Arts & Entertainment

Lights, camera … onslaught!: Hollywood’s years-long battle against Trump

By David Villafranca

Los Angeles, Oct 14 (efe-epa).- In a Hollywood enamored with sequels, prequels and remakes, no saga has been more enduring over the past several years than American movie stars’ all-out offensive against polarizing President Donald Trump.

Sexist, racist, xenophobic, climate change-denying…

Trump has faced a deluge of criticism and accusations from a slew of film actors, directors and producers, while their celebrity colleagues in the recording and television arts also have taken up the same fight against the current occupant of the United States’ highest office.

“I tell everyone that if they’re able to register then do it and vote” in the Nov. 3 general election, iconic Mexican-American actor Edward James Olmos told Efe in April.

“It’s going to be very important. I’m going to vote for (Democratic hopeful) Joe Biden. I’m not telling you who you have to vote for, but I’m going to vote for Biden because what’s happened with Donald Trump has been very strong … For me, he’s a person who truly does not deserve the respect of humanity,” Olmos said.

Aligned virtually 100 percent with the Democratic Party, movie stars and other celebrities have been at the forefront of a series of progressive causes and initiatives in recent years: the #MeToo movement, which encourages sexual assault victims to come forward; the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and racism; and the global effort to combat climate change.

Hollywood also was on the front lines of the January 2017 Women’s March, when the feminist movement expressed its disgust at Trump’s stunning electoral victory over the person who would have been the US’s first female president: Hillary Clinton.

Scarlett Johansson, one of many American movie stars and celebrities who participated in that worldwide protest on the day after Trump’s inauguration, spoke to Efe in March of that year about the need to continue the struggle for basic rights in the wake of the brash and politically incorrect conservative’s victory.

In that interview, she said rights are not handed down by those in power but must be fought for and continually defended.

In the climate-change fight, some of Hollywood’s most outspoken voices have been Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix, all of whom staunchly opposed Trump’s announcement in June 2017 that he would be withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“We’re more than Trump,” the 82-year-old Fonda told Efe in an interview last November, adding that the current US president and other politicians in the same populist mold, such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, have only come to power through lies and trickery and must be stopped.

Hollywood, itself the target of #OscarsSoWhite criticism in recent years due to a lack of Academy Award nominations for African-Americans, also has been highly visible in protests that erupted earlier this year following the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jamie Foxx and John Boyega were just some of the Hollywood celebrities that took part in the demonstrations and accused Trump of encouraging white supremacists and far-right groups.

In that same vein, critically acclaimed African-American recording artist and actress Janelle Monae warned against complacency on racial matters and the danger of another four years of Trump in an interview with Efe last month.

“It can’t be business as usual. It can’t be, oh let me go back shopping, or oh let me just go watch basketball, oh let me go watch football. Let me go… No, no, no, no, no. We have a real problem and we’ve always had this problem,” she said.

“And if we get lazy about this election. If we continue to empower Donald Trump and the Republican administration, we will continue to support racist policies, racist ideology. We will continue to embolden white supremacists. We will continue to put black lives and marginalized people in harm every single day.” EFE-EPA


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