Harper suggests showbiz summit

Prexy candidate suggests producers shoot in U.S. for a year

HOLLYWOOD — SAG presidential candidate and board member Valerie Harper has called for an industrywide “entertainment summit” to help the nation’s economy by stopping runaway production.

As part of the effort, Harper has suggested that producers shoot only within the United States for a year.

“Let us all agree to put aside our differences on how to resolve economic runaway production for now,” she said. “Let us make a commitment, for the good of the country, to produce in the USA for the next year. We can still continue to work on the long-term solutions, but for the immediate short term, this can be the entertainment industry’s contribution to the nation.”

Harper said such efforts would represent the appropriate follow-up for the creative community in the wake of Friday’s “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon and efforts by the Screen Actors Guild to offer the services of its high-profile members to the White House.

“I believe that the time is right for a full-fledged entertainment summit, with all facets of the industry sitting down at one table devoted and committed to the goal of doing our part to help the economy,” she said. “The focus of the summit should be the issue of economic runaway production, which is draining untold billions of dollars and thousands of jobs out of our economy.”

A 1999 Monitor Co. study found runaway production was taking away 20,000 U.S. jobs and $10 billion in annual economic activity.

Rival presidential candidate Melissa Gilbert has criticized Harper for backing the endorsement by SAG’s national board to seek possible imposition of countervailing tariffs on producers who obtain foreign subsidies.

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