What are Your Thoughts on Celebrity Political Endorsements?

Mitt Romney and Barack ObamaFrom Lena Dunham ("Girls", Tiny Furniture) to Joss Whedon (The Avengers) to Clint Eastwood, celebrities are stumping for their choice in the 2012 Election. Do their views have an effect on you politically or personally? Do you look at them differently when you see them in character?

Yes, this is a movie site, but at this moment in time the 2012 Election has all of our attention. I will admit, however, this year's election doesn't have as much of my attention as 2008's, where I was watching so much coverage that I was able to write an article casting a potential movie covering the entirety of the election.

Nope, this year things have been far quieter politically in my household, but it still hasn't escaped my attention that movie and television stars and their directors are out there stumping for politicians. Personally, it's a little hard to ignore and considering these are stars you're going to see on the big and small screen I think it does have some sort of an effect on how we view them.

With the November 6 Election Day just around the corner more and more ads are starting to make their way around the Internet with the recent ad from Lena Dunham creating a firestorm on the right as she made a video essentially comparing voting to losing her virginity. Following the reactions, she had her own reply on Twitter that went like this:

And now, Joss Whedon has made his own video, equating a Mitt Romney presidency to that of a "Nightmare Zombie Wasteland".

Yes, of the celebrity endorsements you will find most of them on the side of Barack Obama with Clint Eastwood being the most vocal celebrity for Romney. I wonder, does that make a difference? Does Eastwood's endorsement of Romney and Whedon's endorsement of Obama change your impression of either man? Do their endorsements effect you in any way? Good or bad?

I've included a selection of videos and added them below, give however many you prefer a look and I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Joss Whedon suggests Mitt Romney will bring on a "Nightmare Zombie Wasteland".

Lena Dunham equates voting to losing your virginity.

Clint Eastwood created an ad for Mitt Romney.

Rashida Jones and Jesse Tyler Ferguson promote the Barrack Obama App.

Kevin Hart (Think Like a Man) creates his own PSA for Obama.

  • PMCM18

    Honestly, these celebrity endorsed ads usually do more to change my view of the celebrity than the actual candidate, unless they contain information I didn't already know (and even then I'm skeptical, political ads rarely stick to the concrete facts).

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I mean, sure. If an actor you like comes out in support of a candidate you detest, you do naturally think less of them as a person. Maybe not as an actor, but your opinion of them does change. In fact, I'd say it only changes for the worse. I'm a liberal myself, but I don't jump for joy when Sean Penn or Matt Damon puts out an ad. Yeah, it is nice to know we're on the same team, but I don't really think it alters my opinion of them to any significant degree.

    No, what I think is most interesting (and perhaps depressing) is that all of these people actually think there's a large difference between the candidates. On social issues? I suppose (although Obama hasn't signed any pro-LGBT legislation into law). But when it comes right down to it, they are both corporate shills who will enable Wall Street greed at every turn. Their polices will undermine the poor and the middle class, they will both do everything they can to better solidify the United States as a surveillance state (*cough* Disposition Matrix), both of them will cast the environment aside in an effort to generate as much capital as possible (Keystone XL, Natural Gas, Coal) and both will ensure a war with Iran (because, ya know, they have weapons of mass destruction...). As the Talking Heads put it, "we're on a road to nowhere."

  • adu

    I dont mind celebrity endorsements as long as they dont get too involved. In other words, overdoing it. It's hard to measure that, but that's what I think

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    Celebrity endorsements don't usually bother me. Although, I must admit, even though I support Barack Obama, there is something very strange about Lena Dunham's video.

  • Laura

    I 100% disagree with celebrity endorsements. Being "famous" does not entitle celebrities to shove their political agendas down the public's throat. Everyone has the right to vote for whichever candidate meets his/her views, but there is no reason to announce who you'll be voting for come election day. An intelligent person will not be swayed based on an endorsement. I was also sickened watching my twitter feed during the presidential debates. If you're in the public eye, you should be trying to set a good example for America's youth, not bashing one or both candidates. There are far too many impressionable children/teens using social media websites so I don't understand why celebrities aren't encouraging them to educate themselves on the issues. Anyway, just my opinion.

  • Bill

    I won't pay to see a movie, nor will I watch a tv show starring politically outspoken celebrities with whom I disagree.

  • Jack

    So let's look at the ads objectively.

    The Obama ads compare the election result to either losing your virginity or the coming of the zombie apocalypse.

    The Romney ad talked about the current state of the economy and its direction.
    You know, um, facts.

    I'm not trying to get a political brawl going here, but I was just observing the content of the Liberal Obama ads, to the content of the Conservative Romney ad.
    Very interesting to compare.

    • Tim Brownhill

      Both the "liberal" ads contain facts about about Romneys policies towards the poor, women, and gays, They also contain an element of,you know, um, satire.The Romney ad contains an old, old man who was out acted in 2 movies by a monkey, and some "facts" and figures that could have been pulled out of that monkeys ass for all anyone knows. But yeah, you're right, very interesting to compare.

