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Celebrities Speak Out Post-Election
While the 2016 presidential election got heated, dozens of celebrities expressed their disapproval of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. Now that the former reality television star has won the election, he’s become an even more divisive figure -- and the stars haven’t stopped making their voices heard. See 23 celebrities who have spoken out against Trump since his Electoral College victory, ahead.
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The famed actress used her platform at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards to address Donald Trump. Streep, who was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony, called out Donald Trump for mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, saying, "There was one performance this year that stunned me — it sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was the moment where the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can’t get it out of head because it wasn’t a movie, it was real life." As he is wont to do, Trump took to Twitter within hours to comment on Streep's words, calling her "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood" and a "Hillary flunky who lost big."
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Hugh Laurie also took aim at Donald Trump at the 2017 Golden Globes. The Night Manager star, who nabbed the Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film, made some political jokes in his speech, telling the crowd, "I can say I won this at the last-ever Golden Globes. I mean, it has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign,’ and ‘Press’ in it. I also think to some Republicans, even the word ‘Association’ is sketchy... I accept this award on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere."
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Shannon’s hostility toward the President-Elect has made a huge splash on social media. “No offense to the seniors out there, but if you’re voting for Trump, it’s time for the urn,” he said in an interview with Metro, referring to the statistic of young people overwhelmingly voting for Clinton. And to those young people whose parents went red on Election Day, Shannon says: “You’re an orphan now.” In another interview, he told EW, “I’ve heard a lot of people saying, ‘Oh, we should give [Trump] a chance, it’s not that bad.’ And I’m like, ‘No, you’re wrong. Just look at the news. It is that bad."
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The La La Land star said at this year’s Governors Awards that while Clinton’s loss was “incredibly painful,” it needs to serve now as “a wake-up call and chance for us to all unite and do the very, very best we can to speak out and be brave.”
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Jennifer Lawrence previously made waves when she published an essay about the gender wage gap in 2015. Soon after Trump’s victory, the actress wrote another editorial, this time for Broadly. “Do not let this defeat you — let this enrage you!” she wrote. “Let it motivate you! Let this be the fire you didn’t have before. If you are an immigrant, if you are a person of color, if you are LGBTQ+, if you are a woman — don’t be afraid, be loud!”
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The Girls creator and star was one of Hillary Clinton’s most vocal celebrity supporters during the election, and remained silent for a few days after the former Secretary of State’s defeat. When she finally broke her silence, via her newsletter, Lenny, it was with great sadness but a renewed sense of urgency to effect change. “Wednesday was a day of mourning. Thursday, too. Hell, I’m giving us till Sunday. But then we fight,” she wrote. “The work isn’t done. It is only beginning. We will stun ourselves with what we are capable of.”
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Everyone’s favorite California Gurl, who campaigned for Clinton and performed at the Democratic National Convention this summer, tweeted as the returns rolled in on Nov. 8. “RISE UP,” she began a string of tweets at midnight. “WE WILL NEVER BE SILENCED. #LOVETRUMPSHATE,” she continued, finally concluding, “Do not sit still. Do not weep. MOVE. We are not a nation that will let HATE lead us.”
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The Grey’s Anatomy star, a vocal proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement and recipient of the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards, has been speaking out ever since the election, using Twitter as his platform much of the time. Late on election night, he tweeted, “Tradition over truth, arrogance over info, Fame over decency, white male power over, everything. Being horrible is a culture. #ElectionNight”
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The Birth of a Nation actress has spoken at length about the social significance of her new film (as well as the controversy surrounding its director and star, Nate Parker), and she hasn’t stayed quiet about her feelings post-election, either. “I am scared,” she tweeted the morning after Trump was named President-Elect. “I will fight. Trump will not crush my spirit. Hope fuels the fire in my belly to seek the change I want to see in this country.”
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J.K. Rowling can always be counted on to take to Twitter with articulate political statements (and game-changing Harry Potter revelations), having previously tweeted her thoughts about Brexit and the Scottish independence. After Trump's victory, Rowling urged her followers to stand up to bullies: “The easy thing is to keep your head down & let the bullies run amok. The right thing to do is to challenge racism, misogyny, and hatred,” she wrote (echoing a very wise headmaster of Hogwarts who once said, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right”). “We stand together. We stick up for the vulnerable. We challenge bigots. We don't let hate speech become normalised. We hold the line.”
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The Brooklyn Nine Nine actress has been firing off political tweets — both informative and incredulous — ever since Trump won the presidency in the Electoral College. Late on election night, she responded to his victory in real time, posting such tweets as, “This is disgusting and truly demoralizing the message it sends. Goodnight,” “this animal is our president — I feel like puking,” “RAPE CULTURE JUST GOT RAPIER,” and “GOING TO BED IN TOTAL DARKNESS AND EXPECTING TO WAKE UP FEELING WORSE.”
