Sumner Redstone Donates $20 Million to MPTF Campaign

From left: Tom Cruise, Sumner Redstone and Jeffrey Katzenberg

MPTF Foundation chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, who has known Redstone since he was a kid, says his generosity is "inspiring."

The Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation has made a $20 million gift to the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Campaign, bringing the total raised to just over $300 million.

“For more than two decades Sumner Redstone has been one of the most generous supporters of MPTF and now with this extraordinary gift to the Campaign, he is providing for future generations in the entertainment community who need the help, support and services of this extraordinary organization.” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is chairman of the MPTF Foundation.

The Campaign kicked off in February 2012, with the goal of raising $350 million to create permanent funding for the social and charitable activities the MPTF provides to more than 15,000 entertainment industry workers and their families each year.

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Sumner Redstone, 90, is executive chairman of the board for both CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc., parent company of Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon and other entertainment businesses.

“My life’s work has been fueled by my passion for the entertainment industry,” Redstone said. “At its essence, motion pictures and television programming are wonderfully collaborative enterprises that bring together the talents and skills of many individuals. For me, it is a privilege to help provide essential services for those who truly drive this industry, so they can continue to focus on bringing entertainment magic to so many around the world. I am proud to support the MPTF, a remarkable organization led by some of Hollywood’s leading lights, in its long-term commitment to the film and television community.”

Katzenberg said it was the largest single gift to the campaign and Redstone’s largest ever to the MPTF, which he has consistently supported over the years.

“For someone who has that stature and those connections to do something this generous is in itself incredible,” Katzenberg added. “But the leadership it shows, and what it says to others in our industry about the singular importance of the MPTF is also incredibly valuable.”

The Campaign is part of a long-term effort to prepare for a huge influx of retired entertainment industry workers as the baby boom generation reaches retirement age.

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“As we develop our strategic vision for the future, we know that over the next few years there are approximately 75,000 industry workers who will be retiring, and many will need our assistance,” said Bob Beitcher, MPTF president and CEO.  “MPTF is poised to be the major safety net for our industry, thanks to the success of this Campaign.”

Beitcher pointed out that the MPTF also helps young industry workers when they are faced with a temporary crisis. The MPTF has a support network of 16 social workers located in each of the MPTF Health Centers in southern California. 

“We want our industry to know MPTF should be the first place they call when they are in need of help,” said Beitcher.

“The board of the MPTF and the board of the Fund itself has set out as a goal to create an endowment that insures this charity will be around for many generations to come,” said Katzenberg, “and we are well on our way to that goal.”

Redstone’s foundation has contributed more than $170 million to charities worldwide as part of a commitment to advance innovation, empowerment and progress. Recent gifts have gone to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the Boston University School of Law, the Global Poverty Project (to eradicate polio) and the Cambodian Children’s Fund child rescue center, among others.

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“On a personal note,” said Katzenberg, “because I met Sumner for the first time when I was a kid 40 years ago and have known him well ever since, to see firsthand his generosity in recent years has just been inspiring.”