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The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Wednesday night bestowed the Humanitarian Award, its highest honor, on NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer, at a banquet at the Beverly Hilton.
Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and CBS chairman Leslie Moonves were just a few of the Hollywood heavyweights who served as chairmen for the dinner.
Jennifer Meyer spoke about how her father has been able to earn loyalty, even from some of his toughest competitors: “He’s the kindest, most honest, loving human being I know and he has just the biggest heart, and I’m lucky to have him on the other end of the phone, like, 10 times a day.”
Other attendees included Barbra Streisand, Brett Ratner and Ice Cube, who all took to the stage to speak about their admiration for Meyer.
The former NWA rapper spoke about his courage during difficult times.
“Ron, he’s tough. Straight Outta Compton was not an easy movie to do. We had people like Suge Knight threatening us. And I was waiting for Ron to say ‘Hey man, this is getting too crazy.’ No. He basically was like, ‘So? We doing this picture and we’re doing it right,’” said Ice Cube.
Streisand, who was once Meyers’ client at CAA and is now a close personal friend, told the audience why he was so committed to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its mission of tolerance.
“His unwavering support for the Museum of Tolerance and its ethic to make the world a better place for all,” she said. “For years he supported the noble and necessary efforts to this museum in both word and deed. For Ron Meyer, what this place stands for is not just ideals, but personal, because both his parents escaped Nazi Germany and fled to the United States.”
During his acceptance speech, Meyer, a Marine veteran, made it clear that the only way to deal with hatred and intolerance is by confronting it directly.
“Outright acts of vicious cruelty don’t come under the heading of things to be tolerated,” he said. “We can’t surrender to bullies and terrorists in the hope that they’ll be nice from then on. Like [Neville] Chamberlain, some still believe we need to understand our enemies and engage them in a dialogue. Personally, I don’t think that’s always a viable option.”
The evening raised over $2.54 million to support the center.
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