April 24, 2015

Actors quit "Ferguson" play over author's "conservative politics"

Rebel Staff
 

Five actors cast in Phelim McAleer's new play Ferguson have walked out, claiming objections to the "tone" of the play about the shooting death of Michael Brown by Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.

One of the actors, Philip Casnoff, told the Los Angeles Times:

"It felt like the purpose of the piece was to show, 'Of course [Wilson] was not indicted — here's why,'" Casnoff said. He said that after he learned who the play's author was, Casnoff, who describes himself as "very liberal, left-wing-leaning," thought, "Whoa, this is not the place for me to be."

That author, McAleer, is best known for his pro-fracking documentary FrackNation and other films that challenge "progressive" orthodoxies.

To write Ferguson, McAleer used verbatim transcripts from grand jury witness testimony into the 2014 shooting, which sparked riots and debates across America.

Asked by the LAT to comment on the actors' walkout, McAleer said:

"The truth is the truth. If it doesn't fit in with their beliefs, they need to change their beliefs. All the people who testified that [Brown] had his hands up [and was therefore surrendering to Wilson], it was pretty much demolished in grand jury testimony."

McAleer told The Rebel's Brian Lilley via email:

"The FERGUSON cast are walking out because I wouldn't change the script to attack the police and because of my "conservative" politics. It seems there is no room for diversity of opinion in the LA theatre scene."

Before the actors' walkout, McAleer talked to Lilley about the play (at 37:29 mark):


 

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commented 2015-04-27 11:30:36 -0400
This whole Ferguson thing is never going to go away. It is black against white and when did that ever go away?
It no longer matters which side is right if no one believes they are wrong. I’m waiting for the death count to rise over this and I believe it will.
Black or white is not a choice is it? If it were?
commented 2015-04-26 02:44:29 -0400
The big problem is black kids doing crime. The liberals can not deal with that. Not black kids getting shot.
commented 2015-04-25 11:47:01 -0400
Terry, I was not re-framing the issue, I was boiling it down. (And if you could not deduce some shred of subject matter inferring some molecule of plotline from just the title alone… never mind.) You asked, “But I repeat my question. Would you expect a Jewish actor to take a part in an explicitly pro-Nazi play that presented Jews as evil?” You miss the point of this post. Firstly, you’re making the assumption that the Jewish actor was FORCED into playing this role, when, in reality, he would have the choice to accept it or not. Very few actors accept roles sight-unseen, and those we hear about are usually famous actors who are anxious to work with a particular director, based on the director’s body of work and reputation. Secondly, this Jewish actor would have to audition to get the role, which means he would learn some of what his role would be, and also more of the overall plot and “statement”/tone of the play/movie for which he’s auditioning. Again, nobody’s forced him into this — he’s volunteered, he’s auditioned, he’s “fought” for the role. Third, once he’s accepted the role, it IS a contract. He hasn’t walked into this situation blind; he has a clue what it’s all about. Therefore, I WOULD expect him to fulfill his contractual obligations, and perform a role he’s accepted in a pro-Nazi film/play, because he volunteered to be there.

If he completely disagreed with the film/play, he could have removed himself at the audition process, with no complications.

Now, with all this thespian background, we re-focus on this Ferguson theatrical production, and the actors who have walked off the production because they don’t like the “conservative tone” of the script. They have already been through the process mentioned above, and have been accepted for the roles. They have, in effect, signed contracts — and may have even signed contracts in reality. Now they’re complaining. Why? Moreover, why are these particular actors African-American? Enter the politics, enter the race card, enter the “poor me” attitude of the NAACP and other minority groups. I shall copy and paste what I wrote originally? I’m saying the same thing here, with more background documentation:

“Again, I state that the race card is being played here — these black actors are, by their actions, saying that the propaganda that was spouted was correct, when the preliminary hearing proved it was not. This race card, played time and time again, is basically “Oh we poor blacks, still being persecuted by the white man!” — which is patently false. There IS documentation that blacks kill MANY more blacks than white cops kill blacks. AND, the media barely mentions when black cops kill white kids (and it does happen!). This is politics, pure and simple. These “actors” need to face reality. They don’t have to accept a job; nobody is forcing them. But for them to claim they didn’t understand the author’s politics is beyond credulous… "

