Can Actors Do Everything? Mediate, Litigate?
George Clooney, Tom Hanks and other actors have offered to step in and “mediate” the writer’s strike. They say they will just tell the two sides “you have to live with this (particular terms) and get over it.” Some bloggers suggest only “starpower” will make the producers bargain in good faith.
I hope these well intended actors know what they are doing when they offer to mediate. It sounds like they don’t. Mediators don’t tell the parties what to do (”you need to live with that and get over it”). They facilitate negotiations between the parties so they can (together) come to an agreement and “live with it.” It is interesting that actors think they can “act” anything–including being professionals in a field that is complex and requires judgment and knowledge of how and when to “intervene.” George Clooney “acted” a great doc on ER but I wouldn’t want him doing my actual emergency treatment. And he was a law firm “fixer” in Michael Clayton but would you really want him to negotiate a legal settlement or litigate an unfair labor practice charge? Mediation can be just as hard as “human surgery” and more difficult than a trial. Not necessarily a good idea to have non-professionals (even those with clout) in this situation. As we say as professional mediators, first “do no harm.” (And that means entering into things/performances we know nothing about.)
Using arguments about “starpower” is not unlike “muscle mediation” (what we (the United States) do in North Korea and the mid-east –use our power to try to dictate terms (and peace). One can see how stable those “agreements” are. If they want to mediate, perhaps next we’ll have law professors (and mediators) acting!!