I'll see your Scott Baio and raise you three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep.
Few doubted that when Bernie Sanders Fever broke, Hollywood would go all-in on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Even keen observers may not have expected what we’ve witnessed this week, though. The Democratic National Convention became Hollywood 2.0.
Donald Trump trotted out Baio, Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Willie Robertson during the Republican National Convention. Jon Voight narrated the pro-Trump campaign video.
Democrats returned fire with a vengeance.
Lena Dunham. Meryl Streep. Tony Goldwyn. Paul Simon. Elizabeth Banks. Mandy Moore. Kristin Chenoweth. Rob Reiner. Jane Fonda. Sheryl Crow. Eva Longoria. And more may be on the way this week.
Yes, Susan Sarandon is having a miserable DNC, but she’s clearly in the minority.
Banks leaned on her “Pitch Perfect 2” cast for this new DNC-flavored “Fight Song” on behalf of Clinton.
Banks slipped in an effective dig using her film resume to guide her.
“I’m Elizabeth Banks. Some of you know me from The Hunger Games, in which I play Effie Trinket, a cruel, out-of-touch reality-TV star, who wears insane wigs while delivering long-winded speeches to a violent dystopia. So, when I tuned in to Cleveland last week, I was like, ‘Hey! That’s MY act!’ “
This week’s celebrity pile-on comes after Sarah Silverman, Louis CK and Tom Green played the Hitler card against Trump. Said card won’t be going back in the deck.
Lost in the shuffle? An open letter in which Hollywood officially declares war on Trump.
The United Against Hate campaign, part of MoveOn.org, rallied more than 100 celebrities to slam Trump. Michael Stipe, Mark Ruffalo, Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Woody Harrelson and Jane Fonda all signed on.
Some of us come from the groups Trump has attacked. Some of us don’t. But as history has shown, it’s often only a matter of time before the ‘other’ becomes me … That is why we need to unite before it is too late—for the sake of our fellow Americans and for the sake of our democracy—and why it is so critical for those of us with the privilege to speak out to do so loudly and forcefully, in our work, online, and in our communities, with all the resources we have at hand.
We’ve seen this act before. Celebrities rallied around then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008. They did it again in 2012.
Hollywood excels at creating narratives. So the assembled stars did all they could this week to paper over Clinton’s image as a stiff, untrustworthy candidate. They also strained to drown out the Sanders’ contingent, which turned the DNC’s “unity” theme into a farce.
They have their work cut out for them this time with Clinton.
Can the stars repeat their past successes? One thing is certain. This week’s Hollywood bombardment against the GOP isn’t over. Expect more TV shows hammering Trump and his fiery rhetoric. More DNC-approved videos featuring stars from stage and screen. More late night comics ignoring Clinton’s potentially fatal flaws in order to smite Trump anew.
In short, celebrities will use their considerable clout to drag Clinton over the finishing line.
The star-saturated DNC is merely a warm-up act.