With all the conflicts in California today, Hollywood doesn’t need another one. Two groups, both dedicated to helping others, are warring over the closing of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s long-term care center .
This is not necessary. Our industry has found out that sometimes a co-production turns out well.
There’s a way to permanently solve the situation confronting some of the residents at the home — where the motto printed on the name sign in front of the home reads "We take care of our own." It is in the spirit of those who during the past century have cherished and worked for and contributed to this fund, which epitomizes the best in our community.
Let’s all who care join to make the following happen, while adding a glorious new chapter to the history of Hollywood. First a few words about the scenery in the background.
Since I arrived in Hollywood 87 years ago I have benefitted from the realization that ours is basically a caring community. During my 70 years in the industry I’ve observed that thousands of us — yes, count ‘em — have been buoyed by the thought that if necessary we might someday reside at the Motion Picture Country Home.
Only a tiny fraction do, but the concept is part of our sustaining sense of belonging to a wonderful world.
So here’s the answer:
Stop looking at the cost of production — keeping our aging colleagues alive and happy) and look at the possible "income." It is gross not to look at the gross!
Now Hollywood reaches up to a new chapter, entirely in its century-long tradition. It may be called "This Is Hollywood." It will be held annually, if necessary, at the 100,000-seat Coliseum or one of our many other spacious venues. Attendance will be free, or $10, or $100, or $1,00, or $10,000, or more, whatever those of us in the industry wish to pay.
Seating will be mixed, and not according to amount contributed. There will be no telecast and no filming of the event.
Hollywood’s unlimited talents will be entertaining us, proud to support their world. For four hours on a Sunday afternoon many of those who love our life will entertain us, an extravaganza of the stars in every calling: singers, dancers, actresses, actors, writers, editors, poets, stunt people, magicians, musicians, animators, costumers, composers, cinematographers, teamsters, grips, food providers, producers, painters, directors, publicists, make-up artists, assistants, others, even executives, agents, attorneys — all will contribute their expertise to make this event the greatest.
These caring volunteers, perhaps to include the Julie Andrewses, Barbra Streisands, Dick Van Dykes, Tony Bennetts, Angie Dickinsons, Carol Burnetts, Jamie Foxxes, Sean Connerys, Michael Caines, George Clooneys, comediennes, comedians, new young stars — possibly even some from the popular TV talent shows — will remind us of what Hollywood really is all about.
And, also perhaps, to tell the world that people are ready to help people.
Hey, you good old gals and guys at the Motion Picture Country Home, you’re not clunkers! And neither are we. Hollywood is going to be better than ever. The dreamers and the doers who have been making your home what it is are still here. Yes, we too are still dreaming and doing.
I’m confident that the industry will "listen." And those "good olds" can return to living happily and well together at their Motion Picture Country Home. If they are still around, after the announced "moving."
See you there…