With the rise of social media and celebrities being covered daily in tabloids and “pop news” segments on television, it is becoming more and more popular for celebrities to voice their disapproval or hatred of politicians and their moves in office. Social media makes it possible to go viral where as in the older times of Hollywood, public disdain for someone may have just been swept under the rug or never heard of again.
While many speak out in support of politicians or legislation, there are a few who make headlines with their dramatic speeches or public announcements letting the world know their disapproval. Whether it's at a concert, in a paper, on a talk show, or basically anywhere they can get people to listen, they want us to know that they disapprove and they want us to follow them in this mind set. Some of these celebrities received fame and more recognition from voicing their opinion, while others were the victims of hate campaigns and basically watched their careers falter and flatten from this, the modern day equivalent of maybe a Hollywood blacklist.
From actors to musicians, from household names to people you may have forgotten about after they tanked their careers, from Kanye West to Sean Penn, this is the countdown of the 12 celebrities who have notoriously called out politicians.
The Columbian singer and icon Shakira recently responded to presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s comments about the Latino communities bringing "sexual criminals” and other undesirables into the United States. Referring to Trump’s speech on illegal immigration and running for president, Shakira said on Twitter, “This is a hateful and racist speech that attempts to divide a country that for years has promoted diversity and democracy!” The singer later Tweeted “No one living in this century should stand behind so much ignorance.” Shakira is just one of many who have spoken out against Donald Trump and in favor of the Latin community and diversity.
Rapper Killer Mike is part of the rap duo Run The Jewels, alongside fellow rapper El-P. While he did not speak out against one particular politician, he called out the system and passionately spoke out about the ongoing themes of injustice that led to the situation in Ferguson. He made a speech before one of his shows about the grand jury decision to not indict the officer in the Michael Brown shooting case. Since then, he has become an image of speaking out for equal rights and justice. He has since appeared on different news outlets and shows to talk about Ferguson and other protests for fair treatment and police brutality.
Actor and comedian George Lopez is another celebrity who took a stand against presidential candidate Donald Trump. In 2015, following Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants and crime, he said Trump, who he thinks is “punking” all the other Republican candidates, may actually win so it was time to take a stand. He was calling for people to boycott Trump’s businesses, saying he personally is done golfing at his courses and won’t even take his place on Celebrity Apprentice. While Lopez says he is obviously not voting for Trump, clearly, he is worried that there are enough Americans out there who will.
Adam Carolla is probably best known for co-hosting and co-creating The Man Show. He now hosts The Adam Carolla Show. He has also made numerous appearances on political talk shows and has even had a couple recurring segments. Carol made headlines in 2013 when he had California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on his podcast. He had appeared on the show to talk about his new book, but instead ended up getting grilled about why Hispanic and African-American populations are not prepared for financial hardship. The two went back and forth about the lack of bank account accessibility and ATMs in certain neighborhoods and many say Carolla unfairly attacked Newsom for not having a clear answer for why this happens.
In 2015, actor and U.S. Air Force veteran Chuck Norris called out President Barack Obama for acting against the best interests of the American public during the negotiations with Iran. Norris said, “Obama just helped Iran win – they gain a huge level of protection for their nuclear program and also get the massive bonus of having international sanctions lifted to boost their economy.” Around the same time, Norris also called out Secretary of State John Kerry for not working hard enough to have imprisoned Americans released, something he said could have been worked into the deal but was left out.
Born to Puerto Rican parents, singer and actor Marc Anthony has had a wonderful career performing Latin and Salsa music while also appearing in many different films. Following presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s comments about immigrants and the Latin-American community, he was another star who spoke out against the candidate. Recently, following a performance at Madison Square Garden, Anthony said on stage “F*** Donald Trump.” He followed that with the sign of the cross, a few more words, and then the performance of Mi Gente which translates to “my people.” It is believed this was in protest of Trump’s views on Mexican immigrants being criminals.
Victoria Jackson, probably best known for her stint on Saturday Night Live, has made headlines speaking out about President Obama regarding his stance on abortion and marriage equality. Since leaving SNL she has become a Tea Party activist and referred to Obama as an “Islamic jihadist.” Jackson said, “The thing that is frustrating to me is every night I hear the news commentators say: ‘Why is Obama doing this? Why is he helping the enemy? Why is he telling them where we’re going to hit them? Why is he aiding and abetting ISIS?’ And I’m like, because he’s one of them.” Jackson has publicly said Obama is lying about being a Christian and criticizes anyone who disagrees with her.
Donald Trump has made his way into our countdown again, but this time as the celebrity, not the politician. The Celebrity Apprentice host has never held his tongue when it comes to politics or controversy. Trump led a revolt with “birthers” who insisted on seeing Barack Obama’s birth certificate to prove that he was in fact American. Even after Obama released his birth certificate, Trump berated the president for not opening up his birth certificate sooner, and even had sent private investigators to Hawaii to dig up dirt. Trump called out the President again, requesting him to provide his college applications and records, and this passport applications.
Actor and director Clint Eastwood gave what may have been the weirdest impromptu performance in history at the 2012 Republican National Convention. The performance, which was not approved by Mitt Romney’s Campaign because it did not actually involve a script, involved Eastwood sitting next to an empty chair and interviewing a nonexistent Barack Obama. While the goal was to ask Obama about why he hadn’t kept all of his promises, the actor seemed to ramble at times and truly showcased how unprepared he was. He continued to do interviews for weeks following the performance to defend both his own speech and Romney.
Actor Sean Penn has been in the news a bit lately for interviewing wanted drug lord El Chapo, but before this he made headlines in 2015 for blaming former president George W. Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney, for creating ISIS. Penn, who had heard Cheney’s name mentioned in an earlier segment of the show, said, “I mean, they really are that which created it, and so I wanted to give him a shout-out.” Penn continued on to talk about how surprised he was that Cheney was still alive, while “beautiful, brilliant, impactful” people like Harvey Milk, who was one of the first openly gay elected officials, were no longer with us.
Rapper Kanye West appeared alongside actor Mike Myers to talk about Hurricane Katrina during NBC’s A Concert for Hurricane Relief. Myers read through the lines on the teleprompter, and then West, who had told Myers before the show that he would ad-lib a bit, launched into a speech about the portrayal of black families in the media and the relaxed pace the nation was taking to help them. Then, before the camera could cut away, with basically the whole nation watching, West said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Some believed that West’s comments would ruin the concert’s fundraising, but others believed it would ensure the concert remained famous, and it definitely has kept it memorable. Bush has called this incident “one of the most disgusting moments” of his time in office.
Country singing trio the Dixie Chicks rose to fame with various hit singles and country albums. In 2003, singer Natalie Maines said on stage in London, “We’re on the good side with ya’ll. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.” Quickly after her comments, boycotts were announced and sales of both tickets and concerts took a huge hit. President Bush, who insisted they had the right to speak their mind, was among a few who did not join the hate war against the Dixie Chicks. Maines issued a half-hearted apology, but the band never fully recovered.