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Opinion: People who complain about the Oscars being too political are living in a different era

Film director Michael Moore makes an anti-war statement as he accepts his Oscar for "Bowling for Columbine" at the 75th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood on March 23, 2003.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I agree with Barton Swain’s wish that entertainers not bring politics into the awards ceremonies, but he incorrectly casts entertainers in the role of court jester, whose job it was to entertain the court by cleverly (and dangerously) speaking truth to power. (“Watching the Oscars is no fun when you’re a conservative,” Opinion, Feb. 26)

The role Swain would wish on them is that of the witless clown, irresponsible and weird. Wouldn’t it be nice if, as Swain describes, politics was high-minded and rooted in principle?

Alas, the times have changed when the subject was avoided in polite company. A plethora of information outlets, including social media, has changed all that, providing a platform from which anyone can speak or consume information and opinions. The cacophony thus strains relationships and leads many to despair of reaching harmony with our neighbors.

We continue to evolve.

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Jack Drake , Redondo Beach

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To the editor: I was certainly entertained by Swaim’s advice to actors to avoid politics. He said, “When a Hollywood actor starts to bark about politics, listeners tend to think something’s gone wrong — because something has.”

Where was Swaim’s advice when an actor ran for governor of California and then president? When another one ran for governor in California and another in Minnesota? Then there’s the most hilarious of all: our current president, who is practically a reincarnation of P.T. Barnum, who is a TV performer (albeit with one famous line) too.

Thanks for the laugh, Mr. Swaim.

Sherrie Anderson, Dana Point

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