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After Millions in Tax Breaks for Hollywood, DreamWorks’ Jeffery Katzenberg Kills 350 Jobs

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
February 28, 2013

Despite some $430 million in tax breaks for Hollywood in last year’s “fiscal cliff” deal, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has announced that he is cutting 350 people by the end of the year.

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After the disappointing box office for DreamWorks’ latest film, The Rise of the Guardians, Katzenberg said that the $165 million loss made him “go back and rethink everything.”

“So it makes you go back and rethink everything, not just the fact that it didn’t work–certainly we spent a lot of time reflecting on that–but more importantly saying, ‘Let’s look at everything and say, ‘What could we be doing better, smarter, more effectively to really position the company in the best possible way gong forward?’ And that’s what we’ve done, and that’s what restructuring is all about,” Katzenberg told the Hollywood Reporter.

Late in December Hollywood was the recipient of some $430 million in “tax extenders” during a fiscal cliff deal that was hailed as a “saving grace for middle class taxpayers, their families and the unemployed.”

Further, from Chicago, to New York, to Louisiana, Hollywood has gotten repeated tax breaks in cities across the country, breaks used as an inducement for local movie industry spending. And this is not to mention the millions saved by the film industry’s increasing practice of moving TV and movie projects to Canadian film facilities and studios.

Katzenberg’s announcement comes only days after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Katzenberg with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his fundraising for the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

Katzenberg has also been quite generous to Barack Obama having given $3 million in donations to a pro-Obama Super PAC, Priorities USA.

The Washington Free Beacon also notes that Katzenberg helped bundle $2 million for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and a total of some $6.6 million since Obama first ran in 2008. The President has called Katzenberg “an extraordinary friend.”

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