One of the highlights of the 2020 election season had to be Kanye West’s epic clap back at Jennifer Aniston, who chose to announce her endorsement of now President Joe Biden and bash West’s Birthday Party platform in the same interview. In response to Aniston allegedly saying that voting for Kanye “wasn’t funny,” West fired back and let her know he believed Friends, the 90s sitcom Aniston starred in that seems more popular in the modern-day than it did in the 90s, wasn’t funny either. While the rapper’s sentiments are shared by many who believe the hype around the show is entirely overrated, it does shine a light on an altogether different phenomenon: celebrities are, for some reason, convinced that we care what their opinion is when it comes to politics.
Aniston is definitely not the first celebrity to put themselves on a pedestal. Hollywood and politics have been intertwined since the former’s inception. Most notably, President Ronald Reagan started his career as a half-decent actor before becoming prominent in Californian politics. What makes his case different is that he went against the grain and chose the conservative route. As Andrew Breitbart, founder of right-wing news outlet Breitbart, once put it in his Hollywood Interrupted, the movie industry is a breeding ground of far-left politics. This hive-mind mentality theory seems true as nearly every major actor, filmmaker, and singer endorsed Democratic candidates in almost every election of this century.
Before his death, Breitbart and his peers theorized that celebrity culture denies any form of thought contrasts establish liberal norms. Instead, it goes out of its way to push and encourage voices on different agendas like gun control, political correctness, LGBT rights, etc. There are even rumors that such “activism” will relaunch a dwindling career. That is why people like Aniston, Sarah Silverman, Tom Hanks, Taylor Swift, and Meryl Streep all actively voice their opinions that they have no real right to. They certainly are not affected by new policies thanks to their high status and wealth; the Panama Papers incident proved they avoid taxes.
Many celebrities like Aniston don’t even have much expertise outside their realm of influence, with the quality of their “talents” being subjective in the first place. None of these aforementioned stars have backgrounds in Economics, Political Science, Law, or any tangentially related field. Yet, they feel that their opinions matter enough to sway a population’s voting patterns. As if they have any real idea who the best candidate or political stance is, celebrities will tell people like West that do not wish to conform to the popular political narrative of the times that their opinion/ stance is dangerous or wrong simply because it does not conform to liberal Hollywood’s standards.