Proud Oscar Winners Support Unions, Slam Wall Street in Righteous Speeches

Hollywood is generally considered fairly liberal, with actors like Sean Penn and Mark Ruffalo doing on-the-ground work. But it's not often that righteous film people in lower profiles get a platform as big as the Oscars in which to speak out -- and when they do, they tend not to mince words.

Last night, there were two such examples. First, Wally Pfister -- winner of the Best Cinematographer award for Inception -- specifically thanked his unionized crew for their work on the visually stunning film.

Backstage, he told reporters he was disgusted at Scott Walker's bill. “I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now,” Pfister says. “I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that doesn’t provide health care and I think unions are a very important part of the middle class in America all we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care.” Watch here, it's pretty great.

For the Best Documentary category, the odds were stacked in progressives' favor, as there was an unprecedented number of forward-thinking entries this year. The one that swept it, though, was Inside Job, director Charles Ferguson's look into Wall Street corruption and its exploitation of the middle and working classes. Before administering his thanks, Ferguson said, "Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong."

Check out our list of some of the ten best political documentaries this year here; Inside Job tops it.


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at February 28, 2011, 4:50am

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