MACLANE: Celebrities should stop speaking about politics
Opinions Column: Conservative Hot Corner
The arrogance of Hollywood was on full display this past election cycle. Many celebrities were out campaigning for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while criticizing Republican nominee Donald Trump. But what qualifies them to speak on such topics? They should not be lecturing the average American on how to cast their vote just because they are famous actors or great musicians.
Over the past few months, multiple ads and videos were cut by many different celebrities that often accused Trump of being “racist” and “xenophobic” along with many other insults that included mocking his spray tan. There are a few different videos that I want to address. The first is a music video called “Holy Sh*t (You’ve Got To Vote),” which featured celebrities such as Adam Scott, Amber Rose, Paul Scheer and Mayim Bialik along with many others. The video consists of them constantly insulting Trump, and even includes a scene where they sing into their phones, “We’re too famous to come to the studio so we shoot it on our phones.” They think so little of the average American that they claim that they can just shoot some video quickly on their phones and suddenly influence a whole electorate. While that line was clearly satirical it doesn’t detract from its arrogant tone. The video ends with the pianist urging people to vote for Clinton and not to waste their vote on a third-party candidate. The gall of these celebrities is just absolutely astonishing.
The next video I want to address is one of Amy Schumer telling you to vote. She starts off by talking about her perfect hands, which right away shows her own vanity. Next, she says you don’t have to vote and she’s not going to tell you to vote. However, she finishes the video by criticizing Trump, telling you not only to vote, but also to vote for Clinton. This isn’t the first instance of her displaying her smugness. She had a stand-up show recently and brought a Trump supporter on stage to explain why he supported Trump. The man said that Trump would be better on national security and that he couldn’t vote for Clinton. He said his vote was one against Clinton rather than for Trump. Schumer then continued to shame the man for his views. Amy Schumer is clearly out of touch with the average American, so it is remarkable that she believes she can tell us how to vote.
Another video produced by celebrities featuring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Martin Sheen and Scarlett Johansson told people go out and vote. The smugness of Hollywood is on full display right away, as they talk about the amount of famous people in the room. The middle of the video features an intense assault on Trumps' character. The video finishes with the celebrities claiming that Ruffalo will do a nude scene in his next movie if you go out and vote. That would incentivize me to not vote. So once again, celebrities are out shilling for Clinton. That’s exactly what the American electorate needs to hear, the Avengers telling them how to vote. Being Iron Man also qualifies you to be a political and public policy expert apparently.
Robert De Niro even made a video claiming that he wanted to punch Trump in the face. Now this video came out the day after that disgusting video of Trump talking about grabbing genitals was released, so it is understandable that emotions were running high with people. But it doesn’t detract from the arrogance to even drop a video about it. I understand that Trump’s comments were deplorable, but that doesn’t justify Jimmy from Goodfellas advocating for violence against the man.
One celebrity, however, is coming out against this brand of hubris. Mark Wahlberg said that a lot of the celebrities who comment on politics shouldn't be. He went on to say that, “A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family. You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills.” This statement is totally accurate. Celebrities from Hollywood don’t understand the average American.
Cutting videos to tell Americans to register to vote is perfectly fine. There were some videos in which the famous Americans refused to talk about Trump or Clinton and rather just said to either register to vote or actually go vote. Taking political stances just annoys the American electorate, and Americans don’t see celebrities the same way they see themselves, as is evident with the election of Donald Trump.
Daniel MacLane is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science. His column, "Conservative Hot Corner," runs on alternate Mondays.
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