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Why So Many Celebs Silent on Syria? Left-Wing Actor Says They Fear 'Anti-Black' Label by 'Being Opposed to Obama


"If they try to punish me, what are they gonna do? Take away my pension?"

If you're looking for left-wing celebrity push back remotely close to what transpired over the war in Iraq (i.e., when Barack Obama was not commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces), you might have a long wait:

  • Bruce Springsteen on Twitter since Aug. 1 talks about his tour and one free show to end poverty...but nothing about Syria.
  • Susan Sarandon on Twitter since Aug. 1 mentions sex slavery, violence against children, the value of pot, why prison for drug offenders is bad. And while she campaigns to help Syrian child refugees, she has nothing to say about Obama's desire to bomb it.
  • George Clooney was recently asked about a possible U.S. intervention in Syria, and the actor replied, “I actually thought you would ask me about Ben Affleck playing Batman. But no, it's Syria.” Clooney proceeded to deflect the question.
  • Sean Penn...zip.
  • Janeane Garofalo...nada.
  • Tim Robbins...hello?

But one devoutly liberal actor is going off script, you might say, and speaking out...and he has a theory about why fellow thespians and others in the limelight who share his political leanings have been largely mum on Syrian intervention.

"A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama," Ed Asner tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Ed Asner (Credit: Getty Images)

"I voted for him, but I'm not proud. He hasn't thrown himself on the funeral pyre. I wanted him to sacrifice himself. Instead, he has proved himself to be a corporatist, and as long as he's a corporatist, he's not my president," Asner adds. "A lot of people have lost hope -- with the betrayals, the NSA spying ..."

"It will be a done deal before Hollywood is mobilized," Asner continues. "This country will either bomb the hell out of Syria or not before Hollywood gets off its a**."

"We had a million people in the streets...protesting Iraq, which was about as illegal as you could find. Did it matter? Is George Bush being tried in the high courts of justice?" asks Asner. "We've been so...stung in this country by false wars, repeatedly, that, how can you believe in any just war with the history we have had?"

"Whether it's a Republican or Democrat president, or Republican or Democrat Congress -- and it doesn't make a...difference -- it behooves us to get off our a** and ask these questions," Asner said.

Actor Mike Farrell of "MASH" fame agrees with Anser: "I'm frankly deeply disappointed in the president's foreign policy, war-making, his reliance on military rather then diplomatic responses, his use of drones, continued allowance of the Guantanamo prison. He's a disappointment to me and other people I know."

"It's incredibly improper for the president to call for a strike. I have said it everywhere I can and I suspect a lot of others will do the same, but whether there will be an organized effort, I don't know," Farrell continued. "We're talking about the difference between an invasion in Iraq and a limited action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria."

Asner says he doesn't fear Tinseltown backlash by speaking against Obama.

"Hollywood can't mobilize for that either," he joked. "If they try to punish me, what are they gonna do? Take away my pension?"

To be fair, celebrities besides Asner and Farrell have spoken out about Syria:

Barbara Streisand re-posted the article "Congress, think carefully before intervening in Syria" on her web site.

Madonna has declared the U.S. should stay out (and does not invoke Obama in her Facebook protest...but does offer a crossed-out swear word, so be warned):

(Credit: Facebook via Huffington Post)

Sheryl Crow, vehemently anti-war during Bush's tenure, has tweeted about Syria...but you're left not knowing exactly what she would like to see happen (and she doesn't mention Obama, either):

(Credit: Twitter)

(H/T: The Hollywood Reporter)



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