Hollywood is filled with arrogant artists, people who feel uniquely endowed by an artistic sensitivity to the plight of humanity. That bulging social conscience is so untrammeled in its brilliance that anyone who questions it must be a paid lobbyist for the military-industrial complex.
Exhibit A for this arrogance is actor and budding playwright Tim Robbins, now wowing the off-Broadway counterculture with his anti-liberation of Iraq play, "Embedded." It?s his latest attempt to wrestle the conservative colossus into crying uncle. Once again, he is only making a spectacle of himself.
The public first caught this side of Robbins with the 1992 movie "Bob Roberts," a sneering pseudo-satire he wrote. Robbins played a criminally corrupt conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate who, thanks in large part to his talent for folk-singing media manipulation, defeats a noble liberal incumbent and thereby serves the interests of the thieving, drug-running power elite that really runs this country.
In 1993, Robbins and his spouse and fellow leftist Susan Sarandon memorably hijacked an Academy Awards platform for a bloviating protest of the Clinton administration's failure to import HIV-positive Haitians. (Years later, they'd speak out in favor of exporting Elian Gonzalez back to Castro.) Robbins is adamant that this was not a "political statement," and he's never used any awards ceremony for political theatre.
Last year, Robbins drew loving media attention for going to the National Press Club and warning of a "chill wind" condemning his right to freely express his hatred of any attempt to overturn Saddam Hussein. (In fact, he and his wife even protested the trade embargo of Saddam's starve-the-poor, build-another-palace dictatorship.) Robbins only lost a booking at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But the reporters who hung on his words in Washington never noted that in 2000, Robbins led his fellow actors in an effort to ruin the career of British actress Elizabeth Hurley, who made the mistake of appearing in an Estee Lauder commercial when she wasn't aware of an American strike. "We are bringing Hurley to trial," urged the prosecutorial Robbins. She was fined $100,000 by the Screen Actors Guild for her unfortunate outburst of free speech.