As the reality of election returns set in Wednesday, Apatow said that the creative community has a responsibility to “speak up louder now than ever” and use the forums of media and celebrity to hold the Trump administration accountable in the eyes of the general public.
Moreover, creatives have another important obligation after a bruising campaign that exposed a shocking level of anger and divisiveness among the body politic.
“We need to make art about people who love each other and take care of each other,” Apatow told Variety. “This is a man who bragged about how he never changed a diaper in his life. Why do people think he’s going to take care of them?”
Ironically, the entertainment industry should benefit from Trump’s upset win, he said, because people will need to laugh and escape.
“The sh—tier things get, the more people need to numb themselves out,” he said. “We’re probably one of the few industries that doesn’t get hurt by this.”
Apatow didn’t temper his anger about the outcome of the election.
“What saddens me is that over the next eight to nine months people are going to see that they got conned,” he said. “It’s going to be exactly the same as George W. Bush but scarier because the guy in charge is unstable and loves revenge.”
Apatow predicted that for all of Trump’s populist anti-establishment rhetoric, he will side with big business interests and fill his administration with corporate “shills.”
“He is the swamp,” Apatow said. “This is going to be a country completely controlled by corporations. It’s going to be brutal when the people who voted for him realize that he’s not their savior — he’s their worst-case scenario.”
As for the big question about what drove so many people to pull the lever for Trump, Apatow admits that the anger and sense of alienation in a changing world is very real, particularly for older generations.
“People are struggling. They’re looking for answers to questions that are very complex,” he said. “Most people don’t pay a lot of attention to the intricacies of how the world economy works. They’re just mad, and they want a change. They see somebody who’s kind of funny on TV. He has no track record of letting them down. They’ll go for the person who says, ‘I’ll beat ISIS really fast.’ They so desperately want someone with fresh solutions that they vote for the guy who just said what they wanted to hear.”
Apatow expressed extreme dread about the prospect of Trump’s agenda — coupled with Republican control of Congress and the pending vacancies on the Supreme Court — to impede everything from environmental progress to health care reform to wreaking havoc on the geopolitical front.
“Donald Trump has the Senate and the House and the Supreme Court,” he said. “You are going to see what happens when these people from another generation have total control. It’s about to happen.”