Is it time to stop listening to Hollywood on Trump?

The US elections suggest so
Getty Images

When it comes to influencers, Hollywood has more per square mile than anywhere else in the world. 

From the fashion we wear, the beauty regimes we follow, the health kicks we trial and more, we’re often inspired by the A-list club who grace our screens and our airwaves.

But while they’re often front of the crowd when it comes to setting trends, it turns out Hollywood is totally out of step when it comes to possibly the most important arena of all: politics.

As Donald Trump prepares for his presidential inauguration ceremony he’s being turned down left and right by celebrities approached to appear on stage.

Staunch republican Caitlyn Jenner has signed up as has country music star Toby Ketih but for now they are pretty lonely faces. It’s a far cry from Barack Obama’s inauguration where music legends including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin turned up to entertain their incoming leader while Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks were amongst several movie star guest speakers.

Beyonce’s performance at Barack Obama’s inauguration (Credit: Getty Images)

It also pales into comparison with the number of celebrities who will be protesting against the newly sworn in president with stars including Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler and Scarlett Johannson joining the expected 220,000 people in the Women’s March on Washington the following day.

But here’s the thing: according to Trump, he doesn’t want them there anyway.

“The so-called ‘A’ list celebrities are all wanting tix to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!”, he tweeted last week.

At the end of the day, it’s the people who elected Trump into this position.

And, whether these outspoken stars like it or not, Trump is tapping into the same views many of those people share.

By speaking up so publicly and often – whether it’s Meryl Streep lambasting Trump in her Golden Globes acceptance speech or Katy Perry recording a PSA about the president’s plan to ban Muslims – not only do celebrities run the risk of alienating their own audience (for these people also pay to see their movies and to listen to their music), but they can engender sympathy for the man about to become the leader of the free world.

They can see his more unpopular views gain more support amongst that silent majority.

Far worse, they could see that silent majority even more afraid to speak up and engage in what could prove to be an important and healthy debate as it’s seen to be deeply unfashionable to agree with those same views.

It’s a similar situation here in Australia as high-profile media stars line up to lambast Pauline Hanson and her supporters. It’s popular to mock the former One Nation leader and her proposed changes to parliament.

But has it stopped her increasing her followers? Not at all – some may say the reverse has happened.

 Entertainment and the arts are invaluable when it comes to questioning the world we live in. It’s key to highlighting injustice, inequality and making sure we are aware of what’s happening in all areas of life, in which politics play a huge part.

But what art is not supposed to do is TELL us how to think and feel. That’s a process we need to make on our own and it’s one which too many celebrities are trying to cut out. 

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