George M. Cohan (1878-1942) was a successful actor and songwriter, but made most of his money as a theatrical producer. In that position he adopted the business views he felt were necessary, and as a result distanced himself from former associates.
When Cohan was holding auditions on one occasion, he spent some time with a particular actor, but in the end sent him away without the role.
"I hate that rat," muttered Cohan as the door closed. "Remind me never to hire him again unless we need him."
When the Actors' Equity Association was officially organized in 1913, however, animosity between talent and producer increased immeasurably. Cohan ran an advertisement in each of the New York newspapers that read:
"Before I ever do business with the Actors' Equity, I will lose every dollar I have even if I have to run an elevator to make a living."
The next day a large sign was posted outside Equity headquarters:
"Wanted: Elevator Operator. George M. Cohan Preferred."