Monday, November 25, 2013

The Visit, the Demonstration

From the Wrap (now with Add On):

Visual Effects Workers on Planned Protest of Obama’s DreamWorks Visit: ‘We’ve Already Won’

The artists and effects wizards demonstrating near DreamWorks Animation want the president to acknowledge the outsourcing hurting their industry

Members of the visual-effects community are protesting President Barack Obama’s visit to DreamWorks Animation’s Glendale campus on Tuesday in order to draw attention to foreign and state film tax incentives that are luring work out of Hollywood.

[Meantime] ... White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday that the choice of DreamWorks Animation for Tuesday’s speech reflected the number of jobs being created by the company. The venue was not chosen because DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was a top bundler for Obama during the 2012 presidential election and one of his most important contributors.

Okaay. Nothing to do with political contributions. (What could everybody have been thinking?)

And I'm happy to say that, over the years, DreamWorks Animation has created a lot of jobs in Glendale. However, from mid 2011 to Spring 2013, the Guild is down around 200 jobs at DWA. (I know because I checked. But to be fair and transparent, the company is now in the process of hiring for its new television division. So there will be an uptick.)

Regardless of DreamWorks Animation's ups and downs, the larger visual effects community in L.A. has been absolutely kicked in the backside by the massive subsidies offered by other states and countries. Be nice to see a level playing field, but it would also be nice if we all got to frolic in rolling, verdant fields with pretty white unicorns.

And that ain't going to happen, either.

Add On:

... President Obama’s schedule on Tuesday includes a meeting with studio executives and other entertainment industry representatives at DreamWorks Animation, where economic issues specific to Hollywood are expected to be discussed, sources said on Monday.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has been inviting studio chiefs to the meeting, sources said, and among those expected at the closed-door event are MPAA chairman Chris Dodd, CBS’s Leslie Moonves and possibly Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara and Barry Meyer and Fox’s Jim Gianopulos. Although no agenda has been set, such issues as the economic impact of entertainment, as well as the fight against piracy, are expected to be brought up. ...

Maybe even ... oh ... outsourcing?

Add On Too: Obama on DWA's Glendale campus:

President Obama took to the stage today for a speech on the economy at DreamWorks Animation, the company run by one of his biggest Hollywood bundlers Jeffrey Katzenberg. After being introduced by Mellody Hobson — the DWA board chairman from Aerial Capital Management, a Chicago native and longtime friend — he thanked Katzenberg for inviting him before launching into a pro-Hollywood and pro-economy message tailored to the crowd estimated at 1800-2000 that included DWA employees and pretty much every entertainment mogul in the city. “His place in the entertainment business is legendary … don’t need to puff him up too much he has a healthy sense of self”, Obama joked about Katzenberg, with the president adding that “my ears were the inspiration for Shrek”. The president called the entertainment biz “one of America’s biggest exports” and “one of the bright spots of our economy”, adding that he’s figured out what his next job will be. “I told Jeffery I’d like to work here”, Obama said to cheers from the crowd. As he wrapped up, after his customary “God bless America” line, Obama said, “Can’t wait to see your next movie”.

The Glendale stop, on the second day of a two-day LA fundraising swing, drew a who’s who of Hollywood moguls including CBS Corp’s Les Moonves, NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer, Jeff Shell and Robert Greenblatt, Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, Paramount’s Rob Moore, Fox’s Jim Gianoplulos and Peter Rice, Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer, Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara, Disney’s Bob Iger, Alan Horn and Anne Sweeney, LA Film Czar Tom Sherak and the MPAA’s Chris Dodd. Those execs participated in a closed-press meeting with Obama ahead of his speech ...


Oswald Cox said...

"The venue was not chosen because DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg was a top bundler for Obama during the 2012 presidential election"

Naaaw! No way! Mover along folks. Nothing to see here!

Next you are going to tell me that the firm that won the contract for the Obamacare website wasn't awarded it because their top executive was Michelle Obama's good friend at Princeton.

