Entertainment companies aid survivors and rescuers
RELIEF The entertainment industry is helping with relief efforts following Tuesday’s terror attacks, launching fundraising and blood drives and employee matching-fund contributions. General Electric (parent company of NBC), Sony, and German publishing/music company Bertelsmann are donating millions to New York police and firefighters. Companies such as Disney, Artisan, and Viacom are matching the donations of their employees. News Corporation, parent company of the Fox properties, is donating $1 million to the Twin Towers Fund. Radio and concert empire Clear Channel is soliciting donations for the Red Cross and emergency workers in New York and Washington.
AOL Time Warner (EW.com’s parent company) is making a $5 million donation that will be distributed among six relief organizations: American Red Cross, September 11th Fund, International Association of Fire Fighters, New York Fraternal Order of Police WTC Fund, The National Organization for Victim Assistance, and The Twin Towers Fund. In addition, they’ve set up a companywide fund that will match employee contributions dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per employee.
Performers are donating, too; the Screen Actors Guild is giving $50,000 to the families of the victims, and Madonna is donating the proceeds from her Los Angeles concerts last night and tonight to the relief effort.
AT THE MOVIES Today, Sony and Paramount will release ”The Glass House” and ”Hardball,” respectively, into an uncertain box-office atmosphere. Both will play on a moderate number of screens (”Glass House” on about 1,600, ”Hardball” on about 2,500). Most prints were delivered to theaters before air travel was grounded on Tuesday.
The changed New York skyline will require Sony to rethink the ending of ”Men in Black 2,” currently in production, which was to climax with an alien battle at the World Trade Center. Also, Jackie Chan‘s action comedy ”Nosebleed,” in which he was supposed to play a window washer at the twin towers, will have to be reworked. DreamWorks is still planning to release its prison-revolt drama, ”The Last Castle,” as scheduled in October, but it has pulled its ads that show the American flag hung upside-down as a distress signal.