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Hollywood does remake of Animal Farm

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POSTED January 10, 2017 1:21 a.m.

Let’s cut to the chase.
Whether you liked Meryl Streep’s statements during the Golden Globe Awards, they are her opinions and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association could rightfully say — just like Ronald Reagan did  in the 9th debate of the 1980 Republican primary — “(they) paid for the microphone.”
You may think she gets it, or she doesn’t get it.
But when it comes to two peas in a pod both Hollywood types and the soon to be 45th president have a fondness for Twitter that borders on the obsessive. Again it is their right to Tweet away whether you think it is beneath their supposed station or if they are trading on their fame paid with ballots, TV exposure or movie tickets
This is why if you want to debate anything about anyone being elite, you might want to Google California Assembly Bill 1687 that went into effect Jan. 1.
The new law specifically targets IMDb — the Internet Movie Database owned by Amazon.com. They provide an online data base of information connected with TV shows, movies, and video games that runs the gamut from cast, fictional character, production crew, biographies, trivia and plot summaries to generated reviews.  They also provide a premium service to actors looking for work called IMDbPro. Actors as well as crews can upload their own photos and resumes for a fee.
The information uploaded to the site is used by a growing number of movie and TV production companies to hire actors and crews.
Now for the zinger. The Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists didn’t like the idea the ages and/or birthdates of members are listed. They feared it feeds age-based discrimination in Hollywood.
So they did a full-court schmooze offense with their star struck fans in the California Legislature to get AB 1687 passed. The bill specifically “prohibit(s) a commercial online entertainment employment service provider that enters into a contractual agreement to provide specified employment services to an individual paid subscriber from publishing information about the subscriber’s age in an online profile of the subscriber and would require the provider, within 5 days, to remove from public view in an online profile of the subscriber certain information regarding the subscriber’s age on any companion Internet Web site under the provider’s control if requested by the subscriber.”
Freely translated we’re talking specifically about IMDb as well as their fan-targeted non-subscription website.
Making the situation even more rich is the fact IMDb — owned by Amazon.com that is among the tech firms such as Uber and Lyft that often shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to laws regulating commerce — is refusing to comply with the law.
They’re not enforcing it under protest. They are refusing to comply with a legally adopted law.
You and I as John Q. Consumer that makes the likes of Amazon.com rich may not like the more strict hands free device and driving law that went into effect Jan. 1, but see if that argument holds when a police officer pulls you over and cites you for violating the law.
But let’s not forget the self-proclaimed protected class of elitists in the room — Meryl Streep and her associates in the entertainment business.
Streep, who the commander-in-chief-in-waiting has Tweeted is “overrated”, certainly doesn’t have to worry about age discrimination. Like her or not her reputation can secure roles.
However, that may not be the case for countless wannabe Meryl Streeps out there.
That said, why is the California Legislature only stepping up its game for a specific labor group that just happens to either funnel big campaign contributions or provide the star power to lure fat cat donors into $10,000 a plate dinners to empty their pockets?
Wouldn’t a more appropriate law have required any website — including ones used by John Q. Schmuck (the fans that pay $14 a ticket to see a movie) seeking employment — to remove age and birthdates if a subscriber paying to post resumes and such in the hunt for a job so requests?
As the Golden Globe Awards and almost any other platform most actors will access, the world is about their views and pain. That’s fine. Everyone has a right to be self-centered, self-serving, and self-righteous including people paid to act or those elected to office. That doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with them or bow down to them.
What’s not fine is the carving out of special legislation for the special interest of a corporate oil company or actors leaving small businesses and people working as plumbers, waitresses, and store clerks to fend for themselves.
And even if you agree with Jeff Bezos’ henchmen that a law is overreach, you shouldn’t conduct yourself in such a manner that you clearly place yourself above the law.
Before anyone gets too indignant about what is swirling around on social media, the general media and water coolers (or should I say latte machines) you might want to look beyond the sound bite or digital byte to see just how pure and innocent some of those protesting the loudest really are when it comes to America being about 321 million people and not a chosen few of the self-anointed.
To paraphrase George Orwell’s pigs on the “Animal Farm”, “All Americans are equal but some Americans are more equal than others.”

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