Celebrities are given a unique platform to bring awareness to certain issues, and many do not take that for granted. In the case of last year’s election, stars came out in droves to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. We all know how that turned out, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from trying to take action when it comes to stopping President Trump‘s agenda.
With Shia LaBeouf’s arrest during his live stream protest of Trump, Madonna’s provocative remarks at the Women’s March, and Chelsea Handler’s controversial comments about first lady Melania Trump, it begs the question… are some stars hurting their own cause?
LaBeouf — who installed a webcam at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and is encouraging people to stop by and repeat the words “He will not divide us” — was charged with misdemeanor assault and a harassment violation after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a neo-Nazi. This isn’t the first incident LaBeouf has had with Trump advocates, and apparently the 30-year-old actor has been getting trolled by Nazi supporters.
“He pulled another man’s scarf, causing a scratch to that man’s face,” a New York City Police Department spokesman told People. “Also pushed that man … causing him to fall to the ground.”
The man he allegedly shoved had said, “Hitler did nothing wrong,” triggering the response from LaBeouf. While that’s undoubtedly infuriating, now all headlines are about “Shia’s arrest,” delegitimizing his intention of having a peaceful protest.
Handler, who is a vocal supporter of women’s rights in the face of Trump’s policies, is also facing backlash from both sides. When asked if she would have Melania Trump on her show, the comedian responded, “To talk about what? She can barely speak English!”
The first lady is actually fluent in five languages: English, French, German, Slovene, and Serbian. Handler received criticism online from the left and right and was accused of “immigrant shaming.” But the negative headlines haven’t exactly affected Handler’s material.
Madonna also captured headlines after the Women’s March for the wrong reasons. “Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything,” she said to the crowd. The Material Girl, 58, tried to clarify her comments afterward, saying she was speaking in metaphor, but the damage was done, much to the delight of many Trump supporters.
Even feminist Cyndi Lauper took issue with it, telling Andy Cohen that Madonna’s speech was counterproductive. “I was glad she went,” Lauper began. “I don’t think that it served our purpose, because anger is not better than clarity and humanity. That is what opens people’s minds. When you want to change people’s minds, you have to share your real story, like Scarlett Johansson.”
In contrast, Johansson’s speech about her first time going to Planned Parenthood was informative and resonated with many.
“Do you think celebrities help at these marches?” he asked. “There’s a whole school of thought — the Trump people are saying, ‘You know what, celebrities, go ahead. You’ll get him reelected. Enjoy your speaking out.’ Because that makes the regular American go, ‘Why are these people who don’t know anything about my life or how I live…”
Fonda interjected, “Whenever a celebrity speaks out like Meryl [Streep] did at the Golden Globes and gets the reaction from our president-elect, I mean, it’s ridiculous… Look, I have been a celebrity for 50 years, and I have been told that I should shut up because I was a celebrity. But what celebrities can do is bring attention to things that don’t normally get attention.”
You can’t argue with that; however, the spotlight is on Hollywood now more than ever.