My Courier-Journal column suggests that the Hollywood liberals stick to their day jobs. Reprinted with permission:
One of the bonuses of the presidential election has been watching the Hollywood elite throw tantrums. All the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s the only reason worth suffering through shows like the Golden Globes, where performers took the opportunity to express their grief at how half the country voted.
Meryl Streep even called upon Hollywood to protect journalists. (Huh?)
Before the election, numerous celebrities threatened to leave America if Donald Trump won. Apparently, this was supposed to deter the great unwashed from voting for President-elect Trump. Instead, it likely did just the opposite.
Among the would-be ex-pats: Barbra Streisand; Bryan Cranston; Miley Cyrus; Lena Dunham; Amy Schumer; Jon Stewart; Cher; Chelsea Handler; Samuel L. Jackson; Whoopi Goldberg; Neve Campbell; Keegan-Michael Key; George Lopez; Ne Yo; the Rev. Al Sharpton; Raven-Symone. But wait, there’re more: Chloe Sevigny; Eddie Griffin; Omari Hardwick.
Don’t feel bad if you haven't heard of some of these folks, despite their publicists’ best efforts. We will have a chance to not recognize them at Derby.
As for the more famous, the pledge to emigrate is a re-run. Take Barbra Streisand: she threatened to leave the country if George H.W. Bush won, and then again, if George W. Bush won. Likewise for Cher. Their quadrennial threats to leave America are attempts to stay relevant.
We are still stuck with them. (Now if they were prisoners at GITMO, then the Obama administration might buy them a plane ticket out.)
Following the election, a group of celebrities “starred” in a “public service announcement” that urged Republican electors to the Electoral College not to honor the voters’ choice. Someone tell Martin Sheen he was not really president, and the “West Wing” was a set. Like the threat to emigrate, Sheen’s PSA failed.
The next phase of celebrity meltdown involved refusals to perform at the Inauguration. Sir Elton John supposedly declined an invitation to perform, although inviting a Brit to a presidential inauguration in the first place seems odd, given the Revolution. Other celebrities who were allegedly asked but declined: Garth Brooks; Kiss; Andrea Bocelli; Celine Dion; Katy Perry; and David Foster.
The mainstream media gleefully reported these supposed celebrity rejections, until the Trump transition team observed that the Inauguration “is not Woodstock.” Nor should it be. After all, the voters rejected the aging hippie.
Rosie O’Donnell, deprived of an opportunity to turn down the invitation, launched a campaign to halt the Inauguration. O’Donnell tweeted, “HE MUST NEVER BE SWORN IN - DELAY INAUGURATION - INVESTIGATE - ARREST HIM” (emphasis in original).
One wonders if O’Donnell even believes her own tweets. She crossed the line from petulant to anti-democratic. In complaining about supposed fascism, she advocates anarchy.
O’Donnell was once a good performer. Same for Cher and Barbra Streisand. Their talent brought them fame and riches. It did not, however, make them political savants — something they lack the humility to recognize.
Celebrities have just as much right as anyone else to express their opinion. However, fame is no substitute for facts and reason. Notoriety alone should not persuade.
Miley Cyrus, for example, campaigned on many college campuses for Hillary Clinton, but never attended college. She makes millions of dollars a year, not because of her intellect. Good for her that she’s not flipping burgers. It doesn’t follow that we should suffer her lectures about anything, including politics.
Not all, but many celebrities ride private planes and yachts and then whine about climate change. They advocate gun control but employ body guards. Perhaps they have forgotten how the rest of the country lives. As for those celebrities who no longer bother to conceal the fact that they think half the country is stupid or bigoted, the harder they campaigned for Clinton, they better they made Trump look.
There are a few conservatives in Hollywood, of course. But the orthodoxy is overwhelmingly left-wing — increasingly so. One reason for this, according to producer-writer Rob Long, is that celebrities don’t receive paychecks. Their huge salaries are sent to their manager or agent. So they never get the reality check of looking at a pay stub and seeing how much the government withheld to fund those liberal programs they love.
As a result, Hollywood has become as irrelevant to political discourse as its home state of California — an outlier. That should worry Hollywood. It should also motivate artists, including conservatives, to understand and portray the needs and concerns of the great swath of America between the two coasts. That’s a big audience.
The Hallmark Channel has done this with such success that it now has a second channel. There is a hunger for entertainment that does not coarsen the culture, entertainment grounded in empathy, not snobbery.
This year’s rejection of the elites has been a long time coming. And it makes for great performance art.