When it comes to celebrities standing against the tide of cancel culture and Leftist Hollywood groupthink, a handful of names typically dominate the news cycle. Dave Chappelle. Gina Carano. J.K. Rowling. These are the people who have been so consistent, so public, and so fearless in their refusal to capitulate to the demands of woke mobs, they tend to be the only stars we think about when the subject comes up.
But on a number of occasions over the past year, the woke brigade overplayed their hand to such a degree that even actors, musicians, and performers typically known for being apolitical or even liberal have begun to sound the alarm.
You may have missed or forgotten these stories, but these celebrities also offered pushback to mob demands that they conform — or else.
As J.K. Rowling has bravely stood against the tide of madness in pop-culture by insisting that biological sex is real, nearly all the stars in the Harry Potter films have distanced themselves from her, with one notable exception. Ralph Fiennes, Voldemort himself, proved that there is still a spark of class and gallantry in Hollywood.
When asked about Rowling’s views on the transgender movement in March, Fiennes didn’t show the same ingratitude as his castmates by throwing her under the bus. Instead, he pointed to the inappropriate behavior of the trans activists and allies calling for her head.
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” he told The Telegraph in an interview. “I understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”
In 2020, the hip hop legend started to voice opinions that left his industry and the media shocked. Among the comments that horrified them — his revelations that he’d spoken with the Trump campaign about its Contract with Black America policy plan. When CNN and other media outlets published op-eds denigrating his collaboration with a Republican president, Cube made it clear he’s more interested in elevating the prospects of African-American communities than in being a left-wing lemming.
“I’m not playing no more of these political games, we’re not part of a team,” he said of the Democratic party in an interview with Chris Cuomo, “so I’m going to whoever’s in power and I’m going to speak to them about our problems, specifically,”
To underline the point, in February of this year, he released a new single — his first solo music since 2018 — attacking cancel culture. Titled, “Trying to Maintain” the song seems to reference the criticism he received over Trump:
Yeah, n***a, all y’all followers
Follow every word like swallowers
Wanna catch it when I spit it
F*** a critic and his analytics
I don’t fit in your formula…
With a little Mary Jane on the campaign
Whip by you in the fast lane
Only act like this ’cause of black pain
F*** your cancel culture, bi***
You can’t cancel a soldier, trick
In September, the rapper’s off-hand tweet to a fan about her personal decision-making process when it comes to the Covid vaccine drew a multitude of nasty responses, including from major media figures like MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid and government officials like Anthony Fauci. The Twitter speech police put her account in lockdown and her mentions were flooded with people demanding she apologize and backtrack, but Minaj was having none of it.
Among her spicy clap-backs, she posted a video of Fox News host Tucker Carlson offering her support. That was when the mob accused her of platforming white supremacists. Even then, the ten-time Grammy nominee wasn’t intimidated, replying in her inimitable style, “Right. I can’t speak to, agree with, even look at someone from a particular political party. Ppl aren’t human any more. If you’re black & a Democrat tells u to shove marbles up ur ass, you simply have to. If another party tells u to look out for that bus, stand there & get hit.”
In the end, Minaj compared Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Government trying to silence her to communist authoritarianism, saying on Instagram, “I remember going to China and they were telling us you know, you cannot speak out against, you know, the people in power … Don’t y’all see that we are living now in that time where people will turn their back on you … people will isolate you if you simply speak and ask a question.”
As Hollywood embraced the Black Lives Matter movement over the last two years, one notable hold out was “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star and “America’s Got Talent” host, Terry Crews. In 2020, Crews pushed back against the worldview of racial division, tweeting, “If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology. We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”
In response to the vicious backlash he received, he wrote a long post lamenting the trend to professionally punish people for having different views and the “violent piling on and shaming of OPINIONS” [emphasis his].
Then, on Sept. 21 of this year, Crews made a joke about how he’s been shut out by the woke movement over his refusal to parrot BLM talking points. Using the popular “cookout” metaphor for a hypothetical gathering of black people, he said, “The best thing about being uninvited to the cookout…Is you never drank the koolaid.”
Sarah Silverman learned the hard way about the mercilessness of cancel culture, admitting in 2020 that she was fired from an unnamed film over a 2007 comedy sketch in which she wore black face. Silerman called that kind of reaction “righteousness porn,” adding on her podcast:
In this cancel culture, and we all know what I’m talking about … when you take someone, you found a tweet they wrote seven years ago or a thing that they said and you expose it and you say, ‘This person should be no more. Banish them forever.’ They’re going to find some place where they are accepted. And it’s not going to be with progressives…If we don’t give these people a path to redemption, then they’re going to go where they are accepted.
Then, just a few weeks ago, a dustup with MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid had the comedienne reflecting on the hazards of speech suppression again. Silverman challenged Reid for saying that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposal for a state militia is “fascisty” when 22 other states already have volunteer militias. In response, a woke mob that included hosts from “The View” accused of her racism.
Silverman responded by saying, “We’re so divided, we can’t even criticize the people [on] our own side. We can’t even critique anyone in your own party without punishment.”
She later went on, “I cannot believe I need to say this, but I did not criticize Joy Ann because she’s black, but because she’s a Harvard-educated journalist with the responsibility, ideally, of showing the whole picture and not just a piece of a picture.”
The company Kardashian is willing to keep, alone, suggests that she isn’t overly afraid of cancel culture. The pop-culture icon not only took meetings with President Trump, she recently agreed to sit down for an interview with rogue journalist and bona fide member of the intellectual dark web, Bari Weiss.
Weiss is known for being a free thinker and fierce critic of speech suppression. When Kardashian was a guest on her podcast, Honestly, she asked the makeup and clothing mogul what she thinks of cancel culture. Kardashian admitted that she thinks the trend is “the most ridiculous thing.”
“I really do believe—and you and I have been at several dinners together where people are discussing their thoughts on it—in rehabilitation and freedom of speech. I’ve never really been into cancel culture,” she told Weiss.
Kardashian also revealed that she regrets not supporting ex-husband Kanye West when he wanted to show support for President Trump by wearing a MAGA hat on Saturday Night Live.
“I’m very neutral, but that night I was very forceful with him, and argued with him like, ‘You have to take that hat off,” she admitted, adding, “And now looking back, I think, why should he take that off if that’s what he believes in? Why can’t he wear that on TV? Half of the country voted for [Trump], so clearly other people like him.”
She went to say that the experience taught her to be more “empathetic for people that just want to do what they want to do” and to place more value on freedom of speech. She concluded, “If you want to wear the hat, wear the hat.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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