(And yes, I am a movie buff, and I prefer to buy them because I find the behind-the-scenes just as fascinating as the actual production. I’m also an amateur actor and musician, so I know of which I speak/write.)
commented 2015-04-24 20:39:32 -0400
Terry Rudden, you ask Joan, “Would you expect a Jewish actor to take a part in an explicitly pro-Nazi play that presented Jews as evil?”
Absolutely! Actors aren’t really people, they need to be filled up with other personas to be fulfilled, or find expression. Poor Basterds, I can’t imagine needing an ego stroke like applause to exist…air, water and food are hard enough to come by. What about one of the most chilling characters in cinema, the villain Hans Landa, played so masterfully by Christoph Waltz? Is he a Jew? His son is a Rabbi in point of fact…But how does that matter – they are actors…
A conservative playing Chomsky, c’mon, the guy’s a Big Brain – in spite of his left, left, left, left…what a character to play! For a conservative or liberal – actor.
What about “The Producers”, how many Jews played Nazi’s? Etc., etc…
Besides, ‘to accept a role’ you have to ask to read for it!…so what’s your point?
Are you just trolling?
That big black criminal predator Brown was a documented Menace to Society! He was ‘put down’ in his commission of a horrific crime. That Grand Jury was clear about that. Good riddance. You and your progressive ideological inspired obfuscation notwithstanding, just what is it you are trying to say, spit it out, speak honestly, it’s OK.
commented 2015-04-24 19:26:45 -0400
Terry Rudden, I wouldn’t expect anyone to do anything. But I think some Jews would do it, depending on their circumstance. My point is this protest is organized to censor and I think that is silly. I think this play is the wrong hill to die on. Say no thanks and walk away but don’t make shutting it down a cause. If the producer pays enough, he’ll get actors to do the work. But he may decide it’s not worth it and do something else. If it becomes a bone of contention, a publicly partisan push-and-shove, the play may get more publicity than it deserves and even be a success.
commented 2015-04-24 17:36:21 -0400
Ha. Funny-once. (“I personally would not have deduced from the title “Ferguson” what the political slant of the play was going to be, but your precognitive powers are clearly superior to my own.”)
commented 2015-04-24 15:02:54 -0400
I “got” you the first time, Mark. From your reframing of the issue, you appear to be “getting” me. That’s great.
I personally would not have deduced from the title “Ferguson” what the political slant of the play was going to be, but your precognitive powers are clearly superior to my own.
commented 2015-04-24 14:36:26 -0400
Again, and repeated ad nauseum: “Acting is acting.” It’s work, it’s employment, it’s a paycheck. For these actors to “quit”, they first had to agree to work (which, obviously, they did). They knew the title of the film, so they had a clue what it was going to be about. They got the script, and THEN they disagreed and walked off. If they didn’t want to be involved with it, they could have turned down the role from the get-go… but they didn’t. So they think the author is too conservative; so what? It’s a job. This is where it gets political.

Getting me now?
commented 2015-04-24 14:21:32 -0400
Mark:
a) Since neither of us have seen the script in question, your speculation about its messaging is moot. If the play is produced and DOES turn out to be a balanced, intelligent exploration of the issue black/white power issues in America, then the actors will have be wrong.
b) “Captain Philips” falls within the same category as “Oleanna”, for the purposes of this discussion. While its sympathies were clearly with the protagonist, it didn’t make cartoon villains or figures of utter evil out of the Somalis, spent a bit of time on their origin and motivation, and gave them an intelligent, nuanced, and even likeable lead. Paul Greengrass, the director, is political, but not an ideologue – you may recall he directed “United 93”?
c) “Are you honestly suggesting that Ralph Fiennes AGREED/APPROVED with the character he portrayed in Schindler’s List?” You didn’t understand my point. I’m pretty sure Ralph Fiennes DISAGREED/DISAPPROVED of both this character in Schindler’s List, and of the Holocaust itself. That’s why he committed his skills and talent to a movie that portrayed the Holocaust as a Bad Thing. Now: if the movie had portrayed the Holocaust as a Good Thing, are you honestly suggesting that any self-respecting Jewish actor would touch it with a ten foot pole?
commented 2015-04-24 13:40:14 -0400
Nice try, Terry. The actors that played Somali pirates in Captain Phillips were actual Somalis… living in the US. They didn’t mind playing the pirates, even though the pirates were Muslim extremists (as we define them). Again, I state that the race card is being played here — these black actors are, by their actions, saying that the propaganda that was spouted was correct, when the preliminary hearing proved it was not. This race card, played time and time again, is basically “Oh we poor blacks, still being persecuted by the white man!” — which is patently false. There IS documentation that blacks kill MANY more blacks than white cops kill blacks. AND, the media barely mentions when black cops kill white kids (and it does happen!). This is politics, pure and simple. These “actors” need to face reality. They don’t have to accept a job; nobody is forcing them. But for them to claim they didn’t understand the author’s politics is beyond credulous…

As far as answering the question, “Would you expect a Jewish actor to take a part in an explicitly pro-Nazi play that presented Jews as evil?”, my response would be “Yes.” If said Jewish actor wanted to stretch his acting abilities, and was desperate for a paycheck (how many actors are actually something else in real life?), this Jewish actor would take the role.

