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Entertainers Can Take Care of Themselves

June 23, 2002

James E. Shaw erroneously portrays recording companies as modern-day slave owners ["Musicians Should Voice Outrage," Letters, June 16].

Is it really productive to regularly characterize persons of color as existing only one step above indentured servants, while being kept on "the plantation?"

The artists mentioned, Mary Wells and Jackie Wilson, were certainly able to purchase their own health insurance and retirement programs, but chose to spend their money elsewhere.

Mr. Shaw apparently believes in paternalism, and that entertainers require ongoing care from their industry because they are unable to care for themselves.

And who do you think will pay for those additional benefits? Why the public, of course, through higher prices charged for CDs, concerts, etc.

We've seen it happen in professional sports, and now the average working stiff can't afford to take a family of four to a Lakers game unless he's willing to fork over a week's pay.

Do we really want the same situation to occur with recording artists?

Stephen Scott King

Sherman Oaks

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