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March 1995, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
hanemann <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 24 Mar 1995 08:04:15 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
  What ethical considerations, if any, might an actor have before booking
a controversial movie or role? To what degree, if any, is an actor, or
technician, responsible for an end product over which he has only minimal
  For instance, say a decidely anti-death penalty actor is offered a role
in a movie with pro-capital punishment sentiments. Is that actor
responsible for promulgating the death penalty? Betraying his own
personal ethics? Or should his opinions be entered into the equation at all?
  We're not talking Brand Name actors here, like Brandos or Closes, who's
very acceptance of a part implies endorsement of the central thesis, but
the other 80,000 or so "generic" actors in the Screen Actors Guild.
  Analysts and academicians have the comfort of dealing with cinematic
projects from a detached viewpoint. But "in the front lines", so to
speak, very few actors or technicians enjoy the luxury of picking and
choosing their jobs. Most take what they can get, make a little money,
and hope to live to fight another day.
  Is there a line in the sand, and, if so, where is it? What about a nice
nuclear energy commercial? Or how about a 30 second spot celebrating Dow
Chemical Company's wonderful ecological legacy for the planet?
  Of course, in the final analysis, the decision needs be personal. I'm
just curious as to how other actors and technicians handle this dilema
(or if they handle it at all). Any thoughts out there?