Hollywood executives weren't commenting on allegations made this week that the entertainment industry is run by Jews who discriminate against blacks. One insider said responding could only hurt.
Studio executives at 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and the Walt Disney Co. declined to comment on the charges leveled Tuesday at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.One studio executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said responding would be a "no-win" situation.
Marla Gibbs, a producer and star of the NBC sitcom "227," said Tuesday during a workshop at the convention: "I think we're all talking about film distribution and marketing based on how the Jewish people and the other people set it up. It was not set up for us. So we have a problem. We have to use what we have."
NBC spokeswoman Susan Binford would not respond to the allegations made at the NAACP gathering, but said, "NBC is constantly striving to produce a balance of views and people and issues."
A number of NAACP delegates said they agreed blacks have been discriminated against in the entertainment industry and elsewhere.
But none interviewed Wednesday singled out the Jewish community for criticism.
"I think we as minorities need to pull together," said Wanda Woods, a delegate from Texas. "I think we should fight to wipe out racism, no matter where it is occurring. Until we wipe out racism, none of us will be free."
NAACP convention delegate LeGrand Clegg, a lawyer for the city of Compton, said Tuesday that black leaders should "call a summit meeting with the Hollywood Jewish community in the same spirit that Jews have called for summits" on statements by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
"If Jewish leaders can complain of black anti-Semitism, our leaders should certainly raise the issue of the century-old problem of Jewish racism in Hollywood," said Clegg.
Some suggested blacks should press for equal opportunity at the box office.
"As long as blacks keep buying tickets, the industry should not be let off the hook," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the NAACP's Beverly Hills-Hollywood branch.