Mark Ruffalo, OK Go Protest Proposed Net Neutrality Changes (Exclusive)

6:00 AM PST 05/13/2014 by Aaron Couch
Austin Hargrave
Mark Ruffalo

Dozens of stars have signed a letter urging FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to "protect the Internet as a vehicle for free expression."

Mark Ruffalo, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and members of OK Go are asking the FCC not to change its net neutrality rules, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

More than 50 stars have signed a letter to FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, calling his proposed changes to net neutrality a threat to artistic freedom.

"The open Internet has powered the creative community’s pursuits and offerings in the 21st century," reads the letter. "As members of this community, we urge the Federal Communications Commission to protect the open Internet as a vehicle for free expression and collaboration."

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The letter goes on with crediting the Internet with allowing artists to connect with audiences in unprecedented ways.

"It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people -- not corporations -- to seek out the film, music and art that moves them," the letter continues.

The FCC is poised to vote Thursday on net neutrality proposals that would in certain cases allow Internet service providers to charge different rate for "fast lanes" of service for content. Under current rules, no content can be given priority.

“Net Neutrality is the best thing going for our democracy today,” said Ruffalo in a statement. “The folks who want to get rid of it are the worst thing going for our democracy today.”

The letter also was signed by The Hobbit's Evangeline Lilly, Fred Armisen, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Aerosmith's Joe Perry and 30 Rock's Judah Friedlander.

Read the letter here.

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