09/26/2012 04:09 pm ET

Arnold Schwarzenegger Institute At USC The State Of Entertainment Industry And Politics


This story comes courtesy of Neon Tommy.

By Maria Jose Plascencia

"Film and television are more powerful than politicians could ever be," former governor of California and actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, said at the University of Southern California Monday.

The entertainment panel moderated by Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed was comprised of Ron Meyer, president of Universal Studios, Brian Grazer, chairman of Imagine Entertainment, Jimmy Lovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, Rob Friedman co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, as well as Schwarzenegger himself.

Besides touching on the impact Hollywood has on politics, the panel also spoke about how technological advances and the birth of social media has affected their various industries.

"We went from $36 billion to 18 billion, we realize we will never get back up to that sum by selling one song at a time on iTunes" Lovine said on the music industry in relationship to piracy and social media.

He went on to explain how important it is for these industries to be strategic by favoring certain platforms of communication, and building their own.

"We would favor a company. What if we take all the music videos off YouTube? There would be a lot of angry viewers," Lovine explained.

However, for the movie industry, these improvements in the media can bring marketing and communication advantages.

The panelists agreed piracy is the biggest issue faced because content is easier to steal than to protect. One of the key points of discussion was the importance of finding solutions that are able to adapt to these advances in media.

"New technology is always starved from content, we need to work together," Friedman said.

As for the relationship between Hollywood and its influence on society and politics, all panelists agreed that its impact is critical.

"Film and television can expand people's mind," Grazer said. He gave examples of his own work, such as how "8 Mile" tackled the idea of hip-hop as a subculture but ultimately proved it to be its own culture

"Hip-hop brought together kids of all cultures to do something bigger than to listen to music," Lovine said.

Meyer explained how the The Lorax was very commercial but also provided a good message about being environmentally friendly.

"An Inconvenient Truth is screaming for a sequel," added Governor Schwarzenegger.

The panel painted the relationship between Hollywood and society by giving insight and providing examples drawn from their own work.

In regards to Schwarzenegger's identity as both a movie star and politician, the panelists agreed that his name is not only recognizable from his movies, but also for his character and personality.

"The movie industry helped me run for governor," he agreed.

With the first symposium of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, the Sol Price School of Public Policy seems like a promising place for ideas from different industries to flourish.

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