If you think the line between Hollywood and Washington is blurred now, just wait… it may soon slip completely out of focus. According to several sources, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has offered our lame duck President a job as the movie industry’s chief lobbyist and ambassador.
”President Clinton has an offer on the table, but we won’t know anything until the end of his term,” says a former studio head involved in structuring the offer, said to be ”substantially beyond” current president and CEO Jack Valenti’s $1.03 million salary. (Perks include a cushy screening room at MPAA’s Washington headquarters, orchestra seats at the Oscars, and first class travel to film festivals.)
This is news to the venerable Valenti, who denies his gig has been offered to Clinton. ”None of our member companies would do that without telling me,” insists the 79 year old Valenti, who took the post in 1966 and claims to have an evergreen contract. ”This is a dazzling and fun job, but it’s not a job for Bill Clinton, or any ex President.”
Others in Hollywood disagree. ”It’s the perfect job for Clinton,” says producer Steve Tisch. ”He has the international skills, and he knows his way around Washington and Hollywood as well as anyone.” Still, studio execs shouldn’t hold out hope, says TV producer Harry Thomason, a longtime Friend of Bill. ”Do you know how many multimillion dollar job offers the President has received?” asks Thomason, who wouldn’t elaborate. ”I think he has more benevolent plans for his future than the MPAA.”