Richard Verrier January 22, 2012
As if former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd needed another headache. Last week the Internet lobby defeated anti-piracy bills in Congress heavily backed by the entertainment industry. Now, the Motion Picture Assn. of America's chairman is under fire for remarks he made on a news program.
On Sunday, an online petition claiming more than 10,000 signatures demanded that the White House investigate comments made by the Dodd last week in an interview on Fox News. During the interview, Dodd suggested that lawmakers who don't support tougher anti-piracy laws could lose financial contributions from Hollywood.
"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," said Dodd. "Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."
Those comments, the petition stated, represent "an open admission of bribery and a threat designed to provoke a specific policy goal. This is a brazen flouting of the 'above the law' status people of Dodd's position and wealth enjoy."
MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman responded: "Senator Dodd was merely making the obvious point that people support politicians whose views coincide with their own. When politicians take positions that people disagree with, those people tend not to support those politicians."