Break the Chain Boycott Mystic River?

Created 2/1/2004 (2/1/2004) Ah, the power of the people. There is no doubt that the prevailing, often ultra-liberal opinions of the Hollywood elite run starkly counter to prevailing public opinion at the time. Unfortunately, this ill-planned boycott attempt is somewhat out-of-date and disconnected from reality.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Don't see Mystic River..

Mystic River, the new movie being released this Wednesday is starring Sean Penn and Tim Robbins who have been known to spew hate speech against our current President, assaulting his character for doing what he is attempting to do with the war on terror, to protect Americans from further attack...which has been very successful so far.

These two liberal actors have sided with Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden and against our own country, as demonstrated by Penn's going to Iraq prior to the war in protest of our pending attack to remove the terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein, saying that we have no right to attack innocent people and that it was the Bush administration that is starting this war. Let us not forget 9/11/2001.

I figure I have no way to let the liberals in Hollywood know that they are just actors....and not representative of mainstream America, by myself. But if each one of us route this note to all of your friends who support our troops and the administration, and make sure that they do not go to this movie. Encourage all you know......not to go to it. By doing this.....these actors won't be able to get a job. Look what it did for Alec Baldwin's career! He's a washed up actor that watches his mouth these days.

Let the boycott begin. Route this to every loyal patriotic person you know and stay away from this movie with these anti-American activists. These are two very outspoken hate ministers and we can make a difference.

IT'S WHAT WE "DO" THAT COUNTS, NOT WHAT WE INTEND TO DO!

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Mystic River was released October 10, 2003, at select theaters nationwide. In its first three months of release, it grossed more than $55.5 million. The film set a first-week record, pulling in $640,815 in just 13 theaters. The film earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Actor (Penn), Best Supporting Actor (Robbins), Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Director. Penn won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and Robbins nabbed the Best Supporting Actor nod, January 25, 2004. On January 23, Warner Brothers released the film to 1,500+ more theaters.

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The critically acclaimed film also stars Kevin Bacon, Lawrence Fishburne, Marsha Gay Harden and Laura Linney, and was directed by Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood (who has publicly supported President Bush). The story is about three childhood friends, separated by more than two decades, who are sudden thrust together again by a murder investigation.

Nonetheless, it is the outspoken views of the film's stars that have many at arms over "Mystic River."

Sean Penn earned widespread criticism in December 2002 with a trip to Iraq and subsequent articles in major newspapers openly criticizing military action in Iraq. He returned to Iraq in November 2003, and reported that the Iraqi people have "no freedom in occupation, nor trust in unilateral intervention."

Penn acknowledges that his actions may have lost him favor in Hollywood. In Spring, 2004, he sued director Stephen Bing, for "blacklisting" him, claiming that Bing failed to cast the actor in an upcoming film because of his advocacy against the war in Iraq. A notorious no-show at past Academy Awards ceremonies in which he was up for an award, Penn has pledged to attend this year's event and to support the film in any way he can. Critics fear his main motivation for attending is the chance to use the Oscar podium to reinforce his political agenda, and many have reported that this fear could cost the actor important Oscar votes.

Tim Robbins is a well-known anti-war activists having ruffled conservative feathers for decades. He, too, is no stranger to backlash for his stance against the war in Iraq. In 2002, the Baseball Hall of Fame cancelled a scheduled screening of the Robbins baseball comedy "Bull Durham" because of the actor's criticism of the war. In addition to working the awards-show circuit, Robbins is also the writer and director of a play called "Embedded," described as "a ripped-from-the-headlines satire about the madness surrounding the brave women and men on the front lines in a Mideast conflict. [It] skewers cynical embedded journalists, scheming government officials, a show-tune singing colonel, and the media's insatiable desire for heroes."

Do the anti-war stances of these two actors mean they've "sided with Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden and against our own country?" This seems a bit harsh, a little too simplistic and very one-sided.

Will boycotting the actors' films make it hard for them to get a job? Probably not, as long as they continue to turn in Oscar-worthy performances. As for Alec Baldwin's supposed fall from fame, as alleged by this chain letter, he is nominated alongside Robbins for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in "The Cooler," another critically acclaimed film and, according to some, Baldwin's best work ever. This seems to be quite different than being "a washed up actor."

BreakTheChain.org recommends against participating in or supporting boycott campaigns organized solely through e-mail chain letters. As you can see, such messages are easily one-sided, can misinform and quickly become out-of-date. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: ComingSoon.net, The Washington Times, Playbill.com

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