Donald Trump hosted a show called “Celebrity Apprentice.” Yet the president-elect and his most fervent supporters tend to dismiss celebrities who dare to criticize him, the latest being Meryl Streep after her politically infused speech during Sunday’s Golden Globes.
On Twitter, Trump reacted by calling Streep overrated, and media allies like Sean Hannity quickly weighed in via that medium, labeling Hollywood “a bunch of hypocrites.”
There is indeed some hypocrisy at work here. But on this issue it’s typically found in the tendency to deride celebrities who politically disagree with you, while heaping praise on those who share your ideology.
Separate from the merits of what they say, you can’t swoon over Bruce Springsteen and laugh off Ted Nugent as sources of political wisdom, or vice versa, without betraying bias. Those who told the Dixie Chicks to “shut up and sing,” as they famously described it after criticizing George W. Bush, lose credibility when they embrace Jon Voight or Kid Rock.
Republicans booked Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr. for prominent speaking roles at their convention — a move that Democrats roundly ridiculed, before trotting out their own assortment of higher-wattage stars to perform and speak at their gathering.
Celebrities in various fields — movies, music, sports — have a platform to speak out precisely because the media and public give it to them. Such stars are the life’s blood of talk shows, where they go to promote their projects, but also to discuss causes that matter to…