MPTF is here in 'time of need'


Officials of the Motion Picture & Television Fund issued a statement Wednesday underscoring the availability of health and financial services to industry employees during the writers strike.

"The current work stoppage has resulted in unemployment for entertainment industry professionals, many of whom may experience financial hardship or other crises during this difficult time," officials said. "The Motion Picture & Television Fund wants to remind those in the industry that MPTF is here to take care of our own and provide assistance to those in need."

The fund's array of relief services — which include financial support to qualifying persons in need of assistance — are "provided year-round whenever it is needed, whether the result of an industry crisis or a personal one," officials said.

MPTF corporate board chairman Frank Mancuso said that crisis assistance is a long-standing core mission of the fund.

"Everybody thinks of us as a health organization and retirement home," Mancuso said. "But this is part of the original mission and mandate of the fund, to help people in the time of need. And certainly this would qualify as a time of need for many of those in the industry who aren't working right now."

Striking writers can draw on a guild strike fund for crisis assistance, but many other displaced entertainment workers "have no such backup," he added.

The MPTF maintains a large retirement complex and medical facility on its main campus in Woodland Hills and operates satellite clinics throughout the Los Angeles area. Among its newest offerings is a comprehensive Center on Aging, led by the recently appointed Neal Cutler, and the Saban Center for Health and Wellness, which offers a range of services including those based around a large aquatic center.