Meet the Stars Who Reached Across the Aisle (Or Tried)

Alyssa Milano had a change of heart following her gun control debate with Sen. Ted Cruz.

No, the “Who’s the Boss?” alum didn’t don a red MAGA hat or visit a gun range with Dana Loesch. Far from it. The actress/activist simply emerged from the debate sharing a fresh message.

We can still disagree with each other without resorting to the worst vitriol possible. She even penned an op-ed about her new thinking.

I met with the senator because we can’t fix the problems that face this nation unless we talk with people who disagree with us. The truth is that no matter what happens in the 2020 election, there will always be two parties in the Senate which will be close to evenly divided. If we keep living solely in our echo chambers, we will only hear what we ourselves say. And our nation will continue to suffer.

This is the same Milano who promised to appear on NRA TV but didn’t live up to her word. She also has spent countless hours on Twitter savaging her political “foes.”

Maybe she’ll leave that part of her activism behind?

If she does, she’ll be in good albeit rarefied company. A few prominent celebrities have taken a similar approach to politics in recent months.

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Some of these voices were just as hyperbolic as Milano initially … or worse. Still, each appears genuine in trying to promote a free and fair exchange of ideas, all the while nudging their views to the forefront.

You know, the way things used to be not so long ago.

The Left/Right divide is bigger than any wall President Donald Trump could imagine. And in Milano’s neck of the woods, Hollywood, California, disagreeing on hot button issues makes you a Nazi, or white supremacist or, gasp, a Trump supporter.

These politically active celebrities are swerving away from that path.

Jennifer Lawrence

The “Hunger Games” superstar started out like most of her peers in the Age of Trump, full of fury and spittle. She once vowed to throw a martini in the President’s face if she ever met him.

She also said Trump’s election would mean the end of the world.

Now, Lawrence is trying a kinder, gentler approach to politics. Earlier this year she flexed her celebrity clout as part of RepresentUs. The group vows to fight for “anti-corruption” legislation both parties can embrace.

She’s stayed above the political fray this year, avoiding the celebrity pile-ons after a mass shooting or Trumpian gaffe.

Chris Evans

The erstwhile Captain America is famous for his off-screen liberalism. His MCU overlord, Kevin Feige, wouldn’t have it any other way. And, at times, it trips him up. Evans joined the gaggle of progressives who savaged the Covington kids for the crime of being framed by the corrupt press.

To the best of our knowledge he never apologized for his comments, and the Tweet is still live:

More recently, he’s been promoting an upcoming web site that doesn’t require him to fling a Vibranium disk. A Starting Point promises to give Americans information straight from Republican AND Democratic politicians sans filter.

“Why isn’t there a place I can go to hear both sides of an issue in a succinct way that I can trust?”

Ironically, the Columbia Journalism Review threw a soggy blanket on Evans’ plans well before its launch date.

From the outset—the launch date is unknown—“A Starting Point” appears a ham-fisted effort that might boost misinformation and partisanship. “On the surface, there’s something appealing about this—it’s good to be exposed to ideas beyond our filter bubbles—but there’s also a real risk of giving equal weight to concepts and arguments that shouldn’t be equated,” Margaret Sullivan, media critic for The Washington Post, tells CJR via email. “Are we going to hear both sides of voter suppression, for example? Both sides of the need for drastic action on climate change?”

Mark Duplass

This entry comes with an asterisk. The absurdly productive writer/director/producer/actor attempted a “Kumbaya” moment two short years ago. He appeared on conservative YouTube star Steven Crowder’s show “Louder with Crowder.”

Duplass also sat down with conservative pioneer Glenn Beck and classical liberal Dave Rubin, all worthy efforts.

Last year, Duplass did it again. Or, at least he tried. He sent out a Tweet praising Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro (Note: This reporter contributes to Shapiro’s web site). Duplass suggested his fellow liberals follow Shapiro if they truly wanted to reach across the aisle.

“I don’t agree with him on much, but he’s a genuine person who once helped me for no other reason than to be nice. He doesn’t bend the truth. His intentions are good.”

The far-left Daily Beast, which apparently has little interest in that oh, so American spirit, describes what happened next.

Duplass has since deleted the tweet and issued a statement of apology, calling the original remark “a disaster on many levels” and acknowledging, “sometimes I move too quickly when I get excited, or fail to do enough research, or I don’t communicate myself clearly. I’m really sorry. I now understand that I need to be more diligent and careful.”

Duplass appears to have learned his “lesson.”

Note: The 2017 Crowder/Duplass interview is currently labeled “Private” on YouTube. The left-leaning video platforming hasn’t been kind to Crowder’s popular web series, to be blunt.

Gary Sinise

The “Forrest Gump” star has been staying above the political fray well before it became cool or novel. His unwavering dedication to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces comes first … always. 

No matter the president, no matter the foreign policy, Sinise gives everything he has to the troops.

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