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The Religious Affiliation of Movie Executive, DreamWorks Movie Studio Co-founder
Jeffrey Katzenberg


From: Luke Ford, "Hollywood Jews", on LukeFord.net website (http://www.lukeford.net/essays/contents/Hollywood_Jews.htm; viewed 8 September 2005):
British journalist William Cash wrote about Hollywood's Jewish cabal in an October 1994 issue of the British journal Spectator... William Cash writes:
Los Angeles. When Mr. Mike Ovitz, or His Most Powerfulness (as he is also known here), shows up at a press conference in LA and sits in the audience, you know something big is going on: in this case the founding of a new multi-billion-dollar Hollywood studio by Steven Spielberg, record mogul billionaire David Geffen and their best friend, the recently dumped chief of Disney Studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Although the Hollywood survival rate for studio start-up schemes has been poor, Francis Coppola's American Zoetrope Studios is the most notable recent casualty, this ambitious venture has been widely hailed as having more chance of success than any similar enterprise for 50 years.

But in one respect at least this particular combination of talents, or 'talent combo', in the local argot, will start out on the right foot. Like the old mogul founders of the early studios and unlike most other failed build-your-own studio merchants they [Spielberg, Geffen and Katzenberg] are Jewish.

The significance of this fact cannot be simply met by the inevitable shrieks of 'anti-Semitism'. A rare glimpse of the feudal power structure of Hollywood at work was given by the Wall Street Journal's front-page report of the new studio launch. Before any contracts could be signed, a private 'blessing' was required from 81-year-old Lew Wasserman, the long-time chairman of MCA (which owns Universal) and the last surviving Jewish Founder-builder of a studio. To quote the Journal, he is treated in Hollywood 'like a tribal chieftain'.

Spielberg, Geffen, Katzenberg and Spielberg's 30-year personal mentor, MCA president Sidney Sheinberg, gathered at the house of the 'Godfather of the Show' (as Time called Wasserman). After getting his rabbinical blessing, they spoke in 'hushed, reverential tones about the industry potentate', about how he 'spun stories about the history of Hollywood and showed them artifacts'. Geffen and Katzenberg, who have no formal connections with MCA or Wassemman, were reported as being 'nervous' before the meeting.

...At a recent tribute evening at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York in honor of Frank Biondi Jr., the head of Viacom, Jeffrey Katzenberg, sent a telegram which said: 'I wanted you to be part of our dream-team until we decided to go all Jewish.' Larry Tisch, head of CBS, sent another: 'I was going to come along tonight until Jeffrey Katzenberg told me you were not Jewish.'

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Webpage created 8 September 2005. Last modified 8 September 2005.
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