Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

This is great. I can almost taste the irony. The Screen Actors Guild is whining because Hollywood folk are getting 'hate mail' for mouthing off on subkects they have no more expertise in than the rest of us. Being disagreed with isnot McCarthyism.

Hollywood actors, facing a vitriolic backlash for their opposition to a war against Iraq, have raised the specter of Cold War McCarthyism in an appeal to avoid returning to one of the movie industry's darkest hours.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said a slew of hate-mail directed at actors who have taken a public personal stand against war, along with calls for boycotts of movies and albums on the nation's talk radio airwaves and Internet message boards, "suggests that the lessons of history have, for some, fallen on deaf ears."

"We deplore the idea that those in the public eye should suffer professionally for having the courage to give voice to their views. Even a hint of the blacklist must never again be tolerated in this nation," SAG, the nation's largest actors' union, said in a statement.

The SAG statement was issued in response to a growing tide of abuse toward American celebrities who have spoken out against a "rush to war" on nationally televised award shows, through interviews, anti-war TV ads or by taking part in mass protests.

Martin Sheen, who plays TV's popular fictional President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's "The West Wing," has been under fire since emerging as a chief spokesman in the anti-war coalition.

Sheen said in a Los Angeles Times interview this week that his hate-mail critics have demanded that NBC fire him from the Emmy-award winning series, adding that NBC executives had privately expressed fears that ratings would suffer because of the furor.

SAG said suggestions that "well-known individuals who express 'unacceptable' views should be punished by losing their right to work" was a "shocking development" which recalled the 1950s House Committee on Un-American Activities under Senator Joseph McCarthy.

"I will not go to the movies. I will not support their television shows, I will not buy their music. My family and I shall boycott supporting anyone in Hollywood until they decide their job is for entertainment value only," said one writer to the "Citizens Against Celebrity Pundits" online petition.

McCarthyism expert Ellen Schrecker, professor of history at Yeshiva University in New York, said the level of rhetoric against anti-war campaigners could presage a return to the era of witch-hunts and blacklists.

"I think it is certainly a possibility. What I find heartening about the SAG statement is that it recognizes the importance of remembering that history, and being determined not to repeat it.

"It's very important to take a public stand the way the SAG has done," Schrecker told Reuters.

How moronic. Their little echo chamber is broken and suddenly it is McCathyism? In that case their disagreement with those supporting force to remove Saddam is McCarthyite. After all they have a much larger bullypulpit than do common folk such as I.

We disagree and will therefore not give these people our money and that is McCarthyism? Do they give money to causes they disagree with? How many have donated to a pro-life cause or a Cuban exile group? This is just another example of their McCarthy-like tactics against theses non-politicallly correct movements. Last I knew we were not required to see their movies. If we choose not to then we will not do so.

There is occasional vitriolic language aimed at them for their stance? Perhaps they should review the language they have used to attack the people who disagree with them. Their McCarthyite ad-hominem attacks on the administration are just as heinous and again given far larger audience than our voices.

Attacking a public that owes no obligation to you is a sure way to assure that you will be boycotted and ignored by Americans. You hate us for our views why should we be expected to not mind making you a millionaire? I don't deny you the right to your view but if you are going to go on TV or something talk about your damn movie or record. If you want to rant and rave about foreign policy do it on your own time and dime.

< email | 3/04/2003 09:31:00 PM | link

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