Showbizreporting's Blog

June 2, 2009

Bill Schallert’s letter (Jan. 25, 2009)

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 2:06 am

Here is letter by Bill Schallert to Ed Asner’s article in the Daily Variety.  

Bill Schallert’s IMDB-
Ed Asner’s IMDB-

Dear Former Colleague Asner, 

Unless you can reassure me to the contrary, I will have to assume you have gone over to the dark side based on the following quote from Dave McNary’s story in Daily Variety, FRI 1/23,09, p.48, third column, penultimate paragraph:

“In another development, former 
SAG president Ed Asner said in a
widely circulated email that he sup-
ported a boycott of the eight nomi-
nees for SAG awards—including
Josh Brolin, Steve Carell and Sally
Field—who came out against the
authorization vote.”

I realize you may have circulated your email before Frances Fisher’s public retraction of and apology for her own diatribe in which she had urged a boycott of eight nominees for SAG Awards. If that’s the case, you should follow Frances’s example and disavow your own attempt to encourage a McCarthy-era blacklist of those whose union politics don’t suit you. 

Shortly after your first election as president of our union, you came under attack by those on the right for your support of the Sandanistas in their attempt to overthrow a repressive military regime in their own country. Kathleen Nolan and I were proud to lend you our public support during a press conference in which you defended your right to freedom of speech however controversial your opinions might be. 

That was not the same Ed Asner I see today, who is willing to support a boycott of fellow union members who hold opposing views on a political issue within the union—a boycott which, if it succeeded, could adversely affect the future careers of those targeted by depriving them of an award that’s supposed to be based on artistic achievement, not on political correctness.

How unworthy of a man in your position. 

Bill Schallert


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