Last month, Oscar viewers were amazed Susan Sarandon and Babs Streisand refrained from sharing their anti-war sentiments while on stage at the Kodak Theater. (Sarandon was among many stars wearing the Dove of Peace pin that night, and she flashed the peace sign with her two fingers, but still!) Now, she reveals why she didn't speak out more overtly on March 23.
"You don't think a peace sign is worth a million words?" Sarandon an Oscar winner for 1995's Dead Man Walking asks TV Guide Online. "I really didn't know what to add to what I had already been very vocal about. Everybody knew how I felt, and it was almost demanded that I be disruptive! Sorry to disappoint you."
So Sarandon wasn't asked by Oscar producers to keep a lid on her politics? "Nobody told me not to say anything," she confirms. However, there are others who do want the 56-year-old actress muzzled. The Baseball Hall of Fame has just canceled a 15th anniversary celebration of Bull Durham, which was to feature her and beau Tim Robbins. The United Way also dropped Sarandon as keynote speaker at a volunteerism event it's holding today in Florida.
"The United Way, which has a pretty blemished record to begin with, has damaged itself further," she says. "I was disappointed and shocked. But I'm encouraged by so many emails from people withdrawing their support of the United Way, saying, 'This is a democracy.' So I suppose, in that way, it's a good thing."
But back to the Oscars. What's Sarandon's take on Bowling for Columbine director Michael Moore's vituperous "Shame on you, Mr. Bush!" speech? "I love Michael Moore and I loved what he did," she says. "I thought it was totally in keeping with who he was. The anti-war cause has many different voices that can express themselves in many different ways.
"It's not exactly like standing up at someone's wedding and stopping the bride and groom from getting married," she adds. "It really is just the Academy Awards. The most interesting part of [the show] is when people go off the book and do something. That's what you remember. It's not sacrilege. It's there for entertainment. Here's a man that got an Academy Award for having an opinion why shouldn't he have an opinion when he's standing there [accepting it]?"