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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hollywood Mulls Role in Terror War

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- Over 40 top Hollywood executives met with a key adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday to discuss ways they could contribute to the war on terrorism, but officials stressed there will be no White House involvement in creating movies or television shows.

"Content was off the table," said Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Hollywood's major studios in Washington.

On the agenda in the two-hour meeting with Bush aide Karl Rove were ideas like mounting United Service Organizations shows to entertain troops, getting first-run movies overseas quickly so soldiers and sailors didn't have to watch the same old films over and over, and producing television public-service announcements to reassure children and families during the war effort.

Rove laid out seven key themes of the Bush administration for executives like Viacom Inc. chairman Sumner Redstone and Walt Disney Co. president Bob Iger to keep in mind as they gave the green light to upcoming movie and television projects.

He said those points included the Bush theme that this war is not a war against Islam or any religion, but is a war on terrorism and a war against evil. Other topics were that this is a chance to issue a "call to service" for the United States, and that the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center affected the world and required a global response.

"Finally, we talked about no propaganda," Rove told reporters at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.

"The industry decides what it will do and when it will do it," Rove said. "There was a lot of enthusiasm for a lot of activity, and we'll see what happens going forward."

He added that about 20 ideas were discussed, but "the concrete nature of what comes out of the meeting" is going to be determined in the next few weeks.

Valenti called the meeting "unprecedented" in his 35 years of dealing with the politics of show business.

Rove added that even during World War II, when the major studios cranked out patriotic films, the government was not involved in developing content.

Paramount sponsored the meeting, which was attended by 47 executives, Valenti said.