    • Tim Brownhill

      Both the "liberal" ads contain facts about about Romneys policies towards the poor, women, and gays, They also contain an element of,you know, um, satire.The Romney ad contains an old, old man who was out acted in 2 movies by a monkey, and some "facts" and figures that could have been pulled out of that monkeys ass for all anyone knows. But yeah, you're right, very interesting to compare.

      • Jack

        You see, I wasn't trying to be political. I just think that the Obama ads underscore a true vicious hatred for Romney as a person, while the Romney ad offers a fair, reasonable criticism of Obama's record.
        Correct me if I'm wrong but your comment seemed to be conveying a similar hatred, being that you were seriously mentioning monkeys in a discussion regarding politics.

        • John

          LOL. So true. I'm as liberal as they come socially, conservative as they come financially, but man, apparently the only reason I should vote for Obama, according to all these ads, is because it's "the cool thing to do". You know, follow the crowd, little sheep, don't be an outcast! Ironically, I'm pretty sure Joss Whedon and Lena Dunham didn't follow the crowd when they were younger, and look where it got them -- world famous. Ironic, that.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

            The reason the Obama ads focus on social issues rather than economic issues is because economically speaking, Obama is on the same page with Romney. They have to create the illusion that there's a difference between the two so that the American people think they actually have a choice.

  • Scott

    Most of these celebrities are different than the average anonymous person in one respect: they are good at playing make-believe, or they can sing pretty. As far as qualifications go for political advice, these talents don't coincide.

    That having been said, there's nothing wrong with anyone using available means to speak their mind. And in the age of the Internet, regular folks can contribute in a small way to any national conversation (like comment threads such as this, for example!), so it's not like celebrities have the same monopoly on broadcasting their opinions as they did in the 80's and 90's.

  • rattler76

    I'm not a US resident so consider me a neutral spectator.

    I do find it strange 'celebs' using their status and/or popularity to sway the people in a certain direction. It makes them look a bit silly in my opinion.
    Clint blaming an invisible Obama for a war George W started or Chucks wife predicting a 1000 years of darkness are absolutely hilarious.
    But they don't change my mind on Romney of Obama.

    I'd respect celebs bringing a neutral message to vote. Endorse the democratic process but let people make up their own mind.

    The US elections always seem much more like a popularity contest than actual elections (happens here as well but not as much). This is not helped by the media who focus just as much on appearance, zingers, gaffs, etc. etc. as they do on the policies (sometimes even more).
    Celebrity endorsements fit in that kind of politics.

    My question is, how are celebrities trying to sway you any different from 'news' programs that are clearly biased? (left and right)

  • Geri

    While certain celebrities (i.e. Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohen, Amanda Bynes, Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Sarah Palin, Mariah Carey, Tom Cruise etc.) are considered mental lightweights, others are not only educated, but well-informed. Just because they are celebrities doesn't mean they should keep their political opinions to themselves. Unfortunately, just like in life, not all celebrities espousing their political views are educated and well-informed.

  • John

    The thing is, it's really win-win for a celebrity in Hollywood to come out and endorse a Democrat/Obama. The vast, VAST majority of people in Hollywood (in positions of power, i.e. to make or break you as an artist) are Liberal, so it behooves you to toe the party line. This will only improve their career in Hollywood, regardless of how it is seen by the vast American populace who slaves at their jobs for a few bucks an hour. The ironic thing is, the brave ones are the ones who dare to buck the system and endorse a Republican, guys like Eastwood. You'll notice, though, that Eastwood is so established now, he can do whatever the hell he wants. It's only smart for younger artists who may have conservative leanings to keep their traps shut and just nod along with the Hollywood masses. No one likes to commit career suicide. So in a lot of ways, bullying is alive and well in Hollywood.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      You mean the Liberal Hollywood that booed Michael Moore when he criticized Bush's invasion of Iraq? The Liberal Hollywood that churns out pro-military, pro-conservative films like The Avengers, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Captain America? The Liberal Hollywood that refuses to criticize Obama for assassinating 16 year old girls and expanding the military's wildly inflated budget? Gosh, if that's what a Liberal Hollywood looks like, I'd hate to see a conservative one....

  • Chris138

    Being as we live in a country that values freedom of speech, no matter who you are or what your occupation is you do have the right to express your views. If it were me personally I wouldn't be doing it, but I'm not going to say that these people shouldn't do it just because they work in the entertainment industry. It seems like most people don't think actors or any other types of celebrities should speak their mind about political issues, unless you're Ronald Reagan.

    But yeah, overall it doesn't really effect me one way or the other. If I don't want to hear about it then I simply change the channel or go do something else. I may not agree with Clint Eastwood or Robert Duvall in terms of politics, but I still think they're great actors and I respect their work.

  • http://www.seensome.com SeenSome

    If you told me Joss Whedon, Kevin Hart, Lena Dunham, Rashida Jones and Clint Eastwood each had made videos endorsing a presidential candidate, I'd be able to tell you right off the bat who each one was supporting so no, it really doesn't change my opinion of the celebrities.