|Boycott Mystic River?|
(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 Unfortunately, this ill-planned boycott attempt is somewhat out-of-date and disconnected from reality.
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.
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.
Category: Armchair Activism