It will mark the first time in quite a few years that the MPAA chief will not be giving his state-of-the-industry speech at the annual gathering of exhibitors and studios at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, remains on the schedule for March 28.
An MPAA spokesman confirmed Monday that Dodd — Hollywood’s chief lobbyist — would not appear but did not elaborate on the nature of the scheduling conflict. Dodd, who served five terms as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Connecticut, came on board to run the MPAA as the successor to Dan Glickman, who had served from 2004 to 2010. Glickman succeeded the late Jack Valenti, whose flamboyant speechmaking was a highlight of the industry confab, formerly called ShoWest.
The four-day event will include presentations of upcoming movies from the six majors — Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. — along with independents Amazon, Focus, Lionsgate, and STX.
Dodd asserted on Jan. 30 that the studio trade association was “concerned about the impact” that President Trump’s travel ban on refugees and restrictions on immigration will have on the creative community.
“The U.S. film and television industry is part of a global enterprise that is enriched by the contributions of talented individuals from around the world,” Dodd said. “The MPAA is concerned about the impact of the executive order on individuals with legitimate personal and business relationships in the United States.”