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MPAA Communications Chief Matt Bennett Steps Down

Matt Donnelly

Matt Bennett, the executive vice president of communications at the Motion Picture Association of America, has left the organization.

Known as a megaphone and lobbyist for Hollywood’s major players in Washington, Bennett vacated the top spot weeks ago and has taken a job as spokesperson for American University.

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“We thank Matt for the many contributions to the MPAA’s global advocacy and content protection missions. Matt has been a valued colleague, and on behalf of our organization and our Members, we wish him all the success in his future endeavors,” a spokesperson for the group told Variety.

Bennett was appointed by former MPAA Chief Senator Chris Dodd in 2016, who himself was succeeded by TV executive Charles Rivkin in April 2017. Change has been percolating within the group. This year Joan Graves, the longtime chair of the MPAA’s ratings board, retired after 30 years. Kelly McMahon took her place.

Members of the trade group include Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. In addition to advising the majors in matters like piracy and the current heartbeat bill conflict putting film and TV production in the cross hairs of abortion legislation, the MPAA also issues ratings for theatrical films.

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