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Another vocal supporter of Clinton, Lady Gaga has taken to social media to express her sadness and to urge her supporters to help the various communities fearing for their rights and safety since Trump won the presidency. “I want to live in a #CountryOfKindness #LoveTrumpsHate He divided us so carelessly. Let’s take care now of each other,” she captioned an Instagram on election night. Later that night, she tweeted, “The chaos in USA is the result of Trump's irresponsible campaigning. He is not a role model, look at this mess he created,” and implored the press to shine a light on “the voices of half of USA who are in fear of their liberties and safety because of his divisive campaigning.”
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The This Is Us star tweeted as the votes were counted on election night, “I am just absolutely beside myself right now. I can't believe the way this thing has turned. Trying to remain hopeful but geeez louise,” and urged her followers to “step up and support principled journalism.”
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The former Mean Girl vocally supported the Nasty Woman on the ticket during the election (and has since changed her Twitter photo to a safety pin symbolizing solidarity). On election night, she tweeted simply, “Maybe this is rock bottom and there's no where to go but up,” and posted to Instagram with the caption, “What do we do? We organize. We mobilize. We go local. We hold our line. And we do it with our eyes wide open. Complacency is dead. My neighbor is my neighbor, not my enemy.”
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Soon after the election, John Legend appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, where he got into an argument with CNN commentator David Axelrod, who said he doesn’t believe the President-Elect is racist. “It’s irrelevant,” Legend shut him down. “What he’s saying is causing racial violence.” That same day, Legend released an emotional music video for his song “Love Me Now” which included footage of immigrant families, refugees, same-sex couples, minorities, and his wife and daughter.
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Questlove spent election night watching the returns and firing off a string of reaction tweets, sharing: “I need weed. & a drank. Yes. ME,” “We Had One Job,” “did they just call him Champion? Like this is the olympics??!” “#WhatNow?” and finally, “It's NEVER this quiet in the city. Not even on a Sunday. Not a sound...it's like the first 12 mins of Vanilla Sky.”
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Late-night hosts had a tough job on Wednesday night. On Late Night, Seth Meyers went with hopefulness and a bit of humor. “I am hopeful for President Trump, because hope is always the best possible path to take. And one thing that makes me hopeful is we know from interviews he’s given over the years that he has, at any given point, held every position on every issue,” Meyers said. “So I’m hopeful that he’s not actually a racist, and that he just used racist rhetoric to court voters. Because when you’re courting someone, you’re always willing to pretend you’re something you’re not. For example, when you first start dating someone, you’ll agree to go apple picking.”
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Samantha Bee ripped into white voters in her post-election episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. “In the coming days, people will be looking for someone to blame: the pollsters, the strident feminists, the Democratic party, a vengeful god,” she said. “But once you dust for fingerprints, it’s pretty clear who ruined America: white people. I guess ruining Brooklyn was just a dry run.” She followed it up with an optimistic message about women in the White House, however: “We still have millions of nasty women who are not going away,” she said, “and as long as women over 25 are still allowed on television, I’ll be here cheering them on — although that may only be until late January.”
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Patton Oswalt has been tweeting about Trump ever since the election. On election night, he was all over Twitter, writing, “We're all living @drunkhistory in real time. #Election2016,” “EVERY PUNDIT ON EVERY NETWORK IS TERRIFIED RIGHT NOW. AND EVERY ONE OF THEM CAUSED THIS TO HAPPEN. #Election2016,” and finally, “Hold your loved ones close tonight. Let 'em feel it. Get some sleep. Back at it tomorrow. Love has a longer wick than hate & fear.”
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Jesse Tyler Ferguson
The Modern Family star also took to Twitter as the votes were counted, moving from hopeful (“Is this really what America wants? I can't wrap my mind around this! I still have hope”) to sarcastic (“I wonder if he still thinks the system is rigged”) to somber (“I'm taking tonight to grieve for minorities, women, immigrants, muslims & the LGBTQ community but tomorrow I'm waking up ready to fight”) to seriously fired up (“I've dealt with bullies my whole life. I've been called terrible things. I've only come out stronger. I got this. We've got this”).
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Jay Duplass tweeted, just before the new President-Elect’s acceptance speech, “today I learned that activism & taking care of each other must be an everyday thing, not just an election thing. I promise to do better,” then followed it up a day later with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., and an invocation of the First Lady’s “we go high” speech.
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Retta’s entire Twitter feed has been consumed by election news not only since Nov. 8, but in the weeks leading up to it. Late on election night, she tweeted, “I think Trump might be right. This s--- is rigged,” with a prayer hands emoji, and since then has been bringing attention to the acts of bigotry and rampant hate speech that has gripped the nation.
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As more and more states on the map turned red on election night, Sarah Silverman tweeted, “someone give me hope,” then “Putin’s gonna win this thing.” Since Trump’s victory, however, her social media presence has focused on turning the bad feeling around the President-Elect into action. “Anger &rage &fear & blame is exactly what got us here. So let's pause & think & then organize,” she tweeted the day after the election. “Tweets are not revolution. We gotta add an S to that s--- and take it to the STWEETS.”