Motion Picture Association Chief Wants 'Healthier' Food in Theaters

     The former secretary of the Department of Agriculture, now chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), Dan Glickman showed just because you change jobs, leaving behind ideals doesn’t happen.

     Glickman, who spoke to a small audience at Nathan’s in the heart of the Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. on February 14, said he is still concerned about what people eat and he’s not afraid to use his current position to promote his concerns.

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      “I have encouraged, by the way, in my current business, where I can – the theater owners, to look at the food that’s served there, movie theaters,” Glickman said.

     But, even Glickman admitted messing with popcorn in theaters is a bad idea.

     “It’s an interesting phenomenon – they did some experimentation with air-popped popcorn in movie theaters,” he said. “They found it to be a very unacceptable economic way of going down to business. When people go to movies, they like to turn off the lights and enjoy themselves.”

     When Glickman was the agriculture secretary, under former President Bill Clinton, he admitted it was the role of government to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

     “The basic fact is that we must eat healthier, more balanced meals,” Glickman said on April 18, 2000, at the National Press Club in Washington. “And we also need more physical activity as well. Now, don't look at me and look at my body and say, ‘Do what he says, not what he does.’ But the fact is that pop culture and modern lifestyle makes it very hard to follow this advice. We are a nation in search of a fast fix that is just not there.”

      Glickman also said in his latest talk that there were three issues important to the motion picture industry it is watching with the upcoming 2008 election cycle. One is intellectual property rights, specifically protecting their products from piracy – whether it is abroad or on the Internet. Another dealt with issues of censorship, but one dealt with the issue of free trade.

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     “[T]he other thing is making sure there are open borders to make sure we can get our product overseas as I’ve told you,” Glickman said. “We kind of live or die based on what happens outside the United States as well.”

     Glickman’s appearance was part of the restaurant’s Q&A Café newsmaker lunches