Bob Iger – finally! – joined Twitter in January. As of last week he had only tweeted a handful of times, including one applauding his wife, Willow Bay: “Wow! I’m married to a Dean! Consider me a proud husband!” (See page 6.) … Michael Phelps dropped by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism on March 21 and spoke on a panel alongside former NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol, whom Phelps said was “like a father” to him. … Elsewhere in the Disney family, Bruce Rosenblum, head of business operations for Disney-ABC Television Group, left his board seat at Saban Capital Acquisition Corp., a blank check formed by Haim Saban that has yet to make its acquisition. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said the move “was a result of his employer requesting that he limit his outside board service, and was not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the registrant’s operations, policies or practices.” … And speaking of Saban, he received the 2,605th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 22. … NantHealth and Patrick Soon-Shiong are pushing back on reporting from Statnews.com, affiliated with The Boston Globe, about donations to the University of Utah and contracts received by NantHealth. Soon-Shiong and the company issued a letter countering what they call inaccuracies in the reporting. … Reacting to proposed cuts to federal funding of arts programs, Eli Broad said in the Los Angeles Times: “The arts play a critical role in society and strengthen our democracy. It is short-sighted to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, which works to ensure public access to the visual and performing arts.” Michael Govan weighed in as well. “My strongest feeling is to hope that Congress sees how destructive this would be to American culture. … There has never been a great civilization that has not supported the arts.” … Free eye exams and glasses were on tap for the 82,000 students of the Long Beach Unified School District, courtesy of Vision to Learn and the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation. Gillian Zucker, Robert Garcia, Christopher Steinhauser, and Austin Beutner helped with the distribution. … Also on the health front, Mattel has donated an additional $50 million to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. Chancellor Gene Block called it the largest gift the children’s hospital has received. … Jeanne and Tony Pritzker recently hosted the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’s annual gala, which honored Paul Allen. Guests reported to have attended include Courteney Cox, Christina Hendricks, Moby, and Lawrence Bender. Jackson Browne reportedly played a set. … Among those getting honorary degrees from USC on May 12 will be Will Ferrell, Gary Michelson, Helen Mirren, and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Ferrell will also be the commencement speaker. … This must be reserved for special occasions: Cindy Crawford signed on for a signature burger at Umami Burger. Cindy’s Casa Burger is meant to be paired with Rande’s Spicy Margarita, created by her husband, Rande Gerber. The specials are on sale through May 12, with $1 from the sale of each burger and cocktail benefitting American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis. Sam Nazarian, whose SBE is majority shareholder in the chain, announced the partnership. … Shonda Rhimes has established an endowment for the Iama Theater Co., part of which will go toward a new Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission. It’s designed to give up-and-coming playwrights an opportunity to develop plays with Iama. … Variety reported last week that the search for a replacement for Brad Grey to helm Paramount Pictures had come to an end. Jim Gianopulos was expected to be named chairman and chief executive of the studio. … TV producer and host of “The Gong Show” Chuck Barris died last week in New York. He was 87.
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