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This article appears in the September 17, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

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Ed Asner, Actor and Defiant Opponent of Injustice

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Ed Asner

Edward Asner, a much-honored American actor, who was a civil rights and anti-war activist, passed away August 29, at 91 years old. As president of the Screen Actors Guild in the mid-1980s, his role in leading the fight to expose the “Iran-Contra affair,” the dirty war in Nicaragua directed by then Vice President George H.W. Bush, led to his blacklisting in Hollywood for nearly two decades, which did not deter him from continuing to speak out boldly on many issues. In later years, he re-emerged as a character actor, with many film credits.

Asner became familiar with the LaRouche movement in the early 2000s, beginning with his expression of interest in our fight to expose the corruption of the Bush-Cheney administration during the Enron deregulation crisis in California in 2001. He also was very supportive of the role of the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM) in the fight against the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis and the campaign against his replacement with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He attended two town meetings in Los Angeles sponsored by the LaRouche movement and participated in several of the weekly drama workshops conducted with LYM members under the direction of fellow actor Robert Beltran. In several meetings with Lyndon LaRouche, Asner expressed his great admiration for the Schiller Institute’s fight for a cultural Renaissance. The meetings with LaRouche were spirited and delightful dialogues, full of mutual sharing of ironic observations about the world, covering a full range of issues, from the evil of the policy of “endless wars”—which were just beginning—to the ongoing degeneration of contemporary civilization, to Ed’s joy at discovering their common enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the Yiddish Renaissance.

Never corrupted by Hollywood, he remained devoted to the cause of freedom and justice for all. Though his health was in decline in recent years, he recently gave a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence at a Schiller Institute conference.

—Harley Schlanger

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