A number of entertainment personalities, including Rosie Perez, Sally Field, and Jeffrey Wright, appeared in a new video that debuted last week, calling on Congress to oppose Donald Trump if he pursues “racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, anti-union, anti-environmental policies.”
It was a signal that Hollywood figures will continue to speak out as Trump takes office, even though a number of groups produced videos featuring celebrities before the election — yet it still did not stop “The Apprentice” star from beating Hillary Clinton in the electoral college.
On the latest “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, Perez defends the latest video, which comes from the group Humanity for Progress. She is joined by Yasmeen Hassan, who also appears in the video and is the global executive director of Equality Now.
“Seventy-five percent of the people in the video have nothing to do with Hollywood,” Perez says. “What happens with the media propaganda machine, it starts rolling and they say, ‘Well, celebrities are putting out this video.’ Twenty-five percent of us were in this video, 75% were not celebrities. That needs to be taken into account. The facts need to be the facts, even though it seems facts don’t seem to be relevant in the United States lately. It is not a celebrity-driven video, it is an American-citizen-driven video.”
She also noted that the video has been successful in getting attention — which is a goal — as Sean Hannity went off on it on his nightly Fox News show.
“So it does work…No matter how many times you want to say the people voted for him, that is not the truth. The majority of the people did not vote for this man.”
Hassan says, “It is easy to say the previous videos did not work because of who we have coming into the White House, but again, the majority of the American people did not vote for the president-elect. I don’t know what worked and what didn’t work, but the majority ended up voting for Hillary Clinton, so I would imagine that a lot of videos did work.”
Perez said that the video says nothing against Trump voters. She says that attacking those who voted for him is wrong. “That was their civil right.”
But she says that the response she has gotten to appearing in the video has been positive.
“If there were negative attacks, it was, ‘Oh, you are an elite. You are a celebrity. Why should we listen to a celebrity?’ I go, ‘Well, you voted for one! What are you talking about?’ That is not a good argument, I’m sorry.”
Stars on the Capitol Steps
When did it become a tradition for Hollywood figures to attend presidential inaugurations? Donald Trump has reportedly struggled to line up entertainers so far for his ceremony.
Jim Bendat, the author of “Democracy’s Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President 1789-2013,” says that it is only a recent trend for entertainers to show up at the swearing-in ceremony, but the idea of a pre-inaugural concert dates to 1941, when a slew of showbiz figures staged a concert for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s third term.
Still, he says, it will be unusual if Trump’s inaugural goes by with an absence of star power.
Vexed on Viral Videos
Nikki Schwab of Daily Mail and Hunter Schwarz of IJ Review talk about the effectiveness of the latest Trump video featuring entertainment figures.
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, airs on Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It is also available on demand.