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Burbank Councilwoman and Bob Hope

October 15, 1987

Bob Hope, as thoroughly sound a cultural staple as ever, is well beyond commonplace measurement. A word like "draw" is absurdly inapplicable in his case. When the American public stops buying bread, they'll stop buying Hope. How unfortunate, then, that he should respond positively to a request for his talents, at no charge for his proven worth, and receive for his efforts an insult.

Burbank City Councilwoman Mary Lou Howard may congratulate herself on exhibiting an uncommonly keen flair for smug ingratitude. And as she cleans the slate with an apology to Hope, perhaps she will consider how her remarks may resonate, how she may have affected the response of other performers being asked to give of themselves for benefit performances. What Howard did was play out the very result so many performers fear the most--the very reason so many refuse to participate in benefits. May not performers give their talents to good causes without the worry of a Howard around to negatively judge their status or ability?

An apology to Bob Hope is not enough. Let Howard apologize to all of Burbank--to her constituency--for a rank display of ungraciousness which must embarrass them all.

SHELLEY BERMAN

Bell Canyon

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