A plan for a series of public service announcements targeting first lady Michelle Obama's "Joining Forces" initiative was unveiled today during a panel sponsored by the Hollywood guilds designed to create a dialogue about ways to share the stories of military families through film, television and digital media. Nearly 500 members of the Hollywood creative community attended the event at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills; the panel was moderated by J.J. Abrams and featured Obama as well as Army Wives creator Katherine Fugate. From the press release on the PSAs:
Joining Forces’ upcoming series of targeted PSAs will star Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, Emmy Award-winning talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and Academy Award-winning director/producer Steven Spielberg and are set to air starting this July. Hanks’ PSA was written by Damon Lindelof, directed by Steve Carr and Joanna Kerns, and produced by Jason Taragan; Spielberg’s PSA was written by Katherine Fugate, directed by Joanna Kerns, and produced by Marshall Persinger; Winfrey’s PSA will be directed by Tom Shadyac (producer and writing credits TBD); all three PSA’s were executive produced by Lori McCreary.
In addition, Grammy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated songwriter Dianne Warren has donated an original, unreleased song, entitled “Compass” and performed by Grammy and CMA Award-winning country superstars Rascal Flatts, for use in the PSA campaign.
It was one of several stops in town for Obama, who tonight will attend a 2012 re-election campaign fundraiser for her husband. She also taped an appearance on Nickelodeon's iCarly to promote "Joining Forces." The show’s lead character is the daughter of a U.S. service member stationed overseas.