March 3, 2003
Screen Actors Guild Releases Statement
Regarding Free Speech
Screen Actors Guild released the following statement today: As our country again considers the possibility of war, it is the fundamental right of citizens to express their support or their fears and concerns.
While passionate disagreement is to be expected in such a debate, a disturbing trend has arisen in the dialogue. Some have recently suggested that well-known individuals who express 'unacceptable'
views should be punished by losing their right to work.
This shocking development suggests that the lessons of history have, for some, fallen on deaf ears.
Over 50 years ago, this nation was faced with a monumental challenge: whether the world's greatest democracy was strong enough to truly allow its citizens the exercise of their rights of free speech and
assembly during a time of international tension known as the "Cold War." Most of America failed that test, averting its eyes as the House Committee on Un-American Activities persecuted citizens, destroyed careers, ruined lives and gave rise to the notorious
During this shameful period, our own industry prostrated itself before smear campaigns and witch hunters rather than standing on the principles articulated in the nation's fundamental documents.
Today, having come to grips with its past, having repudiated the insult of loyalty oaths and examined its own failings, our industry, perhaps more than any other, understands the necessity of guarding and cherishing those rights for which Americans have fought and died.
In that spirit, the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors, appreciating the value of full and open debate and devoted to the belief that the free flow of information, opinions and ideas contributes to the health of our nation, supports the right of all
citizens, celebrated and unknown, to speak their minds freely, on any side of any issue, as is their Constitutional right. In the same vein - and with a painfully clear appreciation of history - we deplore the idea that those in the public eye should suffer
professionally for having the courage to give voice to their views.
Even a hint of the blacklist must never again be tolerated in this nation.
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March 3, 2003
IATSE Joins SAG in Condemning Any
Hint of Blacklisting
The IATSE unconditionally concurs with and supports SAG’s statement condemning any hint of blacklisting that is being threatened as a result of any public statements that disagree with the current
That we are forced to confront this heinous issue again is a sad commentary. Free speech is a basic right guaranteed to all by the US Constitution and will continue to be the cornerstone of our great democracy.
The IATSE leadership joins with SAG so that the unified voice of our members will be protected, along with their right to work.
IATSE West Coast Office