As you know, Georgians are facing a very important election in just a few days. There’s no shortage of vital topics to consider as you cast your ballot, but I’d like to speak to you about a very serious, albeit overlooked one.
As we approach Election Day, many voters are scared. Scared about the welfare and wellbeing of their loved ones. For many, it’s the tumultuous job market and soaring housing prices. For others, it’s something even more threatening: access to potentially life-saving healthcare. But as a member of the performing arts community, and as such one who is involved with the local television production industry, I’d like to address an even more serious threat facing voters like me. Even more dangerous than the job market, and yes, even more directly life-threatening than losing health insurance. I’m talking, of course, about the epidemic of being accidentally shot by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
That’s Steve on the right. He’s a local Georgia actor, and it turns out he was the eighth actor used to film this ad. It’s not a very well-reported story by the local media but it turns out no fewer than seven actors were shot by Secretary Kemp during the filming of his campaign commercial.
There’s a lot of stress in the film industry. Actors must often make moral choices between working only on projects they agree with and paying their bills. Very often they work with a problematic client. For example, Mr. Kemp insisted on “authenticity” during his ad shoot, which for him, meant using an actual, loaded rifle in his ad where he threatens to murder another human being as a show of his commitment to responsible gun ownership, holy shit, that’s seriously what the ad is.
I personally became aware of this crisis about two weeks ago, when I was shot by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. In another matter I think many local performers can relate to, it turns out my agent sucks. It also turns our there’s no legal requirement in Georgia to notify a contractor-hire actor about the previous conditions of a film shoot, specifically the prior accidental shooting of six actors, a production assistant, and two walls of the set which were hastily covered by framed pictures of Brian Kemp’s wife, one of which was then also accidentally shot.
Finally, there’s no actual residual protection for contracted actors in situations like this. When I reluctantly took the job, my agent assured me it was a great opportunity to appear in a statewide advertisement, as well as show off my skills with my incredibly realistic depiction of a man in fear for his life. Instead, I got a check for scale, an explanation that my footage would not be used and I was of course no longer in any condition for reshoots, and a crudely-written note on official state government stationery that said “if you tell anyone about this I will kill you like I killed my daughter’s fake boyfriends on the TV.”
Like many voters, I understand there can be a conflict between the interests of business and the interests of personal morals as we move the state forward. While the campaign season can be part of the vital lifeblood of the Georgia film industry, it can often take a toll on those involved in the production. As you approach the voting booth this Election Day, please consider making an informed decision about better protection and security for local actors, a vital element of the thriving economy of the great state of Georgia.
Oh, and if you could possibly not make this lunatic asshole governor that would be great too. Thank you.