The heads of the major Hollywood studios and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met today at Universal Studios to discuss how to counter ISIS. It was no state secret, as Kerry noted the meeting on Twitter this afternoon. The sitdown was similar in nature to when the Bush administration came to Hollywood’s doorstep after 9/11 to develop content and plot lines that addressed the then-emerging War On Terror.
“It was a give and take of ideas from all sides, more brainstorming without any defining principles established at the end,” said an insider familiar with today’s meetings, which was organized by Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell. “The was more an opportunistic meet-and-greet because Kerry was in the area for the ASEAN summit.”
Attendees included Shell, Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley and president Jimmy Horowitz; NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer; MPAA chairman Chris Dodd; Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara; DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and co-chair Stacey Snider; Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Motion Picture Production; Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group; and Amblin Partners CEO Michael Wright.
Arriving from Europe earlier this week, Kerry has been in Southern California for the summit with Asian leaders hosted by President Barack Obama in Rancho Mirage. The MPAA’s Dodd, who had been at the Berlin Film Festival this past weekend, traveled with his old Senate buddy the Secretary of State from Europe yesterday, sources tell us. Before the summit, Obama had been in L.A. for two Democratic Party fundraisers and a non-dancing stop on The Ellen Show last week.
Kerry’s chat with the studio chiefs marks the second off-the-books meeting between top administration officials and Hollywood bosses in the last week. Last Thursday, Obama had an off-schedule late-night dinner with Katzenberg, Disney’s Alan Horn and Will Smith among the guests, as Deadline exclusively revealed.
The MPAA wanted this sit-down kept quiet, one studio source tells Deadline. Dodd and Kerry are close after their time together in the Senate.