MPA Chairman Charles Rivkin Addresses George Floyd Protests; D.C. Headquarters Building Sustains Defacement And Exterior Damage

Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock (10664649g) Member of the National Park Service cleans up debris in Lafayette Square.

The building that houses the Motion Picture Association’s Washington headquarters, just a couple blocks from the White House, sustained some exterior damage and defacement on Saturday night, as protests continued over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

TV images on Saturday showed a large fire burning next to the MPA headquarters, but it was actually a Dumpster that had been set ablaze that then spread to some scaffolding for work being done on the adjacent U.S. Chamber of Commerce building.

In an email to staff and studio members, MPA Chairman Charles Rivkin wrote, “These were already difficult times, and it’s important to recognize and speak openly about the psychological and emotional toll national events can take on us and our loved ones. My first priority is the safety and well-being of all of you and your families. To that end, our HR department will follow up this week on resources that are available to support staff as they need.

He added, “Since last night, the facilities team has also been in contact with the building owner, management company, and on-site security team, who are assessing the physical damage to the building. An initial survey indicates that while there was some damage to the entrance and exterior of the building, our offices and event space were not directly impacted.”

The MPA headquarters did not sustain interior damage, but ground-floor glass was broken at the newly renovated building, which is 80% owned by Trammell Crow Co. and also houses the Ronald Reagan Foundation. The center of the protests on Saturday was on the perimeter of Lafayette Park. Buildings throughout the area were sprayed with graffiti and windows were shattered.

Rivkin wrote that “Most importantly, I want to address what is taking place in the United States. Like you, I was deeply disturbed by what was captured on video in Minneapolis: yet another example of the callous disregard of an African American life at the hands of a police officer sworn to protect all of us. wrote that “the nationwide outcry in response to Mr. Floyd’s tragic death – on top of all of the painful loss, isolation, and economic hardship of this unprecedented time – is a reminder of our country’s open wound on the issue of racism.  It makes clear how much more difficult work remains to be done to create a more just and peaceful future for everyone.”

He wrote that he “will be spending a lot of time reflecting on what this means for all of us and our Association. As you know, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program works to support initiatives within our industry that promote more inclusive storytelling and representation in front of and behind the camera. This important work has always been about how our media and culture are connected to our national story – and that’s never been more clear than it is today.”

Here is his complete email:

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few days, many of you will have seen news coverage of protests and violence across the United States following the killing of George Floyd, an African American, by a Minneapolis police officer. On Saturday evening, that unrest arrived at the MPA’s doorstep as parts of the building that houses our global headquarters in Washington, D.C. sustained protest-related defacement and damage.

These were already difficult times, and it’s important to recognize and speak openly about the psychological and emotional toll national events can take on us and our loved ones. My first priority is the safety and well-being of all of you and your families. To that end, our HR department will follow up this week on resources that are available to support staff as they need.

Since last night, the facilities team has also been in contact with the building owner, management company, and on-site security team, who are assessing the physical damage to the building. An initial survey indicates that while there was some damage to the entrance and exterior of the building, our offices and event space were not directly impacted.

Most importantly, I want to address what is taking place in the United States. Like you, I was deeply disturbed by what was captured on video in Minneapolis: yet another example of the callous disregard of an African American life at the hands of a police officer sworn to protect all of us. The nationwide outcry in response to Mr. Floyd’s tragic death – on top of all of the painful loss, isolation, and economic hardship of this unprecedented time – is a reminder of our country’s open wound on the issue of racism.  It makes clear how much more difficult work remains to be done to create a more just and peaceful future for everyone.

In the days ahead, I will be spending a lot of time reflecting on what this means for all of us and our Association. As you know, our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program works to support initiatives within our industry that promote more inclusive storytelling and representation in front of and behind the camera. This important work has always been about how our media and culture are connected to our national story – and that’s never been more clear than it is today.

I encourage you to reflect as well, and we will make time to discuss as a group how we can all make a positive impact in our work and in our communities.

Please take good care of yourself and your loved ones. If you need anything, do not hesitate to reach out to me, your supervisor, or any member of the senior executive team.

Charlie

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/05/motion-picture-association-washington-dc-headquarters-george-floyd-protests-1202947751/