Are you honestly suggesting that Ralph Fiennes AGREED/APPROVED with the character he portrayed in Schindler’s List?
commented 2015-04-24 12:37:09 -0400
I find it ironic, that actors take on some incredibly wild roles, so as to “stretch” their abilities, and they’re most proud when their work enables audiences to, at least briefly, suspend belief.
We’re supposed to believe serial killers and psychopaths have their decent side.
And heroes their dark.
And there are all sorts of conservative actors who can convincingly portray liberal characters.
Yet liberal actors can’t seem to stretch enough to play a conservative role.
You’re actors.
Your job is to fake it for money.
So get off your Holier Than Thou horses.
Think I’ll add me a few more names to the list of careers I’m not going to support via my $$$s.
commented 2015-04-24 11:20:45 -0400
Hi, Joan. Joan, acting IS acting, and Laurence Olivier’s performance in Marathon Man was not an endorsement of the Nazi regime. And certainly there are theatrical works with a political message or subtext whose quality and honestly can accommodate both art and a political theme. Mamet’s “Oleanna”, for example, is a strong attack on political correctness and what Mamet sees as extreme feminism; but the play tries to develop its themes and characters with some honestly and some nuance, and actresses like Sandra Oh, progressive and feminist, have played the title role. And anyone would kill for a role in a Clint Eastwood film, regardless of his politics.
There are also works whose purpose is purely propaganda. That’s fine, it’s a valid goal. But I repeat my question. Would you expect a Jewish actor to take a part in an explicitly pro-Nazi play that presented Jews as evil?
commented 2015-04-24 11:16:34 -0400
The more important issue is who would pay to see the play in L.A.? If you have money to hire employees, (Actors, Stage managers, Lighting, Props, etc), you can produce a play. Not much of a point if no one will pay to see it though. I think if he made a play about how Brown was surrendering and then put in front of a firing squad of all white men screaming racist chants…the Liberal crowd would pay for that…may even get some funding from the Muslim in Chief.
commented 2015-04-24 10:41:43 -0400
And did the play include a scene showing George Soros handing out paychecks to the protesters?
commented 2015-04-24 10:38:41 -0400
As more and more people come over to the Light, from the dark side – read: lefties and liberals realizing the lie their progressive dogma has been – the extremists on the left are getting more and more desperate and are doing and saying more desperate (and delusional) things.
The evil these cultural Marxists, collectivists and the left in general, have invited into them selves, is beginning to feel the heat from the Light. The Light that purifies or sears…
commented 2015-04-24 10:30:58 -0400
Acting is acting. The lead actors of “Fifty Shades of Grey” didn’t believe in the characters they were portraying; neither do these actors have to believe in what they’re portraying. This is another form of racism — “We don’t like how we’re being portrayed, even if it’s the truth.” There’s always a furor about blacks getting shot and killed by whites, but NOBODY reports on the blacks killing blacks, and they murder their own at FAR GREATER numbers than whites do. It’s time for the NAACP and similar groups to face reality.
commented 2015-04-24 10:18:59 -0400
Terry – whatever happened to role acting? Isn’t acting primarily a job? Does anyone expect the actors to adopt and/or believe and/or espouse the political views of the author?

If an actor wants to sacrifice an opportunity for profit on the basis of conscience, that’s okay. But if they all did that, very few would work and/or all we’d have would be really poor acting.
commented 2015-04-24 10:12:40 -0400
Pay enough, he can get actors to do the job. No every actor is a moron.
commented 2015-04-24 09:03:08 -0400
The intolerant anti-conservative, pro-censorship agenda in Hollyweird is again revealed.
commented 2015-04-24 07:58:33 -0400
Seems like an appropriate reaction. I wouldn’t expect a right wing actor to accept a part in a play that portrayed Emma Goldman or Noam Chomsky as culture heroes; nor would I expect prominent Jewish artists to take parts in a stage version of the hideously anti-semitic “The Eternal Jew”.
commented 2015-04-24 07:39:58 -0400
Alinsky-esque cultural Marxism has so infected the left that the prime directives are to enforce a false narrative by mob rule – we see it here – they didn’t like that what he was saying dispelled the fraud of the Ferguson narrative so they engage in breech of employment contract – hope he sues them