Simon Wiesenthal Center honors duo
HOLLYWOOD — New Line toppers Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne turned serious June 20 at the Bev Hilton as they were being honored with the Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance.
“We both grew up as Jewish guys — me from Brooklyn, Bob from Detroit — so we really grew up knowing about the Holocaust,” Lynne recalled. “As members of the media community, we have a personal responsibility to confront racism and intolerance”
Event, emceed by Larry King, raised $1.5 million and featured an upbeat performance by “Hairspray” star Nikki Blonsky of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the upcoming New Line pic.
Queen Latifah offered a tribute to the duo, asserting that they stand for equality and tolerance in the same way as her Motormouth Maybelle character in “Hairspray.”
Time Warner Inc. prexy Jeff Bewkes, who chaired the event with Jeffrey Katzenberg, got in some gentle ribbing about Shaye and Lynne.
“They are modest — or relatively modest by Hollywood standards,” Bewkes quipped. “They look a little young to be getting an award like this.”
Other speakers included Weisenthal Center founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.