Tim Robbins Addresses the NAB

 April 17, 2008
Posted by Kitzie Stern

Actor Tim Robbins made the keynote speech at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas on Monday night. Read the transcript here. It’s worth a read, mainly because he holds the industry to task for appealing to our lesser selves, and that it’s time for those in power in broadcasting to say “enough is enough”. Here’s more of what Tim had to say, it brought tears to my eyes. Imagine what this world would look like:

Now is the time to move away from our lesser selves. Now is the time to stop making money on the misfortunes of others and the prurient and salacious desires of the public. Now is the time to admit and recognize that we aren’t just businessmen but the guardians of the human spirit, with a responsibility to the health of this nation. That we can lift this country up with our programming, that instead of catering to the gossips and the scolds and the voyeurs we can appeal to the better nature in our audience, the better nature of what this country is all about. “This is a country filled with people of great compassion and tremendous generosity. This is a country that has survived dust bowls and depressions, that united to defeat Hitler and fascism and communism. We are a resilient people and a tenacious people. And we are ready for change.Imagine a new broadcasting industry aesthetic, that respecting the better nature of the American people, produces shows that promote strength instead of fear. That does not divide, but inspires, that does not promote hate, but unity, that will not tear the weak down, but build up their strength. Imagine a world of broadcasting where the American people are encouraged to reject despair and distrust. And when they turn their TVs and radios off at night and go to sleep they possess strength, and unity and compassion for those they disagree with. That’s not out of the question. You can make that happen. It will be difficult, and will fly in the face of conventional wisdom, and standard operational procedures. But do we have any choice? The road we are on is leading us to a corruption of our former selves. We are better than that. You can help us reclaim our better nature, our perfect union. It isn’t necessarily a matter of country before profit, or of patriotism and truth before personal comfort. There could be money to be made in appealing to our better selves. Wouldn’t that be great?

Yes, Tim . . . that would be great, an evolution of consciousness for the industry and the country. I hope with all my heart I see it in my lifetime, and that I can contribute to it.