Documentary Analysis: Roger and Me
Roger & Me, a Michael Moore documentary, takes place in Flint, Michigan. It begins by highlighting a spirited and successful community and goes on to show the transformation and decline after General Motors closes their plant, leaving approximately 30,000 people unemployed. Michael Moore attempts to locate Roger Smith, chairman of GM, to show him the aftermath of the shutdown to the town of Flint. Evictions are at an all-time high, sometimes totaling 24 evictions in one day, and drug use and crime rate have also skyrocketed and as a result, jails become overpopulated. A woman began to breed and sell rabbits for income, some alive as pets, and others skinned and dressed as meat. Many local businesses went bankrupt and their doors closed, however, the Star Theatre of Flint remained one of the only successful outlets of revenue. The mayor was determined to revive the town of Flint and had a parade, brought in TV evangelist Reverend Robert Schueller to give a speech to boost morale, opened a theme park, and had a Hyatt Regency Hotel built. Unfortunately, none of these were successful. Michael Moore finally finds Roger Smith who refuses to visit Flint and states that GM is not responsible for the evictions of the community.
2. Discussion of Ethical Issues
There are ethical issues within three different avenues, General Motors, the Flint community, and the mayor. General Motors was dishonest regarding the layoffs since the beginning of Roger & Me, by saying the layoffs were just for the truck line of GM, and then continuing by shutting the entire plant down and laying off the thousands of workers. Because of the plant shutdown, it had a domino effect and resulted in many other business shutdowns, increasing the unemployment rate. While outsourcing jobs may save money, there is the question of, is it ethical to close an entire plant down and attribute to the downfall of a town. Within the community, the affluent are insensitive to