September 27 2012

Teachers Unions Fight Back Over “Won’t Back Down”

Vicki E. Alger

A new film out tomorrow, “Won’t Back Down,” stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis who play a single mom and teacher, respectively, fighting to take over their failing school. In a case of art imitating life (the film was inspired by actual events) one of their biggest adversaries is the teachers union (whose leader is played by Holly Hunter).As the debut approaches, teachers unions are ramping up their revolt. According to Education News:

The film’s director and leads all describe themselves as “pro-union.” The movie’s love interest (played by handsome young star Oscar Isaac) is a major union booster who frequently speaks up on behalf of unions during the film. And while the unions are the “heavy” in the feature they certainly aren’t castigated the way, say, big business routinely is in films.

That isn’t enough to stop unions from protesting the film, and that’s leaving people like Davis flabbergasted. “I didn’t expect any of the discourse and friction that happened as a result of this movie coming out,” said Davis.

“I’ve been really surprised by the controversy,” Gyllenhaal said during a press interview for the film. …

A group backed by New York teachers unions has created a video critical of Maggie Gyllenhaal for, perhaps inadvertently, siding against them.

It will be interesting to see what the fallout will be after the film’s release. Will the teachers unions brawl with the big Hollywood unions? Regardelss, what matters most is that parents stand strong and fight for the education they believe is best for their children.

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