may have been misguided by a momentary lapse of reason.


As thankful as we are for coverage, we know that the MPTF relishes the smallest misstep in order to publicly castigate us.


This is no "Dancing With the Stars" where one of the judges can wave a lackluster scorecard that unleashes an onslaught of tears from the clumsy contestant — we are "Dancing With the Truth," and we won’t be happy until we win the tournament. We have the truth on our side.


We were neither blocks away nor herded by the police. We have a wonderful relationship with the LAPD. They know of us and work with us so that our protests and rallies do not impinge on the rights of others. We are careful to keep the four-letter words from our chants (often difficult) and tidy up after ourselves.


I’ve personally seen the LAPD actively protecting our rights when some crybaby executives and duffers at the Motion Picture Home started complaining about our "noise" during their golf-event cocktail hour.

We are respectful when they are not. We comply with a moral imperative where they turn their heads. We support those that cannot support themselves when they toss them out.


Anyway, it’s not all chanting and marching while we wash down stale Cheetos
with warm Diet Coke — in stark contrast to the celebrities who only yards
away were dining on caviar scented tofu while sipping Crystal. The lies
that the MPTF serves on a platter seem to go down better when served on
white linen.

No…sometimes we run across a real gem.  A virtual guffaw at their expense
that might someday see the light of day.


Katzenberg’s gonna s— when he sees this. I can’t wait to see how they spin their video showing a senior MPTF executive and his nurses Obladi-ing and Oblada-ing their way along the corridors of the Motion Picture Home, merrily escorting a patient out in song and dance — only to have the evil exec give the wheelchair-bound patient a hearty "get lost" shove out to the parking lot, where you imagine the patient dodging oncoming traffic on Mulholland.


Had I not been so pissed about the brazenness of this uncompassionate video, I was almost as upset listening to them eviscerate the copyright of a Beatles classic.  A double blow to my sense of all that is holy!

I’m all about sarcasm, parody, and laughing at our follies and foibles. I get it, I really do.  In the hands of a skilled comedian, maybe we could have laughed at this parody of what I interpreted as abuse and indifference.

But not this time.

The stories of the deaths, one most recent, is anything but funny. If I had the permission of the family, I’d describe for you the final weeks in an industry professional’s life that was all about sadness, betrayal, and displacement.

To have died at the cusp of the Jewish New Year in this way is an abomination. To have died in unfamiliar surroundings, no matter how opulent or competent, is unforgivable.

It didn’t have to be. I’m not the only one saying that. I’m sure those who seem heartless to us are also filled with regret at the passing of this giant. How can they not? How can they say that transfer trauma has not claimed the lives of at least some of those who have been shown the door?

Next blog post, let’s look at Ken Scherer’s hastily-put-together press release that states: "MPTF’s Board of Directors has also approved the allocation of millions of dollars to facilitate safe and responsible transitions for the residents of our Long Term Care Unit as they transfer to new facilities."

These guys have millions to spend on anything but the continuum of care for motion picture and television workers.

Winner of the Los Angeles Press Club's best blog award and a Southern California Journalism Award for his HollyBlogs, as well as an award for the Facebook group that helped to muscle the salvation of long-term care for the motion picture and television industry, Stellar's "vituperative blog on TheWrap" (Vanity Fair) focuses on issues related to the motion picture and entertainment industry. Stellar is founder of The Man/Kind Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to fight religious and cultural intolerance through the arts while building bridges of tolerance for all people. Stellar lives in Woodland Hills, California, with his wife of over 30 years, Nuala, and much too much Beatles memorabilia.