“If you think the Sudan is tough, try the motion picture fund,” George Clooney, putting on his philanthropist hat, said here Thursday morning at an event for the nonprofit Motion Picture and Television Fund.
He was joking, but only to a point.
The M.P.T.F. has endured a brutal three years after a controversial decision to close part of its Motion Picture Home, a facility for elderly and ailing movie and TV workers. The charity said escalating health care costs gave it little choice — the facility was losing millions of dollars — but the move created howls of protest, a barrage of negative blog headlines and legal action.
All that is ancient history, Mr. Clooney and the fund’s chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, told the crowd that turned up at Thursday’s Polo Lounge breakfast. The men announced the creation of a $350 million fund-raising campaign that would, in Mr. Katzenberg’s words, sustain the charity “for the foreseeable future.”
Almost $238 million has already been raised; Bob Beitcher, the charity’s chief executive, declined to specify where the money would go. “It’s a long list,” he said.
The M.P.T.F. is now committed to keeping its hospital facility open. There will be room for 40 residents, in large part because of the new funds. (About four years ago, there was room for about 125.) The charity also serves tens of thousands of others through assisted-living and separate health care operations.
The announcement was timed to the M.P.T.F.’s annual pre-Oscar fund-raiser, which will take place Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. A list of the people who chipped in to raise the $238 million can be found here.