Times Staff Writer

First Lady Nancy Reagan is sweeping through Hollywood with her anti-drug message.

She will address members of the entertainment industry today as the keynote speaker at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Forum Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Thursday night, she was the scheduled guest on “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” where the topic also was to be drug abuse.

The TV Academy luncheon today kicks off a two-day Substance Abuse Symposium at which television executives, creative talents and public health and law enforcement officials will address drug and alcohol abuse and its portrayal on television.


Following today’s program--which 1,400 television industry representatives are expected to attend--Mrs. Reagan plans to meet privately with studio heads to further discuss what both film and television can do to combat substance abuse.

Academy President Richard Frank, who is also president of Walt Disney Studios, said the industrywide effort does not represent an attempt at censorship. “Nobody wants to tell them (TV producers) what to do,” Frank said. “We just want them to be more aware of what’s out there.”

Further attempts can be made, Frank said, to deglamorize drug and alcohol use on television.

Mrs. Reagan was invited to be guest speaker, Frank added, because she has made the fight against drug abuse a personal project “and I think she has a lot to say. This isn’t a political issue at all.”


Participants in Saturday’s sessions, to be held at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Universal City, will include actors Tom Selleck and Stacy Keach; producers Michael Mann (“Miami Vice,” “Crime Story”), Barney Rosenzweig (“Cagney & Lacey”) and Gary David Goldberg (“Family Ties”); Charles R. Schuster, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates.

The symposium is being funded by the TV academy assisted by a grant from Associates for Troubled Children, which administers the Scott Newman Drug Abuse Prevention Awards.

Admission to Saturday’s conference is free to members of entertainment industry guilds and Women in Film. For further information or tickets, contact the academy office at (818) 953-7575.