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Motion Picture Home Plucking the Elderly

It’s evident that with the planned closing of the Long Term Care facility at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Home that the continuum of care for industry workers is now history. The beauty of the Motion Picture Home is that there is a "continuum of care." It’s the final resting place for those who […]

It’s evident that with the planned closing of the Long Term Care facility at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Home that the continuum of care for industry workers is now history.

The beauty of the Motion Picture Home is that there is a "continuum of care." It’s the final resting place for those who have paid their dues in the film and TV Industry — both above and below the line. Celebrities live on the same property as set dressers, gaffers, script supervisors, etc. It’s a beautiful concept that was originated by Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin. But that all may be ending.

On the face of it, the heartless decision to transfer more than 100 elderly and infirm residents is a travesty, and indicative of how the elderly are viewed as "low hanging fruit" at the MPTF. Our elders are easily plucked — most are unable to speak out, or even take care of their most basic needs. While they were spoon-fed and had their bottoms wiped by the most dedicated, professional caregivers at the MPTF (over 200 of them are about to lose their jobs as well), the MPTF board was secretly conspiring to "toss out their own" instead of abiding by the motto of "taking care of our own."

However, this reckless move is only the tip of the health-care iceberg. The level of care that industry workers have paid for is in jeopardy. Well-to-do residents of the MPTF Stark Villas as well as those residing in the cottages are a slip and fall away from being taken out of the system since there will no longer be long-term care.

How many serious injuries will be hidden out of fear that such a prognosis buys a one-way ticket out of the MPTF?

The families, as you probably know, have rallied against the closure. We are grateful for the groundswell of support that we’ve gained, thanks in great part to the exposing of the MPTF financials on TheWrap by Andrew Gumbel.

It seems that there’s plenty of money, especially if you are Dr. David Tillman or Seth Ellis — both of whom enjoy salaries and recent raises deemed "exorbitant" by other healthcare executives.

It’s difficult to fathom how the top members of the MPTF board — all, in my opinion, great weavers of motion pictures, can be so callous.

It reminds me of a waitress at the Troubadour, who said, after she was verbally abused by a drunken and obnoxious John Lennon one evening (he was subsequently thrown out of the club by Peter Lawford) …

"It hurts when you realize your heroes are schmucks."

You listening Mr. Katzenberg?

 

See Saving the Lives of Our Own for more information on the MPTF Home controversy.

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.