The MPAA wants to make sure lawmakers stay focused on fighting piracy in the economic downturn and trying to show that it is an important source of creative and blue collar jobs, not just in Hollywood and New York but in all 50 states so that it can gain the support of lawmakers across the country. It’s pretty clever I must admit.
“People don’t think of the business of making movies the same way they think of other American businesses such as manufacturers or large retailers. However, our industry in many ways is just like every other – we employ millions of people, we create jobs all across America, and yes, we too feel the sting of declining economic times,” said Dan Glickman, MPAA Chairman and CEO. “But just as you have to look beyond the images you see on the silver screen to fully appreciate the hundreds of working men and women that go into making a single 20-second scene from your favorite movie, if you look deeply at how movies are made you will see that there is also much to consider and, indeed, celebrate about the contributions of this uniquely American industry to our economy.”
You see, with other industries laying people off by the tens of thousands the MPAA is having a tough time selling its “sky is falling” nonsense about physical and digital piracy, especially after a second consecutive of record breaking profits.
So it’s compiled a report called the Economic Impact of the Motion Picture and Television Industry on the United States in order to provide a “snapshot of (the) economic impact and job creation derived from production and distribution of film and television entertainment.”
In it the MPAA tries to emphasize the development, preproduction, production, postproduction, and distribution phases of films and TV shows and the geographically diverse locations for each to argue that piracy affects all.
The report was compiled using data from 2007, so it’s arguable its conclusions are outdated, but nonetheless it claims the motion picture and TV industry was responsible for:
* 2.5 million American jobs;
* an average salary of $74,700 for production employees;
* $41.1 billion in wages to workers in America;
* $38.2 billion in payments to U.S. vendors and suppliers, small businesses and
* $13 billion in income and sales taxes; and
* $13.6 billion in trade surplus.
The data was recently released at the 2009 Business of Show Business industry symposium, a biennial event providing the movie industry a forum to speak to lawmakers, students and other interested parties about the business of movie making. A number of lawmakers were attendance, including Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Senator Orrin Hatch, Rep John Conyers, and Rep Henry Waxman among many others.
The MPAA also became worried after Senate Republicans targeted the entertainment industry in the debate over the stimulus bill in early February. Arguing that the strength of the box office meant that there was no need to give tax breaks to Hollywood producers, they successfully fought for the showbiz provisions to be removed, and one senator, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, went so far to call the stimulus a “Hollywood bailout.” (The industry did get tax breaks as part of last year’s bailout bill).
“We know that we need to do a better job of educating policymakers of the economic and job impact of our industry nationwide,” Glickman said.
With most companies losing money hand over first, the MPAA must be out of its mind to think it needs more attention, not just because it made record breaking profits last year, and the year before, but also because it’s on track to do the same this year.
Source: MPAA are liars!