Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Auditioning" For A Fall?

This AP story tells us that the Screen Actor’s Guild in Hollywood is contemplating a strike, with some members asking the Guild in its entirety to oppose such a move (including Tobey Maguire, George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks, and Edward Norton; I thought I read somewhere that Holly Hunter and Mel Gibson were in favor of it).

No, I am not trying to turn this site into “HuffPo 2”; I ultimately don’t care whether SAG walks or not, though I cannot imagine how they would expect to generate an ounce of sympathy from your humble narrator or anyone else given our woeful economy. And no, I don’t know what their issues are or how legitimate they may be.

I would just like to point out a couple of things here. First, the last time there was a strike by anyone in the entertainment industry, it was the screenwriters, and I cannot tell you how many bloody posts I read from people about it (mainly over the matter of how much of a cut they were supposed to get for distributing their content over the Internet and other online media, as well as other stuff I don’t care much about). And though I respect Bill Maher, just remember the next time you see him on TV that he didn’t honor their picket line (he tried to compensate for the absence of his writers with that “Blogga Please!” segment on “Real Time,” which was a joke – an unfunny one, I mean).

The second thing I’d like to point out is that I wish I’d seen a fraction of the coverage that the screenwriters received devoted to other union-related struggles in this country. For example, this tells us about the workers at the Smithfield Packing Slaughterhouse in Tar Heel, North Carolina, who recently culminated a 15-year struggle by voting to form a union (pictured).

I didn’t see anyone coming to their side in the form of multiple blog posts at high profile web sites, to say nothing of actually visiting them to march in support or aid in organizing in any way at all (I don’t know if Martin Sheen did or not, but if anyone from Tinsel town would have done it, he would). I know they contacted Paula Deen of The Food Network, who basically blew them off (something to remember the next time you hear her hawking a pecan pie recipe or something with that ol’ draaaawl o’hers – I noted this in “Do-Gooders and Dregs” last year, and I’m sure I could have found more ways to publicize their efforts also).

So go ahead and do what you’re going to do, SAG. I would only ask that some of my blogging brethren please spare me the minutiae of profit-sharing grievances and matters of “artistic control” (or whatever) if the Guild’s members decide upon a work stoppage.

I don’t have the luxury they do (may have?) to turn down work. Besides, CGI is ultimately cheaper anyway.

And speaking of famous people (sort of the nexus between celebirty and politics here), I agree with my "A" list "betters" on the matter of Caroline Kennedy possibly taking over for Hillary Clinton; I respect her personally, but there are many other better candidates (and I'm sorry, but given her prior Obama support, this reeks of payback).

Update: Oh, dear me...

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