Maybe he should run for Vice-President on a ticket with Elizabeth Warren.
Quoth revered British actor Ian McKellen, Magneto (and Gandalf ) in the flesh:
“The one thing you can ask, I think, is that actors get paid a living wage. I would like it if all the repertory theaters that currently exist could do that. It would make a huge difference.”
It sure would. It would put most small professional theaters out of business, make theater unaffordable for any but rich theater-lovers, and eliminate a huge number of acting jobs. It is an idiotic, ignorant, irresponsible, but very, very nice, liberal, compassionate, well-intentioned and Elizabeth Warrenish suggestion that willfully ignores reality and basic economics—in other words, it is consistent with progressive mythology. We owe the Magster a debt of gratitude for illustrating exactly what is wrong with blanket endorsements of minimum wage increases and “living wages.”
The fact is, and it is a fact, that most theaters cannot afford to pay actors what they do now, unless they are heavily subsidized by government grants and philanthropy. The audiences for live theater are dwindling, and each rise in costs results in higher ticket prices, which restricts the audiences further, and worse, by making it unaffordable to take children to productions, strangles interest in and appreciation of live theater among future generations.
As Magneto once knew but perhaps has forgotten now that his alter ego is paid obscene amounts to do very little acting, as in the last X-Men film, art doesn’t pay and never has, except for elite exceptions. Few good artists are in it for the money, and in most cases, once art is produced for the money, the integrity of the art and the artist is defenestrated. Pass a law that requires a living wage for actors, and there will be fewer theaters, smaller casts, fewer jobs, fewer audience members, higher ticket prices, fewer playwrights, fewer plays produced, less theater and a less healthy and literate culture. Naturally, this would require the government to add more theater costs to its budget, unless those culturally astute lawmakers decided that funding services for the poor, the aged,and the disabled, fixing roads, bridges, sewage systems and airports, maintaining the military and not letting the national indebtedness put us on the slow boat to Athens were less crucial than underwriting productions of “The Odd Couple.”
What a great plan!
But then Magneto is evil, isn’t he?
And apparently none too bright.