THR, Variety, TVWeek

Why Secretary of State John Kerry Discussed ISIS With Studio Chiefs in Los Angeles

Feb 17, 2016  •  Post A Comment

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday with the heads of top Hollywood studios, including Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, 20th Century Fox Chairman Jim Gianopulos and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Jeff Shell, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Also involved in the meeting, reportedly arranged by Shell, was MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd. The topic during the “90-minute informal summit on the Universal lot,” THR reports, was America’s image abroad, including how to counter ISIS.

Kerry tweeted after the event: “Great convo w studio execs in LA. Good to hear their perspectives & ideas of how to counter #Daesh narrative.” The term “Daesh” is increasingly being used as a reference to the group that has been widely called “ISIS,” with Kerry among the leading proponents of the term in the West.

The meeting was reportedly also attended by 20th Century Fox Co-Chairman Stacey Snider, Walt Disney Motion Picture Production President Sean Bailey, Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chairman Tom Rothman, Universal Pictures President Jimmy Horowitz, Amblin Partners CEO Michael Wright and NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer.

Variety reports: “One attendee who was there said that the executives also exchanged ideas and observations about studio worldwide marketing of movies and TV shows, a way of showing how narrative storytelling can cross cultures. The attendee described part of the gathering as a ‘brainstorming session,’ including how to involve storytellers in regions afflicted or threatened by ISIS, as a way to counter the narratives promulgated by the terrorist organization.”

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