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MPAA President Chris Dodd joins Hollywood chorus against Trump immigration policy

Chris Dodd
MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd addresses the audience during the “State of the Industry” presentation at CinemaCon 2014 in Las Vegas.
(Chris Pizzello / Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Chris Dodd, the former Democratic senator from Connecticut who heads the Motion Picture Assn. of America, has joined the Hollywood chorus of disapproval against President Trump’s recent executive order that temporarily suspends  travel from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa.

“The MPAA is concerned about the impact of the executive order on individuals with legitimate personal and business relationships in the United States,” Dodd, the association’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement Monday.

“Among those potentially affected are members of the creative community who cannot freely express themselves in their home country and come to the United States seeking the opportunity to communicate and enlighten.”

Dodd’s statement came the same day that the White House said it was looking to revise the Dodd-Frank financial regulations enacted in 2010 in response to the Great Recession. On Monday, Trump called the regulations a “disaster” during a meeting with small-business leaders.

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“We’re going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank,” the president said.

Trump has criticized excessive government regulation on businesses and has pledged to roll back regulations in an effort to prime the economy and promote jobs growth.

Other Hollywood business leaders have expressed concern about the president’s executive order on Friday that halted travel from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. 

21st Century Fox — one of Hollywood’s largest entertainment companies with extensive business interests around the world — issued a statement late Monday that stopped short of criticizing Trump’s order, but nonetheless expressed concern about employees who might find it difficult to travel.

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 “We know this is a time of real uncertainty for many of our colleagues around the world,” read the memo signed by Fox Executive Chairman  Lachlan Murdoch and Fox CEO James Murdoch. “First of all, we want to assure you that we’re doing what we can to assist impacted colleagues and their families.”

The company was founded by 85-year-old Rupert Murdoch, who was born in Australia and became a U.S. citizen in 1985. His two sons now run the company.

“21CF is a global company, proudly headquartered in the U.S., founded by — and comprising at all levels of the business — immigrants,” the Murdoch brothers said in the memo.

“We deeply value diversity and believe immigration is an essential part of America’s strength,” they said. “Moreover, as a company that is driven by creativity and innovation, we recognize the unique perspective offered by our many people who came to the U.S. in search of the opportunity for unfettered self-expression.”

On Sunday, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi said he would not travel to Los Angeles to attend the Academy Awards ceremony next month in response to Trump’s executive order. The filmmaker, whose movie “The Salesman” is nominated in the foreign-language film category, said he would not attend even if he were to obtain a waiver from the U.S. government.

david.ng@latimes.com

@DavidNgLAT


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