Or that Steve Westly wasn't given half a billion dollars of stimulus cash because he was a top bundler for Obama's campaign.

Wait, let me check... Oh, thats right: Obama's nominee for Commerce Secretary, his nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, and his nominee for FCC Chairman are ALL top bundlers to his campaign.

Some people still don't understand what "Chicago Politics" means. It means "Pay To Play". Its the least transparent and least representative administration to date.

Unknown said...

Nah, NO President ever did that. EVER. Least of all the one who left this country in financial shambles, g.w. shrub and his buddy boy, dick.

Oh, and they slept at the wheel while terrorists attacked America on 9/11. And raised taxes beyond belief.

Steve Hulett said...

Boys and Girls, Friends and Neighbors, meet Oswald, the vaguely Right Wing critic of the Way Politics works, American style. Especially when the politicis is run by a Dem O Crat.

But alas, poor Oswald, it's the way politics has worked in the U.S. of A. just about forever.

Like when George Washington's Secreatry of the Treasury Alex Hamilton helped cronies along by redeeming war bonds at par ... after the cronies had scooped them up at thirty cents on the dollar after ol' Alex had tipped them off what the new federal government was gonna do.

Or when corrupt Civil War contractors made boots and uniforms that fell apart on Federal troops as they marched.

Or corrupt building contractors who ripped off the Federal government while putting in sewers, newer buildings and paved streets in Washington, D.C. in the 1870s. (The Senate conducted a year-long investigation and issued a two volume report on the waste, fraud and abuse, which I was privileged to read when I was young and scholarly.)

More recently? There was good old Secretary of the Treasury Paulson helping good old American free enterprise along by bailing out (almost) all of his old crooked chums on Wall Street. But especially his old mates at Goldman Sachs.

This stuff has gone on for two hundred-plus years. The most corrupt political party at any given moment is the one that holds political power ... because power attracts the money and the influence peddlers.

Oswald Cox said...

Steve... Whats your point?

That Obama shouldn't be criticized because other leaders have had the same transgressions?

Its sounds like that the point you are making, but without the grandstanding, and the uppity seniority injected into it, it doesn't sound so profound.
Because it isn't.
Its not even a point. You've made an excuse.

Which is consummately pathetic for the voice of our union.
Thanks for playing.

Steve Hulett said...

My point: I was skeptical in the original post that the DWA visit wasn't political payback. Then you burst forth with, "Hey! It's a political payoff! Because Chicago machine politics!"

Then I make the observation that corruption has been part of the political fabric of America from its beginning. Then you accuse me of making excuses for Obama (I guess.)

Oh, and Oswald? You ever gonna reveal who you actually are? Or are you such a moral coward that that's off the table?

Oswald Cox said...

I was skeptical in the original post that the DWA visit wasn't political payback".

So I'm not allowed to make that point as well?

"Then I make the observation that corruption has been part of the political fabric of America from its beginning."

^That IS an excuse.

"Oh, and Oswald? You ever gonna reveal who you actually are?"?

That has NOTHING to do with the issue.

And every time I call you out for your hypocrisy or your willful ignorance to issues, you revert back to
"Who are you?!!?".
Because you want to shoot the messenger every time you can't defend your position.

BTW, how did the Affordable Care Act work out for America huh? Can't help but notice that the Kaiser study you were trumpeting in here had it WRONG and rate hikes will be the norm for half the people seeking coverage in California.

You post about an issue WITHOUT the facts and then when I offer up the grim reality, you attack my post. How dare I offer up a contradicting view to your rosy outlook!

"Covered California estimates that about 900,000 consumers will have their “non-grandfathered” policies canceled. Of those, 310,000 (or 35 percent) are eligible for a subsidy. Another 15 percent will see their rates decrease even though they won’t receive a subsidy. And the rest? About 25 percent will pay more for similar or perhaps inferior coverage, and the remaining 25 percent will pay more but will receive additional benefits, such as coverage for prescription drugs.

All told, fully half of the 900,000 will pay more."

