MPAA pitches Hollywood as economic engine

Contribution to U.S. economy not fully recognized

WASHINGTON - MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman on Tuesday pitched Hollywood as a powerful economic engine to a gathering of U.S. decision makers.

"We are part of the full solution to putting this country back on track," he said here in kicking off the second biennial "Business of Show Business" symposium that is showcasing the entertainment industry's contributions to the economy under the theme "American Creativity at Work."

Glickman also said the broad-based economic benefits of the entertainment industry across the U.S. are often not fully recognized and appreciated. Instead, "Hollywood is (sometimes) cast as a stock villain," he said.

The MPAA unveiled its second biennial economic impact study Tuesday morning detailing how film and TV productions boosts spending in local economies, tax revenue and job creation across the country.

Glickman also highlighted another benefit, saying tourism can be boosted by 75% after productions that put the spotlight on a town or region. As an example, Glickman mentioned Dyersville, Iowa, which still sees 65,000 visitors every year that come to see the cornfield from the movie "Field of Dreams."

Speaking after Glickman, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke promised Hollywood his support.

"I see your industry as one worth fighting for," he said, calling TV shows and movies "a uniquely American commodity."

Locke said the Obama Administration is "well aware" of Hollywood's challenges from counterfeiting and piracy, citing the recent "Wolverine" piracy case and his experiences with counterfeited DVDs from trips to China as key reminders of the problem.

"And we're working hard to combat it," Locke said. "The Commerce Department will be a partner for you."