I will confess. Even after writing an unflattering piece on Chrissy Teigen's uninformed tweet about Sarah Sanders and the Colorado baker case last week, I still haven't looked up to see what she actually does. I'll just go with "celebrity" and leave it at that. Oh, yeah, and she models -- I heard that from a reader.
As you recall, I criticized her for writing a tweet that completely misrepresented the facts of the Colorado baker case, trying to say that the baker had refused to bake a wedding cake for a couple because they were gay.
The facts, had she bothered to read them, were that the baker was willing to bake a wedding cake for the couple. However, as an artist, he declined to create a specific design for the cake that celebrated their, um, gayness, since he was religiously opposed to gay marriage. As a baker, he would bake for them; as an artist; he would (and, as the Court decided, could) decline a specific artistic request.
Now, I don't know if Chrissy Teigen does any acting. As a model, I suppose she does, but it really doesn't matter for the point of this piece -- let's assume she does.
Let's also say that she is under contract to a studio, and that it is possible that she is assigned some roles according to the studio's wishes. Let's also shed any mistakes I may have made in the way studios work, and just stipulate that they can ask an actor to play a part within their contract terms.
And let's say that the studio has a film to make in which President Trump is portrayed in a flattering, or even neutral way. And they ask Chrissy Teigen to play Melania. There is no artistic option, the first lady, in this notional film, is portrayed in a positive light, and a positive portrayal is what is wanted.
Does Miss Teigen "get her panties in a wad" about any possible positive portrayal of the current occupants of the White House and refuse to do the part? I somehow think she might not take the money and do the job she's under contract to do.
So the studio would have to sue her under her contract.
What would her defense be? That on some form of personal conviction grounds, she would refuse to use her "artistic talents" to do a positive portrayal of Mrs. Trump? Do you kind of see where I'm going with this?
I know it is a hypothetical, but I would like to ask Miss Teigen if she would accept the assignment in accordance with a binding contract, or try to use some kind of grounds of artistic freedom to decline, despite a contractual obligation, to do the role.
"What then", I would like to ask, "is the difference between you and the baker in Colorado? Are your principles better than his because what -- you're a better person? Who decided that? Is the baker's right to his artistic freedom somehow different from yours?"
Yes, I know no one will ever ask that, and it's a hypothetical anyway. She might not even be an actress. And I'm sure Chrissy Teigen still thinks the baker "refused to bake a cake because the couple was gay." So she wouldn't even understand the question in the first place.
But dang, I'd like someone to ask.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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