I don't expect you to thank me for filling you in on the issue.

robert alvarez said...

Hey Oswald I'm not Steve but I'm asking you to reveal yourself. What would you possibly be afraid of by stating who you really are and standing by your beliefs. I think I know who you are and if I'm right then your secret identity speaks volumes about you.

Anonymous said...

Who cares who Oswald Cox is, he is correct on his statements and The union, though they will not admit it is completely Liberal and supports Obama no matter what the outcome may be. We all know that this union gives money to the democratic party and has suggested in the past who we should vote for which is illegal by the way. Oswald does not give up his real name do to the fact that people such as Steve completely crap all over the guy for his beliefs. We all know being a conservative in the animation business is a huge no no, you are called a crazy right winger and an idiot for having any sort of conservative idea. Being a conservative you are put down and called a religious nut job. I get Oswald's point and it is simple, when a Republican does something it is seen as the worst thing yet when a Democrat does the same thing it can be excused and when it is a Democrat of color watch out cause speaking out against him is simply being racist. See the hypocrisy now Steve??? Probably not, you never do. Keep at it Oswald, you are not the only one who thinks and feels the way you do.

Oswald Cox said...

Robert, it has NO bearing on the issues discussed in the union blog.

The only reason you want to know who I am, is so you can exact some kind of punishment upon me.
And thats sad. And petty.

I'm allowed to differ with Steve on issues? Right? He's not always right. I'm not always right. But you need to know who I am right? Why?
So you can shoot the messenger.

Why not shoot down the article I posted with real data? You can't.

There is no reason why you cannot dispute merit of the points I bring up. I'll be happy to concede that Obama is really holding up Dreamworks as an ideal workplace that keeps jobs in our country and sacrifices for their employees (and they do to a large degree), but the bottom line is that our president is granting a visit to a campaign contributor in hopes of getting more contributions. And there are more important issues for him to tackle right now than drumming up money for his party.

*side not: I DO like Steve. He has helped me out numerous times over the years, but I have to be as emphatic on my points as he is with his. So things escalate. Other than that - whats the big deal. Here is an overview:

Steve posts his opinion. The comments section has a lot of vociferous opposition to said opinion.

Thats the way most discussions online work Robert.

robert alvarez said...

Oswald you are so incorrect about me and any motives you might think I would have. Anyone who knows me will tell you that you are wrong about me and that I would "exact some kind of punishment" on you. I'm just curios as to your real identity. Nothing more or less. You are entitled to your opinions. You are not entitled to assumptions about me or any behavior you think I'm capable of doing.

Anonymous said...

I dont agree with Oswald's opinions, but I agree that he's entitled to his anonymity. If you cant discuss politics without making it personal (even just out of curiosity), just keep your mouth shut.

Steve Hulett said...

Oswald, I have NO problem with you posting your own viewpoints anonymously. You don't like Democrats, or the GOP, or the Whigs, fine by me. You don't like the liberal agenda, voice your differences. Go at it full bore. List your sources, be it Propublica or the late Reverend Moon's journal of fact and opinion.

But when you start slinging invective anonymously, that's where we part company. Call me all the names you want. I'm a big boy. Somehow I'll muddle through. But if you're calling me names without attribution, then my receptors shut down. And you lose my respect.

Because you're a moral coward.

Grant said...

The Affordable Care Act is GREAT! Rocky start, but no wonder. Imagine, American Taxpayers won't suffer the DEATH PANELS the gNOp supports, aka the insurance companies. And, at a HUGE discount! We will lower taxes because people should stop going to expensive emergency rooms with no insurance, leaving us with the bill.

I'm a "conservative." Religious people/wingnuts can't BE conservative. They're too busy prying into personal lives and trying to legislate morality. And believing in fairy tales about old men in the sky. What a waste of time.

Remember, g.w. shrub and dick hiked taxes higher than any president since reagin. And they allowed 9/11 to happen. And lied about it all.

No, our President Obama isn't perfect, but he's a HELLUVA lot better than the last one. NO one misses shrub.

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