By C. Young
Updated October 25, 2001 01:00 PM
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The Screen Actors Guild recently expelled three members for working during last year’s commercial strike, and George Clooney smells a double standard. The non-household names — Mario Barbieri Cecchini, Gerry Donato and Robert Kalomeer — got the maximum punishment. While three towering household names — Shaquille O’Neal, Tiger Woods and Elizabeth Hurley — apologized for crossing picket lines and got slaps on the wrist. Woods and Hurley paid minimal fines of $100,000, and O’Neal didn’t even go before the union trial board. “All these people used poor judgment,” Clooney told Variety. “Three of them needed the money a lot more than the other three. As a union, you cannot enforce laws based on celebrity, and the punishment must be uniform.” Clooney advocated that the three lesser-known actors be allowed to stay in the union and offered to pay their fines. “I suggest that in this time of healing that we accept all of the actors’ apologies, attach fines appropriately and fairly and let people go about the business of chasing their dreams. This union was created not to protect the famous (they can protect themselves) but to protect the struggling actor . . . even if that means from themselves.”