Leading Hollywood Nonprofit Groups Join Movement to Keep Health Care and Financial Security at Top of Domestic Agenda

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 General News
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Celebrity-Driven Public Service Announcement Is First Step in Groundbreaking Collaboration

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hollywood's leading nonprofit organizations, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), have joined the "Divided We Fail" national movement led by AARP to bring attention to the domestic issues that worry Americans most: health care and financial security. Launching today, this unprecedented three-year collaboration between the entertainment world and the nation's largest advocacy group seeks bipartisan cooperation in finding solutions.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070209/NYF043LOGO)

"We are thrilled to have EIF and MPTF join us," said Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP. "This nation's health care and financial security crisis is about to explode: 47 million Americans have no health insurance, and more middle-class people are filing for bankruptcy because of health care-related expenses than for any other reason. We need to build a national conversation around these issues, and the entertainment industry is uniquely suited to help us do that," he said. "We must get everyone -- individuals, companies, and policymakers -- involved, regardless of their political persuasion. Only then will we be able to address these very serious challenges successfully."

A broadcast public service announcement (PSA), featuring a diverse lineup of celebrities who call attention to the need for affordable, quality health care for all Americans, is the initial step in the broad-ranging collaboration. Directed by actor and director Tony Goldwyn -- grandson of legendary producer and EIF Founder Samuel Goldwyn -- with music composed by Philip Glass, the PSA features Ben Affleck, Garth Brooks, Dakota Fanning, Morgan Freeman, Eva Mendes, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Piven and Reese Witherspoon.

The PSA urges viewers of all ages to go to www.dividedwefail.org to let their voice be heard on the issues we all have in common: the need for affordable, quality health care and peace of mind about financial security. Divided We Fail hopes to encourage millions of people to go to the web site and become engaged by:

-- Learning more about the issues and helping us spread the word;

-- Taking charge of their own health and financial security by making simple changes in their lives.

"The entertainment industry's leadership felt that we could make a major contribution to Divided We Fail," said MPTF Foundation Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. "Hollywood can call attention to these problems and help galvanize the public into taking action, which is a key first step in solving them. We're very grateful to Tony Goldwyn and all the performers who got the ball rolling by volunteering their time to appear in the PSA."

Elected officials are taking notice of the Divided We Fail movement. So far, 160 Members of Congress have signed a pledge to commit to working in a bipartisan way to provide Americans with action and answers on health and lifetime financial security or sent a letter in support of Divided We Fail.

EIF and MPTF have long histories of working in the health care arena. EIF, which was founded in 1942 by Samuel Goldwyn, runs national initiatives to increase awareness of critical health care issues and raises millions of dollars for medical research. The 86 year-old MPTF is a major provider of health and human services for entertainment community members.

Tony Goldwyn, who directed the PSA said, "When I heard about the Divided We Fail project, I was really attracted to it. I thought, 'This is exactly what I've been thinking.' And I know it's what a lot of other Americans have been thinking too. People wind up feeling that the two sides are just too far apart;

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