Michael Moore Visits Occupy Wall Street – But Is He Part of the One Percent?

Michael Moore, Occupy Wall Street
"Change has to start somewhere. Why not here?" – Michael Moore

Michael Moore made headlines this week (he’s so good at that) after he stopped by the Occupy Wall Street protest on Monday, where protesters were on their 10th day of demonstrations against corporate greed and corruption.

“Change has to start somewhere. Why not here?” Moore said to the crowd. “A lot of people, they end up … doing well and they completely forget about who they are and where they come from.”

He also appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday, and when Piers asked him if capitalism is wrong, Moore said, “I do well for a documentary filmmaker … We reward people for making money off money, and moving money around and dividing up mortgages a thousand times over, selling it to China … and it becomes this shell game.”

Most people know Michael Moore as the guy in the black t-shirt and baseball cap who directed the documentaries Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, Capitalism: A Love Story and Sicko. In northern Michigan, we know him as the guy who founded the Traverse City Film Festival and rallied volunteers to help restore our vintage downtown State Theatre, where hundreds of “just great movies” are shown each year that locals wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.

Susan Sarandon, Occupy Wall Street
"It never changes from the top. It only changes from the bottom, and this is great." – Susan Sarandon

In addition to time and energy, he’s probably donated a lot of money to the film festival. But more importantly, he’s worked to get the community engaged and involved. The result is a film festival that isn’t dependent on him and will likely continue long after he’s gone.

Is Michael Moore wealthy? Yeah, probably. But I don’t have a problem with that. If getting rich is your goal, you should be allowed to work hard to make that happen, hopefully on something that’s meaningful to you. I don’t agree with all of his philosophies, but I appreciate that he’s devoted his life to projects he believes in.

Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin and Kanye West are just a few of the other celebs who’ve stopped by the Occupy Wall Street protests. They probably have more money than most of us.

Does it matter if they’re part of the one percent? Can they make a difference, or are their appearances at the protests a little hypocritical?

Images: The Hollywood Reporter


  1. Living Large Avatar

    It depends what they are doing with their money. If they’re part of the 1 percent and still fighting for change, as does Warren Buffet, then no, it doesn’t matter. If they’re only giving lip service and getting photo opps at the sites, then it does.

  2. Jazreel Avatar

    I agree with his philosophies too! Thanks for sharing your insights about him..

  3. Roxanne Avatar

    I don’t think it’s hypocritical, necessarily. It depends on if their actions match their words. It matters how they live their own lives.

  4. malunggay56 Avatar

    It depends what they are doing with their money. If they’re part of the 1 percent and still fighting for change, as does Warren Buffet, then no, it doesn’t matter. | 😛

  5. Alexandra Avatar

    I’m glad Michael Moore stopped by. I think the Occupy folks are courageous and hope they succeed. Roseanne Barr came by, too, early on.

  6. NoPotCooking Avatar

    I think it is even more valid when people take part in something that may be against their own financial interests.

  7. Sheryl Avatar

    I think it’s only hypocritical if being part of the 1% makes them greedy and unsympathetic to others’ plights. But these celebs don’t seem to be insincere or trying to get photo ops. They seem genuine to me.

  8. Alisa Bowman Avatar

    I make a difference between the 1 percent who got there by giving us great gifts and the one percent who got there from stealing from the poor and the tax payers. Moore got there by giving us great gifts–films we’ve all either loved or hated. Steve Jobs got there by giving us the iPad and the iPhone. That’s admirable. But most of Wall Street got there by screwing someone else–usually someone who was in the 99 percent. That’s not something to look up to and admire.

  9. Tenesse Avatar

    I think he is a little of both, but mostly, I would say he is living in the real world, seeing things for what they are while most of us are blindly following whatever we have been told. I do not know enough about his background to make too many judgements, but just based on the movies, and some interviews I have seen, I would say he is mostly on the right track. I do not agree with all his theories, but I think he makes a lot of valid points. “Sicko” was fantastic, and I think he has the guts to go where too many people will not. Whether he is right or wrong, I admire his ability to stand for soemthing he believes in.

  10. Gisele Avatar

    I agree with what everyone has been saying. None of those people has to stop by and support the people out there in tents, but they do it anyway, from a sincere place. And they often pay the price of being castigated for doing so.
    Additionally, as mentioned, there is nothing wrong with making money. It ‘s the ” American Dream,” right? It’s great that they continue to support more prosperity for everyone, rather than policies that stack the deck against the” 99%”.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      That’s a great point – it IS the American Dream. And even if it isn’t the American Dream for some people, we should all have the freedom to pursue whatever dreams we have. This is America, after all!

      There are some great “Occupy” films coming to the Traverse City Film Festival at the end of this month. Can’t wait to report back on them.

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