Comcast, broadcasters, theater owners to meet with Biden on guns

Comcast's lobbying chief, David Cohen, and the heads of trade associations that represent the cable industry, broadcasters and movie-theater owners will meet with Vice President Biden on Thursday as President Obama's gun violence task force ramps up its work.

Former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters; Michael Powell, CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association; Jean Prewitt, CEO of the Independent Film and Television Alliance; and National Association of Theatre Owners CEO John Fithian will also attend the meeting. Cohen will attend the meeting on behalf of Comcast and its entertainment unit, NBCUniversal.


The chief of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), is also expected to participate, according to sources. The MPAA, which represents the film industry and movie studios in Washington, did not respond to requests for comment.

Representatives from Branded Entertainment and Directors Guild of America will also be in attendance, according to a White House official.

Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderPoll: Biden and Sanders lead 2020 Dem field, followed by Beto O'Rourke Trump's shortlist for attorney general takes shape Pipe bomb suspect to be held without bail MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusNext Kansas governor to reinstate LGBT protections for state workers Progressives set to test appeal of prairie populism in Kansas primary Overcoming health-care challenges by moving from volume to value MORE will join Biden at the meeting.

Obama formed the task force in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December that claimed the lives of 26 people, including 20 young children.

The task force Biden is heading up is said to be considering significant changes to gun laws and will discuss how to cut down on gun violence in the U.S. It will deliver policy proposals to Obama by the end of the month. 

Variety first reported the participants at Thursday's meeting.

The entertainment and video-game industries have come under scrutiny since the shooting and lawmakers have suggested that violent entertainment content contributes to aggressive behavior. Biden is also meeting with representatives from the video-game industry this week.  

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video-game industry, did not respond to requests for comment.

Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder met with gun-control proponents and victims of gun violence on Wednesday. The vice president is scheduled to meet with National Rifle Association officials on Thursday and groups such as Wal-Mart before the end of the month.

Amie Parnes and Justin Sink contributed to this report. 

Updated at 12:14 p.m.