It seems like Hollywood cant get enough of healthcare these days. With Sicko not that far in the rearview mirror, two recent events show that the stars arent content with letting Washington have all the fun with the issue.
Late last month the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration awarded writers and producers from television shows The Sopranos, Monk, Dirt, House M.D., Friday Night Lights, Huff, Crossing Jordan and General Hospitalas well as Reign Over Me, Canvas and Home of the Brave in filmfor incorporating into their programs accurate depictions of people living with mental-health problems at the groups annual Voice Awards. The awards are part of the Campaign for Mental Health Recovery, a multiyear public-service program of the group and the Ad Council to promote understanding and support for young adults and others with mental illness.
The same week AARP hosted a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel that welcomed leaders from the entertainment industry to learn more about Divided We Fail, an initiative led by AARP, the Business Roundtable, the Service Employees International Union and the National Federation of Independent Business that centers on engaging individuals, businesses and government to work for common sense solutions to the problems of the uninsured and financial insecurity. Academy Award winning actress Sally Field served as the keynote speaker, and TV personality Leeza Gibbons led a panel discussion.
Hollywood can make a major contribution to Divided We Fail by calling attention to these problems and helping galvanize the public into taking action, which is a key step in solving them, says Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the Motion Picture & Television Fund foundation. That includes a commitment to including the issue of the uninsured in future programming.