'Crackpot' Beatty slugs it out with 'fake' Schwarzenegger in Hollywood
Friday 27 May 2005
For the past 18 months, Arnold Schwarzenegger's fellow Hollywood entertainers have maintained an informal code of silence about his high-profile performance as governor of California. But now, with his popularity ratings in freefall and protests against his budget-slashing policies almost daily events, that silence has been comprehensively broken by another of the movie world's prominent political animals, Warren Beatty.
Mr Beatty, a liberal Democrat who has often flirted with the idea of running for office but has never taken the plunge, delivered a blistering critique of his conservative fellow actor during a graduation address at the University of California in Berkeley.
"Can't we accept that devotion to the building of the body politic is more complex and a little more sensitive than devotion to body-building?" the 68-year-old actor-producer-director said in a speech as replete with jokes and understatement as it was with direct body-blows. He attacked Mr Schwarzenegger as a reactionary, a bully (of labour and the little guy) and a serial promise-breaker - a man who dresses himself up as a moderate but hides his conservative agenda behind a blizzard of photo ops, "fake events", "fake issues" and "fake crowds".
"It's become time to define a Schwarzenegger Republican - a Schwarzenegger Republican is a Bush Republican who says he's a Schwarzenegger Republican," he added.
The actors have been sparring with each other ever since the speech last weekend. Mr Schwarzenegger's staff dismissed Mr Beatty as a "crackpot", prompting Mr Beatty to tell the Los Angeles Times that that wasn't "the most intelligent response for Arnold to have his people give".
In his graduation speech, Mr Beatty acknowledged Hollywood's reluctance to attack one of its own, and said he shared many of the same feelings himself.
"I've never enjoyed being publicly negative about actors in public office ... I've always had a real soft spot for actors even if they are right-wing," he said.
Mr Schwarzenegger was different, he said, because he had himself shown disrespect in his labelling of fellow politicians, calling them "stooges" and "girly men" and "loser".
The media would relish the prospect of a Schwarzenegger-Beatty match-up in the 2006 gubernatorial election. But Mr Beatty made clear that he was not interested.
- 1 End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
- 2 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 3 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...