The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is conflict with itself. Like all unions, although it’s ostensibly in existence to help the little people, what’s really happening is that prominent members of SAG are making a killing without any real redistribution of their wealth to other members or to society.
The hypocrisy of this is evident when we consider that some of the more prominent members of SAG – actors like George Clooney and actresses like Julia Roberts – are die hard liberals who supported Obama’s campaign of “hope” and “change.” After all, like the CEOs at all those “awful” corporations, the amount of money A-listers like Clooney and Roberts make is many, many times that of the average actor or crew- member working on their films.
I can’t help but be bothered by the arrogance of such people who, although making tens of millions of dollars per movie, vote for a man who campaigned on tax increases. In other words, after going on TV talk shows and letting their little hearts bleed about the plight of the poor or the pain of the hungry, they vote for tax increases on average Americans instead of just reaching into their own pockets to correct fixable problems overnight.
And SAG as a union is guilty of this. It’s not just Clooney or Roberts. If you want proof, just look at where the whole of Hollywood’s money went during the 2008 election cycle. During that year, “the Motion Picture Production and Distribution industry…gave $14 million in political contributions,” of which “89% went to pro-tax Democrats.”
Again: Why can’t these pompous people just pull out their wallets and leave mine alone?
Of course they show their true colors when asked to bear the tax burden themselves. This was evident last year when New York’s Gov. David Patterson tried “to help close the state’s $7 billion budget deficit by canceling a 35% tax credit for films shot in the Big Apple.” None other than SAG member Alec Baldwin said: “If these tax breaks are not reinstated into the budget, film production in this town is going to collapse, and television is going to collapse and it’s all going to go to California.”
What the former Mr. Basinger has said here is surprisingly logical. Now why can’t he understand that if Obama’s tax hikes are passed, budgets across the country – both municipal and personal – are going to collapse?
The problem is that Baldwin and the rest of the prominent members of the SAG, who only represent a small percentage of overall SAG membership, are out of touch with reality. Therefore, while their esoteric circle of actors and actresses rack in money hand over fist, the little people (whom the SAG is supposed to protect) simply go on doing thankless jobs for a relatively small penance. And while these Hollywood big shots cry about poverty, hunger, the environment, and a host of other issues, they don’t particularly want to pull out their wallets and write the kind of big checks that could fix the problem. It’s all just so much “blah, blah, blah.”