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

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.

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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  • Well just about every business that BHO visits during his stump speeches later go out of business……kiss of death.

  • And neither Katzenberg nor Obama are a friend to the taxpayer.

  • LiberalNightmare

    It would be fun to point out to all of the Obama voters here just how bad they screwed the pooch, but the few that aren’t in denial about it didn’t give a crap who got elected as long as they got their Obama phones.

    I wonder how many of the 350 employees that are losing their jobs voted for obama?Nothing like a big fat pink slip to stop and make you think.

  • GarandFan

    Hmmm…..350 new “conservatives” in Hollywood. That should shake things up.

    So when will Katzenberg be moving those jobs to his new studios in China?

    • jim_m

      350 new “conservatives” in Hollywood.

      Not if they want to get another job in Hollywood. Like the rest of the statist media any dissent is punishable by shunning. If they could they would be using CGI to remove conservatives from films as if they were never there.

  • Paul Hooson

    The movie and music businesses are very difficult financially. One of ten music cd’s needs to be a hit for a record company to stay in business. And MGM actually went into bankruptcy because of too many failed films, and the production of SKYFALL was much delayed until MGM could emerge from this bankruptcy and resume production. Quentin Tarantino unfortunately released one violent film on Easter weekend and lost millions of dollars, while DJANGO UNCHAINED made a profit by comparison. The economics of the movie and record business are very difficult, so that’s why movie tickets, DVDs and cds are very expensive. The risk is so great.

    • herddog505

      Nobody denies that. However, it misses the point: Hollywood apparently gets some pretty hefty tax breaks (and many states, including No. Carolina, offer further financial incentives for films made in-state), yet lays people off. The same lefties who rant about “outsourcing” and “tax breaks for the rich” and “corporate welfare” are the same ones who have no problem taking money for their own companies… and then f*cking over them employees while whining about how HARD the business environment is.

      As for movies and CD’s, perhaps they might sell better if people had more money in their pockets because they have those things called “jobs”.

      And if they were worth a sh*t…

    • jim_m

      The movie industry was hit with a 20% tax on ticket sales after WWII. The tax was passed in order to pay down the sizable debt that the war had run up. In the 60’s the movie industry successfully lobbied to have it repealed arguing that the tax hampered growth, reduced jobs, and discouraged investment.

      Seeing as how today’s movie industry believes that higher taxes mean increased jobs, more growth and government investment they should be leading the charge to reinstate the tax and expand it to DVD, internet download and pay per view sales.

      Then again, it may just be that the left are a bunch of hypocritical bullshit artists and they really don’t believe anything they say about taxation and government spending, they just want to reap the benefits of others paying a punitive tax rate while they pay nothing themselves.

      • herddog505

        jim_m[I]t may just be that the left are a bunch of hypocritical bullshit artists and they really don’t believe anything they say about taxation and government spending

        You think so???

  • Par4Course

    In the Obama economy, with 7.8% unemployment, $4+/gal. gas and average incomes declining, consumers find it easier to cut down on movie tickets than on other, more essential purchases. Hollywood deserves what it is getting. Of course, like other businesses, the pain is mostly felt by the laid-off workers rather than their rich bosses like Katzenberg, who still pal around with the Pres.

  • Tom Higgens

    Another example that cutting taxes does NOT create jobs.