Former Variety publisher to raise showbiz awareness of issues

Former Variety publisher Brian Gott has been tapped to spearhead an effort by UCLA’s Ronald W. Burkle Center for Intl. Relations to raise awareness in the entertainment industry of global policy, humanitarian and advocacy issues.

The Burkle Global Impact Initiative aims to enlist content creators to help educate the public about global crises and international affairs. The Burkle program will work closely with the United Nations and its Creative Community Outreach Initiative in facilitating a series of private seshes with entertainment industry leaders and top creatives and reps from the U.N., the State Dept., the World Health Organization and other institutions.

“The reach of Hollywood into the most remote corners of the globe is a remarkable phenomenon,” Burkle said in announcing the initiative. “To more effectively tap into this power, in order to promote awareness of the most critical global issues, is essential and smart.”

Gott spent 12 years at Variety, rising to publisher in 2009. He exited in October following the company’s acquisition by Penske Media Corp.

“I believe that the entertainment industry is filled with passionate people, willing to explore new ideas in an effort to find stories that should be told,” Gott said. “The Global Impact Initiative will convene the best and brightest minds from both the creative community and the international community to develop those ideas.”

Gott has worked closely with various U.N. orgs in recent years and sits on the board of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

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