Record #23

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Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Lee F Hanmer, Russell Sage Foundation
Reel 1
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MPPDA - Civic Committee

Hays attempts to put the Arbuckle case to rest with the Committee: notifies Hamner of Arbuckle's decision not to appear again as an actor.


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Referring to the matter of Roscoe Arbuckle and the discussion of the whole subject matter which we had at the meeting held on January fourth, I am now writing to acquaint you with the final developments in the situation.I take it, that Col. Joy advised you of his talk with Mr. Adolph Zukor, President of Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, on the morning of January fourth and before the meeting. At that time Mr. Zukor reiterated to Col. Joy the decision of the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation in connection with the films of Mr. Arbuckle which already had been made. That decision was and is unchanged. They decided last spring not to release these films; this determination was reaffirmed by them at a meeting of their Board in November (see New York Herald of November 14, 1922, first page); it was further reaffirmed by Mr. Lasky in the statement he gave to the Press at Los Angeles on December 20, 1922, and since has been repeatedly stated by them. This decision is, as you know, that they have not intended and do not intend to release the Arbuckle pictures. This they have said to everybody who has inquired, and so stated to Col. Joy. It has been their position all of the time and is now, as expressed by Mr. Zukor in his statement to the Press this morning.I have in mind, too, the telephone conversation which I had with Col. Joy on December 23, 1922, which he forwarded to you by letter of that date, as follows:"To the Members of the Committee on Public Relations: "With further reference to the statements sent to you by special delivery today, I have talked with Mr. Hays by telephone, and am asked by him to transmit to the members of the committee the following confidential statement: "You can assure the members of the committee, in addition to what I have said in my telegram to you, that there is no plan to release the Arbuckle pictures already made. Further, you can also say that Mr. Schenck, who has employed Arbuckle, is a member of our association, and in deciding what he will do with Mr. Arbuckle he will, of course, under the circumstances consult with us. I will go fully over the whole situation with them as soon as I get back."The conclusion is well and correctly expressed by Mr. Arbuckle himself in the statement which he made last night on the coast. This statement was as follows:"I signed today a contract with Reel Comedies, Inc. to direct comedies. I am done with acting. My greatest ambition is to make the people laugh and be happy and I can do this best as a director of comedies."This is my chance to make good in the right way and in the business that I know and love, and this in a way that should meet the approval of all. I will start work at once and from now on you will not her from me except through the comedies that I direct."Thus the matter has been concluded in a way which should be satisfactory to all, and by the operation in a natural way of natural and proper factors. I feel sure that the industry will meet and rightly settle, as they arise, all of the difficulties incident to its growth and development.

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