Cannes: Jeffrey Katzenberg Says MPTF Actively Looking For New 'Night Before' Home But Beverly Hills Hotel Employees Being Fully Compensated

At the DreamWorks Animation party Friday night in Cannes celebrating 20 years of DWA movies as well as the World Premiere of How To Train BlrODSUCEAAhyxA Your Dragon 2, Jeffrey Katzenberg told me he and the Motion Picture & Television Fund are actively looking for a new venue for the Night Before Oscar party in February. The Fund announced on May 5 that they were moving the glitzy, star-studded charity event to a new location after the Sultan Of Brunei (who owns the Dorchester Hotel group. which operates the Bev Hills and Bel Air Hotels) instituted harsh new laws against gays and women in his country and sparked a firestorm of protest in Hollywood, prompting lots of events to flee the property. The action forced the MPTF to pull its party, which Katzenberg, who is Chairman of the MPTF, made famous. Conceived 12 years katzenberg_gi__120906071528__130216010903__130223001221ago, it has been held every year since on Oscar weekend at the Beverly Hills Hotel to benefit the fund. It has earned multi-millions for the MPTF over the years. “It’s very sad,” Katzenberg said. “The Beverly Hills Hotel has been a part of Hollywood iconography for over 100 years, so to leave is sad but absolutely a must.  In this day and age, to have that level of intolerance and prejudice is something that none of us in Hollywood can condone. It’s a shame.” He added that the employees of the hotel —  innocent victims of all this — won’t suffer.

Related: Cannes: DreamWorks Animation Celebrates 20 As ‘Dragon 2′ Breathes Fire On The Fest

“The good news is that the staff of the hotel is being fully compensated,”  he said. “Usually they are the ones who get hurt in these things, and I think a number of us were really, really concerned about all that. But they are being paid both their salary and benefits and the equivalent of their tips, whatever they would have gotten for the event.” As for a new venue, they are working on it. “We want to be someplace we can be for the next 20 years so it can be another great, exclusive place. So we are looking, we’re searching.”

  1. What a class-way to handle this situation. I’ve been thinking about those poor employees who are in the crossfire of this debate. Let’s get this ridiculous owner’s interest bought out, and bring dignity back to this important landmark.

    1. There have been hundereds of lay offs, many films and TV shows are being shot in the south east, NOW everyone cares about the employees at the hotel? Anyone who says they care about the hotel employees are as phoney as the people who are holding those #bringbackourgirls signs.

      1. ALex. YOu are a straight shooter which is awesome. Do you work with any Non-profits? Have any interest in Leaving the “phoneys” in the dust!

  2. Why is everyone all up in arms about this hotel, but the exact same people continue to frequent The Plaza, the Fairmont or any of 4 or 5 other luxury hotels also owned by the Sultan of Brunei? He won’t even notice the financial impact of boycotting the hotel, and it’s not going to change his beliefs or behavior one bit, ever. So what is all the fuss about? Just to make movie star “activists” feel good?

    1. Agreed. At least in this case the employees are getting compensated…but I don’t see how compensating them for ONE event is helping them pay their rent and take care of their families when Hollywood has decided to punish the sultan by forcing these people out of work.

  3. Hollywood today is the equivalent to a circular firing squad. You have run the production business out of town with your self righteous actions. You have run your clients off by making movies that fail to recognize what the public wants. And now you want to finish off the industry by trying to force one of the wealthiest people in the world to adhere to your beliefs.
    As a person involved in the film and TV industry in the South…I cant thank you all enough. We actually thought it would take us a decade to catch you. But that was before you decided to help us. Please keep up the great work. Maybe a new take on Don Quixote might be in order.

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