Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their whacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
The President’s Corner
President Donald Trump is more famous (or infamous, depending on one’s view) than even the top Hollywood A-lister, which is probably why so many people try to write about him or take his office. First, former National Security Advisor John Bolton wrote an exposé, The Room Where It Happened, which sparked the tempers of both sides of the aisle and even had a judge a bit upset that Bolton didn’t get final security clearance from the White House before publishing it. Now, Mary Trump, the president’s niece, has written the scathing Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, in which she blames the commander in chief for everything wrong in the world and especially faults him for the failures of her father Fred (Trump’s brother). She also accuses the president of cheating on his SAT tests. Next, the First Lady will be dragged into a literary work by her longtime friend and former adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff.
Wolkoff’s Melania and Me is set to publish Sept. 1, just two months before the presidential election. “In her memoir,” the book’s description reads, “Wolkoff chronicles her journey from their friendship that started in New York to her role as the First Lady’s trusted advisor to her abrupt and very public departure, to after Washington, being an advocate for children’s and women’s causes.”
Speaking of the presidential election, at least two from Tinseltown have announced they plan to run in the 2020 election, despite it being only four months away. Rapper Kanye West and former child star Brock Pierce recently announced their intent to go against Trump and Joe Biden to win the Oval Office. Black-ish actor Anthony Anderson appeared as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and talked about West’s bid for the presidency. He said it was “historic … laugh all you want … while this country has had a Black president, we’ve never had a crazy Black president.” Then he added, “Yeezy wants to be Preezy.”
Pierce is an entrepreneur in cryptocurrency and said he will use technology to “enhance institutions and improve lives” if he wins the election. “Entrepreneurs are essential to the rebuilding of this nation that we love, and I’m running in this race because I know that together we can help build a pathway toward the rebirth of the America we love so much.” Perhaps his role in the 1996 Disney movie First Kid gave him a taste for the position.
In either case, Pierce and West have a lot of work to do in a short time if their claims to run in the 2020 presidential election are sincere.
Lemon and Crews Hash It Out Over BLM
CNN’s Don Lemon and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews came together to discuss Black Lives Matter (BLM) after the latter tweeted out a message that caused a lot of backlash. Crews said that Black Lives Matter shouldn’t turn into Black Lives Are Better.
The two black television personalities argued about the fundamentals of the BLM movement. “Black lives do matter, but, when you’re talking about an organization, you’re talking about the leaders,” Crews told Lemon. “You’re talking about the people who are responsible.” Referring to BLM as Black America’s #MeToo, he continued:
“This is the thing, Don, Black people need to hold other Black people accountable. This is the Black America’s version of the #MeToo movement. If anything is going to change, we, ourselves, have to look at our own community and look at each other and say, ‘This thing cannot go down.’”
Lemon then stepped in with his know-it-all, condescending explanation:
“The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want an all Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including Black communities, then start that movement with that name. That’s not what Black Lives Matter is about. It’s not an all-encompassing. If someone started a movement that said ‘cancer matters,’ and then someone came and said, ‘Why aren’t you talking about HIV?’ It’s not the same thing, we’re talking about cancer.”
Crews tried to argue his point, but Lemon cut him off, saying, “I’m over it, Terry.” The next day, Crews tweeted: “If I’m truly your equal, I can discuss my concerns with you — but if I’m not — all my concerns are perceived as threats.”
Sit Down and Shut Up!
White people need to sit down and shut up, unless they are supporting anything to do with black lives. That is the message some Hollyweird actors are now touting. Lena Dunham, creator, writer, and star of the HBO television series Girls, had these brilliant gems to share:
“The Hollywood system is rigged in favor of white people. My career took off at a young age with relative ease, ease I wasn’t able to recognize because I also didn’t know what privilege was …
“The lesson now? Sit down. Shut up, unless it’s to advocate for change for Black people. Listen. Make art in private for a while — no one needs your book right now lady. Give reparations widely. Defund the police. Rinse & repeat.”
Simon Pegg, who starred in Star Trek as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott and in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and who currently stars in the Mission: Impossible film series and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, added his take on the topic:
“Anyone that’s complaining about it should just shut the f*** up because it’s time. The film industry would be such a healthier, more interesting place if there were more voices, different stories, different experiences. It’s so dominated by one particular voice and colour of face, it just perpetuates a bland mono-voiced cultural landscape.”
And then, a man who needs no introduction, Kevin Bacon, said old white guys like himself — Bacon is 61 — should just be quiet:
“It’s incredible to experience this and to go through this historically, not just the COVID-19, but clearly seeing the protests and what’s going on. For an old guy like me, I was born in 1958, and to witness the passion of the young people across the world for social justice — it leaves me speechless, which is probably a good idea because I think it’s a good time for old white guys like me to just shut up and listen.”
Theaters Sue for Constitutional Rights
AMC, Cinemark, and Regal theaters have had enough of the forced closures due to the pandemic and claim constitutional injury against New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy, who has not allowed the companies to reopen. “By this Complaint, Plaintiffs challenge Defendants’ unconstitutional and unlawful distinctions in allowing certain places of public assembly to reopen, while requiring movie theatres to remain closed,” states a complaint being led by the National Association of Theatre Owners of New Jersey.
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.