To the Editor:
In the last several weeks, I have been hearing a number of Hollywood community members express their political statements. I have also heard many of you express concern about a backlash to those opinions.
First and foremost, each of you has the right to freedom of speech. I know you value this right because your livelihood is so dependent on it. Because of your celebrity, you have a platform to exercise your right. You have the opportunity to express your opinions in a manner that few others do. Your access is immense.
On the other hand, as a member of the general public, I don’t have the same opportunity. I may be able to write a letter to the editor or call in to a talk show, but that’s about it, folks.
For the last several years, I have listened to your opinions and while I may not agree with them, I have still gone to your movies, purchased your music and watched your television shows.
Every year I have watched the Academy Awards with a vat of popcorn and enough eye drops to keep my eyes open until the last never-ending minute. This year I chose not to watch because, frankly, I was just not in the mood to be lectured to by one of your members. As I learned after the fact, the audience was not spared.
I only wish someone had had the courage to quote the playwright Paddy Chayefsky: “Your winning the Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history. A simple thank you would have sufficed.”
We are blessed to live in a country whose constitution guarantees freedom of speech. Fortunately for us, our constitution does not demand that we listen to those who insult us and then expect us to support them financially.
Janice L. Toth
Panama City, Fla.