Aesthetic Realism in the Press

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Reprinted from ....
June 23-29, 2000
The Performing Arts Weekly

Cheers for SAG-AFTRA

Bravo to my fellow actors of SAG and AFTRA, striking against the advertising industry, demanding fair compensation for their work! Shame on the production companies who (The New York Times reports) are trying to rob from them what is rightfully theirs, using such unethical, unAmerican tactics as hiring nonunion workers and "making their commercials overseas," where labor is much cheaper. These executives want to keep for themselves and shareholders money earned by actors whose work sells their clients' products.

Let's be clear: Every person deserves the wealth his or her labor produces. Eli Siegel, historian and founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained: "The most important thing in industry is the person who does the industry, which is the worker. Labor is the only source of wealth." (Goodbye Profit System: Update, New York: Definition Press)

When David Perry, of Saatchi & Saatchi, says snidely: "A lot of what we call acting is not terribly difficult. You don't go to the Old Vic to learn how to hold a can of Spray 'n' Wash," my reply is: You might try this job yourself, Mr. Perry, and see how the public responds; you would get a lesson in how much real ability that work takes!

Anne Fielding
New York City
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