May 21, 2019

Celebs Are Being Pressured into Politics

“Three days before I met up with actor/writer/producer/director Justine Bateman (best known as Mallory on the ‘80s sitcom “Family Ties”) to talk about her new book, “Fame: The Hijacking of Reality,” for my Poptarts podcast, Taylor Swift came out on Instagram as supporting Democrats in the upcoming election and urged her 112 million followers to register to vote. Notably tight-lipped about her political leanings up until that point, Swift was being celebrated in the press as the impetus behind a staggering 65,000 new voter registrations in the 24-hour period since her post went live. So naturally, her name came up as Bateman and I discussed the pressure young famous women feel to be everything to everyone, and how that pressure has now become more politicized than ever before.

“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”

“I don’t know that there’s a responsibility for it,” she replied. “I mean, you’re responsible to be a hard worker and to do the best job you can. But I don’t think any singer or athlete or anybody has the responsibility to do it. If they want to, as a citizen, I’m completely all for it. And if people say, you know, ‘Shut up, ya dumb f**kin’ actress. Stop talking politics,’ which is what you see often online, I would just say, well now wait a minute. There’s not just one participant here.””

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