Veteran Hollywood actor Kurt Russell warned celebrities who are always sticking their necks out on political issues saying actors should veer away from things that will prevent the public from seeing them as characters.
Russell, who is starring in the Netflix movie “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” was asked whether he still believes that celebrities shouldn’t weigh in publicly on politics.
Russell: Celebrities are “court jesters”
“Totally. I’ve always been someone who felt we are court jesters. That’s what we do,” the 69-year old star told the New York Times.
“As far as I’m concerned, you should step away from saying anything so that you can still be seen by the audience in any character. There’s no reason entertainers can’t learn just as much as anybody else about a subject, whatever it is. But I think that what’s sad about it is that they lose their status as a court jester. And I’m a court jester. That’s what I was born to do,” he added.
The veteran actor explained that outspoken opinions done by celebrities off-camera are usually “incompatible” with acting.
“A court jester isn’t always funny. A court jester is the only one who can walk into the castle and put the king down as long as he doesn’t hit too close to home. I think that’s been a big, important part of all cultures throughout history, and I’d like to see it stay in ours,” he said.
Russell’s comments came as Hollywood celebrities started becoming more politically outspoken in their social media platforms — mostly to amplify left-wing ideals while slamming President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Research: celebrities political opinions hurt their causes
President Trump’s most outspoken Hollywood critics, for example, mocked the incumbent Republican following the proclamation of various major news networks that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden won the election.
“It is common for Hollywood stars to share their opinions on just about every political and social issue in order to sway a multitude of voters. But surprise! Studies show that most voters care very little about what celebrities think, and astonishingly, their efforts often have the opposite effect,” Del Vecchio, who has covered the entertainment industry for 35 years wrote.
He cited a 2019 survey by Hill-HarrisX, which showed 65% of respondents saying political endorsements from Hollywood celebrities have no bearing on their voting decisions and 24% claiming that a celebrity endorsement would make them “less likely to vote” for a candidate.
“It is easy to speculate why,” Del Vecchio said. “Voters know that being a celebrity does not make them an expert on political and social issues.”
He added that based on a related Hill-HarrisX survey in 2018, 60% of Americans said they are “opposed to celebrities giving political endorsements” because it “polarizes public opinion” and distracts the public from issues that actually matter.
“This appears to be global,” the celebrity journalist added, citing how a 2018 YouGov survey in the UK, also found 63% of Britons saying celebrities’ political opinions “made no difference in their decisions,” and 25% even saying these endorsements have a negative effect instead.
Action film star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson reportedly lost tons of followers for earlier expressing his political opinion over the 2020 election and choosing to publicly endorse Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — offending his Republican supporters.
Progress takes courage, humanity, empathy, strength, KINDNESS & RESPECT.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 27, 2020
Celebrities “pretty out of touch” with issues
Aside from Russell, there are also other celebrities who choose to avoid making political statements like Mark Wahlberg, Gillian Anderson, Billy Joel, Josh Duhamel, Kevin Hart, and Dolly Parton unlike the majority of Hollywood.
Wahlberg said in 2016 that celebrities’ privilege makes them “pretty out of touch” with issues that common people deal with everyday.
“A lot of celebrities, did, do and shouldn’t [give their political opinions],” he said.“You know, it just goes to show that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills.”
“A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family,” Wahlberg added.
Meanwhile, Russell’s co-star in “The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two” — Goldie Hawn — motioned that actors should have the “freedom to decide” whether they want to use their fame to advance causes.
“The one thing I don’t agree with is that just because we have a platform we always have to use it. That is our choice,” the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In star added.
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Source: The Scoop