“The Hunt”, a film about a group of people who are kidnapped and hunted by rich liberal “elites” for fun, made headlines as debate broke out over the decision to delay its release. The delay, Universal said, was deemed the most appropriate action after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Although intended as satire, many people objected to the political messages that the film could send about both Democrats and Republicans. President Donald Trump weighed in on the debate via Twitter: “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” Is President Trump right? Has Hollywood been hijacked as an angry and hateful medium used by the Left?
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, individuals and firms in the television, movie, and music industries contributed 80% of the $84 million donated in 2016 to Democrats. Despite the fact that a large portion of Hollywood is made up of liberals, there are still a handful of outspoken conservatives who have built their entertainment careers without subduing or hiding their political beliefs. Celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Tim Allen, and Arnold Schwarznegger have all maintained careers in Hollywood while still promoting their conservative beliefs through tweets, public support for candidates, and fundraising.
Although there are conservatives in Hollywood who are not afraid to voice their opinions or publicly support President Trump, not many of them are women. In fact, of Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential Hollywood Conservatives in 2017, less than 20% were women. And of these female directors, actresses, models, and singers, only six were actively proclaiming their support for conservative values, the Republican Party, or a right-leaning candidate. For example, singer Joy Villa wore a dress to the 2017 Grammy Awards emblazoned with President Trump’s 2016 election slogan, “Make America Great Again.” And then, in 2018 and 2019, she wore dresses that clearly showed her support for the pro-life movement and the border wall. The other two women on the Newsmax list, Heather Locklear and Hillary Duff, however, are just registered Republicans who do not tweet or give statements to the press about their political beliefs.
Why don’t these conservative women speak up? Why not use their platforms to share their beliefs? It is clear from social media, television, radio, and pretty much any form of technology that there are many outspoken women in Hollywood. Actresses, directors, TV personalities, and models like Mindy Kaling, Meryl Streep, and Beyoncé are all vocal about where they stand on liberal issues. Just last month, TV personality and model Chrissy Teigen fired back at conservative activist and Trump supporter Candace Owens, calling her a “dumb, soulless, pandering ghoul” for Owens’ criticism of celebrities who cancelled their membership to Soul Cycle after the parent company’s chairperson agreed to host a fundraiser for the Trump campaign. Taylor Swift recently became vocal in her music about her political stance and even praised former President Barack Obama’s time in office. Like Teigen and Swift, many of these left-leaning women are not afraid to voice their disagreement or advocate for what they think is right.
Although there is nothing wrong with using a platform to promote a certain ideological stance, it becomes problematic when only a small portion of the wide spectrum of ideologies is represented. Although it can be difficult to risk a reputation in an atmosphere that places so much emphasis on it, conservative women in the entertainment industry should be more outspoken about their beliefs to promote a more balanced viewpoint. Conservative women played a large role in the 2016 election and, therefore, should not feel as though their opinions are discounted in any way.
Conservative celebrities, especially women: Now is your chance to speak up. You should use your spotlight to promote more than just one political narrative. Be bold and show the world that conservative women like you can make a difference.
Jordan Davidson is studying political science and journalism at Baylor University and is a Student Media Fellow with the Network of enlightened Women (NeW) this fall. Davidson is a published author, having her first book published when she was 14.