The action hots up before the American presidential elections, with some of the biggest names in entertainment going over to the enemy’s camp.
With the kind of impact Hollywood celebrities have on social media, their opinions count. However, though top contenders for the 2016 US presidential polls — Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump — have a list of celebrity backers to boast of, the stars are known for their frequent volte-face. From singers like Katy Perry to comedian Sarah Silverman, we look at some big names who have changed sides this year.
Hilary Clinton is not new to the race to the White House. She had contested the last time, too. But what is different now is that singer-songwriter Katy Perry, who was in camp Obama in 2009, is supporting her this time. While she had performed in a concert for Obama—wearing a dress themed around him—Perry did the same for Clinton last October, in Iowa, wearing a white dress with an embellished campaign symbol. With themed manicure posts on Instagram, selfies, more dresses and even more rallies, this American musician is ‘roaring’ for the election’s only female candidate.
For comedian Sarah Silverman, Hilary Clinton was the best suited to sit in the Oval Office. She even donated $2,700 (the maximum amount allowed by law) last year, towards her campaign. But then the 47-year-old started to #feeltheBern, and introduced Sanders to a waiting crowd at Los Angles last August. She citied Clinton’s ‘donation-taking’ as the reason for withdrawing support. Now, Silverman is going all out for the Vermont senator—from tweets and T-shirts, to an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher and a video she made for him last month.
Having extended her support to Bill and Hilary Clinton in the past, Susan Sarandon has now migrated to Bernie Sander’s side. The American actress has been addressing rallies—like the one in Iowa, in January—and, without naming Clinton, expressing her dislike for the candidate. Last month, on MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes, the 69-year-old declared that if Sanders were not an option, she would rather vote for Trump. A Twitter spat with Clinton supporter Debra Messing was also in the mix.
Bernie Sanders has a long illustrious list of celebrity endorsements up on his website, among which is featured Will Ferrell. But we were confused when the actor-comedian made an appearance in Nevada this February, urging crowds to vote for Hilary Clinton. The 48-year-old clarified that he was just endorsing the ‘democratic process’, but when an official video surfaced of Ferrell urging Nevada to vote—with none other than Bill Clinton—there was no doubt left in anyone’s mind as to where his allegiance lay. Needless to say, his name doesn’t feature on Sanders’ list anymore.
Trump launched his campaign early last year with a video featuring several iconic songs, including Neil Young’s Rockin’in the Free World. When the singer-songwriter’s bandmates confirmed over a tweet that Trump had no permission to use the song, mud-slinging ensued. Trump then posted a photograph with a smiling Young on Twitter, proving that they were friends. But in a surprising turn of events, in June last year, the Canadian musician gave Bernie Sanders permission to use the same
song. Way to declare one’s loyalties, we say.
— Compiled by Seema Rajpal