She wrote this awesome post, which led to me writing, and deleting, a huge comment. Rather than bleat all over her blog, I thought I’d write my own post.
December mentioned actors- actors who stump for candidates, specifically- and expect us to believe they somehow know more about the issues than the little people in flyover country. I got news for them. They don’t know anymore than anyone else. They just have a whole lot more money, which makes my blood boil when they pontificate about the needs of the poor. Come juggle my finances for awhile, Master Thespian. What gets me is how pissy some of them get when they are challenged. Why, don’t you know who I am? I am creative and talented and feel deeply about the deep things of the world. I’ve talked to actual scientists and been filmed while I felt my deep feelings in some third-world sinkhole. Celebrate me!
But even though I’d love to tell them to shut it, they are American citizens. (And I’m not talking about celebrities who are European, or live full time in Europe because it’s so much more civilized. Honestly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Europeans think of us.) Except for Wesley Snipes, they pay their taxes. They have the right to hold, and express, any opinion they please.
I remember Tim Robbins protesting the Iraq war, which he has a right to do. When people starting telling him they would no longer see any of his movies because of his views, he said there was a “cold wind blowing across the country” and the First Amendment was in jeopardy. Excuse me, Tim, but no it isn’t.
The First Amendment refers to freedom from the government censoring speech. His kids weren’t taken away. He wasn’t forced from his home. He can not only work in Hollywood, but he’s rather celebrated there. Even though I think the last movie he did was Zathura a few years ago. He can take out a front page ad in the Times telling his views; that is his right.
But it’s my right to think he’s a self-important gasbag. And if he creeps me out enough with his various political stances, or if not the opinion itself, how he expresses it, I also have the right to stay away from the theatre. I am not censoring him. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, not freedom from every possible consequence.
What I think celebrities don’t realize is that their views aren’t necessarily what grate; it’s the I Know More Than You, You Pathetic Mouth Breathing Knuckle Dragger attitude. From what I’ve seen this election season, it’s not limited to TV’s talking heads. Which I guess only proves the point that actors do have influence.