Movie studios tout job creation

Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:09am EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood's major film and television studios on Tuesday began a new push to educate U.S. lawmakers about the entertainment industry by touting job creation in the recession and media's global trade surplus.

The lobbying effort by the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents the key film and TV studios in governmental affairs, comes after the U.S. Senate in February stripped $246 million in tax breaks for entertainment companies from President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus package.

In a study released on Tuesday, the MPAA said the entertainment industry employs 2.5 million U.S. workers and production is increasingly moving to states outside California and New York.

The movement away from the epicenters of film and TV is due in many cases to tax incentives that lure producers.

The MPAA said the industry contributes $41.1 billion in wages to U.S. workers, with an average salary of $74,700 for employees with projects in production, which is higher than the national average.

"All this together indicates that this is an important part of the American economy, and we can be a big, important, positive factor to economic renewal," Dan Glickman, chairman and chief executive of the MPAA, told Reuters.

On Tuesday, the MPAA is hosting a full-day symposium for lawmakers in Washington to highlight the importance of movie and TV production and encourage the federal government's involvement in trade issues such as fighting copyright piracy.

Vice President Joe Biden will be among those speaking.   Continued...

<p>The Hollywood Sign is seen between palm trees and snow dusted mountains in Los Angeles January 7, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>