Between the election drama and the pandemic trauma, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that theatres in NYC & LA County are still being kept shut by politicians who just don’t care about the film industry’s future.
Film industry veterans lament privately that Jack Valenti, the legendary MPAA chief, and Lew Wasserman, MCA/Universal’s legendary CEO, are no longer here to steer Hollywood through today’s very troubled waters.
Valenti & Wasserman were masters at using Hollywood’s economic clout to persuade politicians to do what they wanted to achieve. That kind of lobbying was an art form they’d each mastered over many years of experience on Hollywood’s front lines.
What Hollywood needs today as the endless closure of NYC & LA theatres drives pictures into the future — like the recently undated FREE GUY (pictured – 12/11 poster) — is the kind of powerhouse political punch that Valenti or Wasserman could have delivered.
We don’t know exactly how they’d have done it, but they both excelled at negotiating and reaching compromises that enabled difficult solutions. With their skills, Hollywood would likely be in much better shape right now.