Friday, September 22, 2023
If any of you are following the actor and writer's strike on-line, and especially on social media, you know things got a little nasty. I'm not taking about between the unions and the studios, but between members of the union itself. I fully support the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, actor sand writers deserve to make a living wage. Although we hear about all those highly paid actors and writers, most working actors like so many of us, live pay cheque to pay cheque.
Despite supporting most of the unions demands, I don't support the way so many actors are treating those who disagree with them. I know the stakes are high, people are going into debt, losing their homes, it's been going on far too long. At the same time, I don't get why so many actors, mostly those who don't have to worry about money, have gotten so nasty to others on-line.
It started with comments by actor Stephen Amell. I didn't agree with Amell, but he didn't kick a puppy or trip an old lady. He stated his thoughts, some of it reasonable. Then, he was trashed on-line by many of his fellow actors. Again, I don't agree with most of what Amell said, but I was much more disturbed by the reaction of his peers than what he actually said in the interview so many took issue with.
Amell ended up trying to clarify his comments, apologized, and as part of the damage control, had himself photographed on the picket line. The damage however, was done. After Amell's comments, a slew of other celebrities were pressured into back tracking or clarifying statements they made. Most ended up apologizing for statements not in line with the union. Given so many of actors pride themself on being liberal, some of their reactions to others demonstrated little or no tolerance to anyone with a different take or opinion.
Any actor who doesn't go along 100% is branded a 'scab' and trashed by a small, but vocal group of actors. Most of them, seem to spend far too much time on social media. Amell's comments were not anti-union, they were just expressing another view. Season 2 of Heels was just released, I'm sure he wanted to promote it, to ensure it got a season 3 so the cast and crew could all keep their jobs. There are many high profile actors still working, and SAG has given out a slew of waivers which hurt their own cause more than anything Amell or any of the others have said.
A month or so ago, an actor from Abbot Elementary, not the hottie below, but the redheaded one, went on a week long tirade bashing and disrespecting all those who dared disagree with her. At one point she was bulling and belittling soap fans who dared support their shows remaining on the air. She really seemed to look for a fight, obviously actively searching for posts and posters to go after. Not sure if her boss stepped in, but she's gotten relatively quiet since her on-line outbursts.
Things got really ugly over the last few weeks with the news that Drew Barrymore was starting her talk show back up. It was a dumb move on Drew's part, especially for someone who grew up in the business. That being said, Barrymore didn't deserve the hate in backlash she received. Sure she deserved to get some flack, but it went beyond other actors disagreeing with her decision, or pointing out why it was a bad idea. It got personal.
The worst part, was that after Barrymore reversed her decision and put her show on pause, some of her fellow actors gloated that their' bullying' worked. What a message, especially for a group complaining about how they're being treated by executives.
Except for the odd exception, where you meet a bully by pushing back, bullying is never a good answer, and not something to be cheered. There is so much anger these days. I blame the ugly orange source, but it's gone way beyond politics. I'm hoping the talks this week bring an end to the strikes, but even more so, I hope people who should know better stop acting like those they claim to be better than. It's not difficult to treat people with respect, and if you can't, just say silent, something we used to be far better at than we are today.Poison Ivey