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Do You Remember when Hollywood was on our side?

"During other periods of our history when America had to defend our allies or ourselves, such as World War II, Hollywood heroes such as Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda and Elvis Presley, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin among others, donned our nationís uniform and served their country with pride.   They put their careers on hold to defend our country and our freedoms."


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MARCH 7, 2003


Rebuttal to Melissa Gilbert, president of the Screen Actors Guild who appeared on Mitch Albomís radio show on March 6, 2003 

Melissa Gilbert, president of the Screen Actors Guild has issued a press release and appeared on Mitch Albomís radio program yesterday to discuss the current situation with Hollywood speaking out on the possible war with Iraq.   

HERO would like to address some of these statements.  Ms. Gilbert seems concerned about a return of the McCarthy Era and the Hollywood ďBlacklistĒ.  Any historian could tell you that the McCarthy hearings were run by the government, not the grassroots who are objecting today to the Hollywood Left.  Ms. Gilbert also mentioned the ďgray listĒ in Hollywood toward conservatives that exists today.  She asserted that that is just as wrong, the one thing she said we can agree with. 

The disappointment and anger being directed at certain members of the Hollywood community is not coming from the government, itís coming from the Heartland, the consumers, the people whose largess allows these people their fame in the first place.  The people, who go to movies, watch TV or rent a movie at Blockbuster.  And all over the country they are hopping mad. 

No one is going to ever argue that they donít have the right to speak their mind, and espouse their views.  This is America and we have people in harmís way today, to protect their right to say what they want and to protest. 

However, these are public figures; they chose to make their living in the spotlight.  And with that comes a responsibility both to themselves and the bosses that employ them.  They and they alone carry the responsibility for the statements they make and the positions they take.  The American viewing public has just as much right to register their anger by changing their buying decisions based on any number of factors including changing the channel or choosing what movie to see.   

No one is suggesting that actors donít have the right to speak out on issues as American citizens.  They have the same right afforded all of us. 

However, a line is drawn when actors go on foreign soil and disparage this country and our president during such a critical time in our history and during very tense diplomatic negotiations.  Ms. Gilbert mentioned yesterday that the word ďtraitorĒ is being bandied about.  Well, people get pretty hot when American citizens of any ilk, are in a foreign country and tell that audience how awful America and its president is. 

People in this country are upset that these actors, who make their living in the public eye, are using that fame to disparage their country. 

But what hasnít been talked about much is the other reason people are angry.  Actors that we have grown up with, and watched every movie they made, actors like Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Barbra Streisand and others have "stepped out of  their make believe roles."  In some cases, their outspoken views have forever changed the perception that the movie going public has for them.  We canít look at them the same anymore, the wall between make believe and reality is shattered.  So itís not just the Hollywood celebrities who are losing in this mess, itís the movie going public.


We have spent almost a century looking to Hollywood to entertain us, provide an escape for a few hours, and inspire us.  And Hollywood gets compensated very well for providing that for us.  Well, the problem now is, they arenít entertaining us, they are lecturing to us.  They are disparaging us as Americans, and taking pot shots at our president.  Itís all very personal and itís all very wrong. 

If Ms. Gilbert truly wants to help her brethren, she might want to hold a seminar and give them a lecture on the history of Hollywood during its Golden Era and its roles and responsibilities as an institution.   

She actually said on the air yesterday, that these people who are upset with Hollywood ďshould just get over itĒ.  Disagree and move on; donít endanger peoplesí livelihood.  Well, Ms. Gilbert, people are not getting over it and it would be wise for you to remember who pays for the salaries of your members. 

The movie going public and the people who watch television afford these actors the life styles they enjoy.  These actors can continue to make their choices on what they choose to speak out about, but the American viewing public has just as much right to reject them and their views when they see fit.  That is America, the country that gives us the freedom to choose. 





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