SAG stalwart Valerie Harper made a naked plea for “Fahrenheit 9/11” Oscar consideration at Thursday night’s House of Blues music-fueled benefit for military families and Iraq war vets.
“Fahrenheit” helmer Michael Moore introduced the former “Rhoda” star as a member of the union he belongs to — that would be SAG — whereupon she began her awards pitch.
“If you are an Academy voter or you know someone who votes for Oscars,” she implored, tell them about “Fahrenheit.”
“Do not tell somebody how to vote, just go up to them and tell them what ‘Fahrenheit’ meant to you,” she said. “‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ will probably not win an Academy Award, but if you put it first on your list, it will become a nominee.”
Harper was one of several industryites on hand to lend their voices to the words-and-music event, which also featured heartfelt remarks by military families and veterans.
Though ending the Iraqi war was the evening’s overriding theme, many of the speakers did their best to debunk the country’s supposed tilt toward conservative values.
After wondering “which damn Bible” President Bush is reading, Roseanne said, “Jesus was a left-wing Jew, fer Chrissakes.”
“Finding Neverland” scribe David Magee — a longtime Moore crony from Flint, Mich. — also read a letter about a potential serviceman.
Joan Baez, the Goo Goo Dolls and Tom Morello performed, with headliner Wyclef Jean pulling off a nifty cross-plug for “Hotel Rwanda” when he sang his song from the pic to an aud, which included helmer Terry George and Paul Rusesabagina, the subject of the movie.
Moore himself urged the aud to “never give up.”
“We’re 57 million strong and we only lost by one state,” he said.
However, the most touching moment of the evening came early on, when a teary-eyed mother, Cindy Sheehan, talked about the death of her son in Iraq nine months ago.