At the 83rd Academy Awards last night, two different winners took veiled shots at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and promoted the work of union crews on their films. Gary Rizzo, who won an Oscar for sound-mixing on “Inception,” thanked “all the hard working boom operators and utility sound people that worked on the production crew. Union, of course.” Wally Pfister, who won a cinematography Oscar for “Inception,” thanked his “fantastic union crew” during his acceptance speech. When asked backstage about the shout-out, Pfister gave a rousing defense of unions:
PFISTER: I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now. I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that otherwise does not provide health care and I think the unions are a very important part of the middle class of America, so I stand strong behind any of the union members in this country and in any other country. All we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care.
Also, later in the broadcast, Charles Ferguson — who won the Best Documentary Oscar for his film “Inside Job” — called for the prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 economic crash. “Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong,” Ferguson said.