Hollywood clutched its collective pearls over President Donald Trump, particularly his bruising rhetoric.
Except many stars bruised right back.
Some wished for Trump’s death, including Joss Whedon, Charlie Sheen and, indirectly, Johnny Depp. Others, like Madonna, imagined planting a bomb at the White House, presumably to take out Trump for good.
There’s another side to celebrity rage, though, one disconnected from Trump or other Republican targets. Some stars appear to either condone or actively support violence in ways that should get them booted from social media, let alone Hollywood.
That hasn’t happened yet, nor have these stars suffered any professional consequences for their actions. Cancel Culture hasn’t so much as knocked on their door.
In fact, some stars get TV shows to share their peculiar take on violence … like W. Kamau Bell.
The far-left CNN contributor’s “United Shades of America” previously played footsie with Antifa, at a time when the radical group’s actions hadn’t swamped major cities like Portland and Seattle. Bell, who once spoke at an Antifa rally, yukked it up with Antifa members during a 2019 segment of “United Shades of America.”
More recently, Bell downplayed the group’s extensive violence and anti-freedom mien on CNN … again.
First, he attacked the “right-wing” for using Antifa as a “boogeyman” to distract Americans from police brutality. Next, he compared the hate group to a kiddie superstar.
“If you’re unsure how you feel about that, picture a table: On one side of the table is Hitler and Mussolini, and on the other side is the popular [children’s] performer Raffi. “Which side of the table you sitting on? I’m with Raffi.”
It gets worse.
Bell condoned both the group’s methods and the results, ignoring how many millions of innocent people are directly impacted by their rage.
“Look, this fighting for democracy and against fascism thing has always been a messy business. And, yes, people get hurt, property gets damaged, and things get confusing,” Bell said, ignoring just how fascist Antifa truly is.
If only Bell was an outlier when it comes to stars condoning violence.
Far-left Trevor Noah repeatedly excuses violence, at least when it’s associated with causes he admires. Last week, the Comedy Central host downplayed the war crimes associated with Hamas during its ongoing conflict with Israel.
Last year, both John Oliver and Seth Meyers downplayed Antifa’s violence in Portland. Meyers dubbed the mayhem “mild property damage and graffiti,” when the facts on the ground proved radically different.
Numerous stars cheered on the violent riots that erupted last year following the death of George Floyd, a black man, after an altercation with Minneapolis police. That included actor John Cusack on Twitter, who framed the violence as a way to remove President Trump from office -- “It’s time -people should NOT swallow another moment of fascism … Fight till he’s gone,” Cusack Tweeted. “Babe” actor James Cromwell shared Cusack’s comments.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore wished the Minneapolis police station would be “demolished” to help further racial healing at the height of the violent protests. Noah, once again, excused away the violence during this period, while rapper/actor Ice Cube shared an image of a black figure stomping on a white one via social media.
Americans can agree to disagree with celebrities when it comes to the hottest issues of the day. What’s less understandable is how celebrities can actively cheer on violence without a single repercussion.