Washington, D.C. (January 19, 2006) – Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg today urged members of the U.S. Senate to protect freedom of artistic expression by rejecting legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would impose harsh and unfair fines on individuals.
In testimony delivered before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, President Rosenberg said: “As professional performers, we want to ensure that the artistic freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution are treated as sacrosanct and not sacrificed because of a couple of extremely isolated incidents. As parents, we want to ensure that children are not exposed to content not intended for them. The indecency fine increases passed by the House of Representatives could significantly undermine this principle by subjecting American citizens to financial ruin for expressing their constitutionally protected rights.”
He also testified: “SAG members work primarily on scripted projects—we are hired to perform a role. To be threatened with half a million dollars in fines for doing our jobs is incomprehensible. Any actor on television could become the target of citizens who disagree with the actor’s religious or political beliefs. Well-orchestrated campaigns urging FCC complaints could become the norm if the extreme and disproportionate fine increases for individuals become law.”