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Ben Affleck, Dakota Fanning, Eva Mendes, Garth Brooks, Jeremy Piven, Joaquin Phoenix, Morgan Freeman, and Reese Witherspoon have filmed a Public Service Announcement for all Americans, stating that the country’s health care and financial security crisis is about to explode. But if people on both sides of the issue would start a dialogue, the problems are not insurmountable.

The video is part of the American Association of Retired Persons' (AARP) “Divided We Fail” project, an initiative that has just garnered support from the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF).

“We need to build a national conversation around these issues,” said AARP CEO Bill Novelli, who is more than happy with the union. “The entertainment industry is uniquely suited to help us do that.”

It is a view shared by MPTF Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Hollywood can call attention to these problems and help galvanize the public into taking action,” said the producer of Shrek and head of the organization of entertainment industry leaders dedicated to supporting health and human service needs. “[This] is a key first step in solving them.”

The director of the video, Tony Goldwyn, had a very specific message to get across: “People wind up feeling that the two sides are just too far apart; that these problems are so big and complex that we can’t fix them. What we’re saying is, if we all get together and start talking, we can.”

Americans struggling with financial and health care problems are invited to share their stories at www.aarp.org, and their experiences may be used for the Divided We Fail project. The PSA video can also be viewed on the site. The AARP organization is dedicated to enhancing the experience of aging through advocacy, information, and service, with a focus on the needs for health, financial security, giving back to society, family and social connectedness, and joy in life.

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