16 Celebs Who Make Their Political Leanings Crystal Clear
by Jennifer Lafferty
There’s no shortage of celebrities willing to share their political views. We frequently hear about actors, musicians and TV personalities campaigning for a politician or getting involved in a political cause. Although a celebrity endorsement can be a valuable asset to a candidate, many people question whether or not a typical entertainer is qualified to have such a big influence on politics.
One of today’s most politically active celebrities is outspoken liberal George Clooney, whose sometimes controversial statements and politically-infused films have made him a favorite target of conservative commentators. In 2008 he was appointed a U.N. peace envoy.
Along with Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwartzenegger, conservative actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood ended up seeking political office. He was mayor of Carmel, CA, from 1986 to 1988 and gave a memorable speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
It takes someone like Scarlett Johansson to make politics sexy. The left-leaning actress who appeared in the 2008 “Yes We Can” video, joked to the media: “My heart belongs to Barack, and that is who I am currently, finally, engaged to.”
You may not know it to look at him but Kid Rock’s politics are conservative. Despite endorsing Barack Obama in 2008, he switched sides and supported Mitt Romney in 2012, performing his song Born Free at Republican rallies.
It’s not always clear how much influence celebrities have on politics, but the impact that Oprah Winfrey made supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election was judged to be so powerful it was dubbed “The Oprah effect.”
One celeb whose political leanings don’t stray far from his persona is Kelsey Grammer, who campaigned for John McCain in 2008. Grammer speculated his conservative politics may explain why his acclaimed show Boss was snubbed at the 2012 Emmys.
Known as much for her political activism as her acting, Eva Longoria supported Barack Obama and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. More recently the Telenovela star has focused on improving economic development in Hispanic communities.
Following her movie success in the 1980s, sex symbol Bo Derek made headlines for publicly supporting Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. However, Derek, who later voted for Obama, describes herself as an independent.
Known for being a vocal supporter of the Democratic Party, Ben Affleck held an extravagant fundraiser for Barack Obama in 2008. Affleck, who founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, has long been rumored to have political aspirations of his own.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who has typically been the only conservative voice on The View, got into some heated debates with her liberal-minded co-hosts. She most recently spent two years co-hosting Fox & Friends on the conservative-leaning Fox News Channel.
The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am. heavily campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008, and released the popular “Yes We Can” music video. The singer/songwriter also founded the i.am.angel Foundation, to help educate disadvantaged children.
Long before the El Chapo incident, liberal actor Sean Penn was stirring controversy with his high profile political activism, which began in 2002 when he visited Iraq to protest George W. Bush’s plans for military action.
Like her father, actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie-Pitt is a politically-minded celeb; but she focuses more on social outreach, like fighting for the protection of refugees and was named Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR in 2001.
Barbra Streisand is a longtime crusader for the Democratic Party. The iconic singer/actress has even been known to weave political sentiments into her classic songs, once singing “Lovely Democratic memories of the way we were,” at a fundraiser.
Dwayne Johnson endorsed George W. Bush during his first presidential campaign and attended the 2000 Republican National Convention. But he doesn’t support all Republican politicians. The Rock demanded to be taken off a Chris Christie ad in 2014.
Beyonce is a friend and enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama, campaigning for him in 2008 and 2012. The singer/actress recently made a powerful statement with her single Formation which The Huffington Post called a: “decidedly political celebration of blackness”.