I can remember the first election year that I could vote, and for the first time becoming interested in what politicians had to say as well as those who supported them. I quickly noticed that tons of celebrities were encouraging young people to vote and being that I was 20-years old at the time, I was highly influenced by these actors, actresses and musicians that I had admired for many years.
While it was clear that Hollywood was encouraging everyone, who was able to vote to do just that, at the time it didn’t seem like they were pushing one way or the other. However, in the past few election years (this one especially) I’ve noticed a rise in the Hollywood Democratic Party. It seemed that this year most celebrities didn’t just want people to do their civic duty and go vote, but they were telling people to vote for the “right” candidate as well.
Since the end of the election, we have seen an outpouring of negativity from all types of celebrities on social media as well as in the streets joining in with the protesters. Even Broadway has taken a stand against the President Elect Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence with the recent harassment by the cast of Hamilton.
But why do so many celebrities vote for the left? Of course, it is their right to do so, but it seems strange for such a large and diverse group of people to stand for one common cause
There are several theories out there that attempt to explain why Hollywood has such a strong love affair with the Democratic Party. One of the most notable theories would be from the Nobel Prize Winning economist, Gary Becker of the University of Chicago. His argument is that Hollywood tends to have non-traditional views on social mores- high divorce rates, children out of wedlock high presence of gays, frequent abortions, frequent drug use, premarital sex, etc. – that are incompatible with conservative values.
Basically, what Becker is saying is that Hollywood likes Democrats because they support social freedom. But if Hollywood were consistent in its love of freedom, it would be turned off by Democrat’s economically repressive policies as much as it is turned off by Republicans’ socially repressive ones. It is after all, the democrats who favor regulations on entrepreneurs and taxes on produces. Why doesn’t that fact bother celebrities? Why is it that Hollywood doesn’t support other political possibilities such as libertarian-ism, which favors freedom for all?
A statement that was made in the Wall Street Journal this past June said that Hollywood frequently portrays capitalists as villains in films, (Erin Brockovich, Syriana, Mission Impossible II, Star Wars, The China Syndrome, Wall Street…etc.) Which could be one reason. But there have also been others who wonder why Hollywood is so anti-free market. There is a clue that is in the 1986 essay of Harvard political philosopher Robert Nozick. In his writings, he examines a similar antipathy toward capitalism on the part of intellectuals such as novelists, literary critics, and academics.
When President Barack Obama campaigned during his first and 2nd election, he was heavily followed by top celebrities, including George Clooney, Halle Berry, Beyoncé, and many others. The influence of these popular stars could have helped to secure his vote with the American people, or at least sway some voters who were on the fence in his direction.
The reason why Hollywood is made up of mostly democrats could simply because creative people are typically more liberal. If you compare celebrities with the Midwest farming community for example, then you will have two very diverse groups with different views on the major topics of the world.
Censorship could also play a huge role in why celebrities don’t want a Republican in as president. Republicans are known for wanting to clean-up Hollywood and censor everything from music to movies. This would put a huge strain on the creativity of many of today’s actors, writers and directors, so it would make sense that a celebrity who is involved in a project that may upset the censors to vote for a president that wouldn’t have any reason to alter their scripts or scenes.
But, just because the majority of Hollywood is on the left, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any celebrities who are Republican. There are several notable Alt Right supporters who are in the film industry, such as Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, and Chuck Norris, just to name a few.