Maybe Actors Need a Code of Ethics

by Paul Fidalgo

But listen.

I don’t think my fellow actors have given this enough thought: what to do about actors who do sleazy, dishonest, unethical campaign ads? I hate giving these piles of e-crap any more attention than they already have, but I need to prove my point. Witness this boy band reject douchebag in this ad for the shady Let Freedom Ring 527 group.

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Look how earnest and concerned ol’ Justin Timberfuck is. We must be in real trouble if the less charming half brother of Kirk Cameron is so worried and righteous. Wait. The real Kirk Cameron is like that, too. My god.

I’m getting off the track here. How should actors — creative, progressive, open-minded actors — deal with colleagues who choose to lend their likenesses, bodies, and voices to these reprehensible ads? The wife and I are hard up for cash, but neither of us would be able to do a whispery voiceover in which we called John McCain “dishonorable,” especially if the ad was a lie to begin with. Our consciences would never allow it, and I’d like to think that the artistic community as a whole would shun this kind of bile as a whole.

But then there are the unrepentant propaganda meat puppets who are, I assume, happy to smear for the paycheck cut to them by organizations like this one (funded by John Templeton Jr., by the way — that’s right, Mr. Intelligent Design).

So I joke about the blacklist. Even industries that are most ridden with scoundrels have codes of ethics, and I wonder if there shouldn’t be one for actors in regard to public service announcements and ads, especially of a political nature. Left or right, an actor gives up a piece of their soul when they give up their person to the worst of our society and discourse. I think they should give up their professional credentials, too. This should, of course, apply to all sides of the political debate.

There is a difference between performing fiction and insidious deception. Those actors who choose the latter should get out of the business so our profession is not enabling this deterioration of our politics.