Alec Baldwin, a celebrity known for his roles in various movies and the NBC show 30 Rock, came to Syracuseâ??s Landmark Theatre Saturday evening for a screening of the movie Gasland and a discussion about hydrofracking after the movie.
As a well-known figure, Baldwinâ??s celebrity impact was felt by the anti-fracking supporters in attendance, who were excited about his face on the anti-fracking campaign.
â??I think it helps because it gets the word out,â?? Lisa Rapich says. â??It makes people interested in it because celebrities do influence us one way or another.â??
That influence was felt by many who were attracted to the venue on Saturday night, not only to support their cause against fracking, but because of Baldwinâ??s face value as well.
â??Everybody knows their name,â?? Dorothy Wilcox says. â??And if you know their name, maybe you will believe as they believe. If Alec Baldwin can believe in this cause, maybe the rest of America will believe in this cause.â??
Yet, not everyone in attendance thought that Baldwinâ??s presence was noteworthy. David Palmerton, an environmental consultant, says heâ??s seen the movie a few times, and while he did not like it, he also did not think it was accurate, which he says hurts Baldwinâ??s credibility.
â??Alec Baldwin is a fine actor,â?? Palmerton says. â??Iâ??m sure he has good intentions, but heâ??s an actor and this is a movie. Unfortunately, this movie has a lot of misinformation in it. There are plenty of sources devoted to how much misinformation there is. A lot of things said in it are intended to scare people.â??
Mentioned above, Lisa Rapich is one of those people who is scared by the thought of hydrofracking. A Skaneateles resident, she doesnâ??t want her water supply in jeopardy because of the drilling.
â??It is big in our area,â?? she says. â??A lot of the area is being recruited to do the hydrofracking, and I heard mostly negative things about itâ?¦the water we have is already good clean water.â??
Palmerton believes that because of all the initial negative publicity, hydrofracking is having a tough time getting a positive reputation, and growing support.
â??The people that are anti-frack are very vocal, and theyâ??re doing a very good effort on the P.R. side, like this movie today,â?? Palmerton says. â??The industry has already been cast as the villain in this caseâ?¦itâ??s very hard to come back and disprove something thatâ??s put out there in movie like this.â??
Regardless of who wins in the fracking, anti-fracking debate, a celebrity presence in Central New York shows that this issue will continue to be a hot topic for years to come.