With every election cycle, it seems politicians have something negative to say about actors in Hollywood and vice versa. However, things have been erupting more than usual ever since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.
Many #Hollywood celebrities, from late-night TV hosts to Oscar winners, have made it a point to regularly talk about their disapproval of the Trump administration and the policies it's enacting on issues such as immigration, healthcare, climate change and LGBTQ rights. But not everyone is a fan of hearing celebs' political opinions.
This past Thursday, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon expressed how he feels regarding the number of celebrities speaking out on politics today:
"By the way, you've got to understand something: These actors and actresses, they're all dumb as ticks — and they're all lazy. They're like pieces of furniture. They're all dumb as ticks. By the way, that's why movie attendance is down, people are tired of it."
While that might all be debatable — Rotten Tomatoes, high ticket prices and the declining quality of sequels probably have more to do with the slump — calling the people who make up the Hollywood community "dumb" and "lazy" wasn't going to make Bannon any A-list friends. Several actors responded on Twitter to Bannon's comments, and not all of them were pretty. Here are just a few examples:
#Westworld actress #EvanRachelWood took to her account to respond to Bannon's comments in length. In Wood's multi-Tweet response, she touched on the subject of what being an artist is and why it shouldn't be berated:
"Some people are 'celebrities' and some are 'artists.' They worked their way up from nothing and now they have a backstage pass. With no motives. Not trying to get votes or money. Simply sharing their experience of both sides of the coin. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by speaking their truth. Do they speak for everyone? No. But they work hard, raise families, pay taxes. They are citizens and human beings. If money means you cant have an opinion, then everyone in power step down. are citizens and human beings. If money means you cant have an opinion, then everyone in power step down."
Wood's comments definitely give another perspective into the debate, reminding us that actors and celebrities are humans just like everyone else. While it can come across that they are simply just living the high life, at the end of the day they are still people who live in this country and have just as much of a right to express themselves as anyone else.
Whether we want to recognize it or not, celebrities vote and watch the news. There's no rule stating that as soon as you become famous, you forfeit your right to speak up just like any other "normal" person can. After all, the country did elect a former reality television star as president; let's also not forget that Ronald Reagan was an actor long before he was commander-in-chief. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al Franken are two other celebrities who went into public service.
Ultimately, it's a bit harsh to say everyone in Hollywood is dumb just because they're famous. More recently, we've seen celebrities step into the spotlight in support of entrepreneurship, science, technology and business. Aside from acting, celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Matt Damon and Margot Robbie have devoted their time (and money) to charity organizations, tech investments, climate change technology and business startups. Politics is a matter of opinion and values; even if you disagree with actors' views, that's no reason to insult their intelligence.
Perhaps the most bitter irony of Bannon's comments is the fact that since leaving the White House and returning to Breitbart News, he's voiced his desire to get back into the movie business; supposedly his desire is to start reviving the Western genre (although The Hateful Eight, The Magnificent Seven and Hell or High Water have already done that). Bannon has directed several right-wing documentaries and helped broker a lucrative deal for Seinfeld, but George Clooney recently called him a failure as a screenwriter:
“Steve Bannon is a failed f---ing screenwriter, and if you’ve ever read [his] screenplay, it’s unbelievable. Now, if he’d somehow managed miraculously to get that thing produced, he’d still be in Hollywood, still making movies and licking my a-- to get me to do one of his stupid a-- screenplays.”
Does it annoy you when celebrities get overly political or do you think they have a responsibility to make their voices heard? Leave a comment and let us know!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]