How Hollywood is lending its talents to support voter engagement

Posted at 2:29 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 16:29:58-04

Hollywood stars have lent their faces and talent to ads encouraging Americans to engage in the political process during the closing days of the campaign.

Celebrities including Cher, Julianne Moore and Minnie Driver appear in the ad “Because It Matters,” released Tuesday by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Independence USA. The ad’s all-female lineup ask viewers what issues they care about — like health care, gun violence and immigration — and encourage them to vote because of those issues.

The Last Weekend, a campaign promoting get-out-the-vote volunteering backed by a coalition of progressive groups, has released a number of ads starring celebrities like Kerry Washington, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon.

This summer, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rashida Jones appeared in an ad for the campaign and tried to avoid celebrity public service announcement tropes.

“Hopefully, we created something that people will share with each other,” Jones told Glamour. “People are fatigued. And I’m certainly fatigued of celebrity PSAs, so the joke was sort of (that) we ourselves are fatigued with our own PSA-ness.”

“Boyhood” director Richard Linklater directed ads released earlier in October critical of Sen. Ted Cruz for the Fire Ted Cruz PAC. Rather than using celebrities, the ads showed a man in a diner mocking the Texas Republican for not liking the burger chain Whataburger or being Texas “tough.”

Other celebrities have gotten involved in local races without filming ads. Oprah Winfrey is participating this week in town hall events in Georgia for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and Taylor Swift has posted about her support for Tennessee’s Democratic Senate candidate, Phil Bredesen, on Instagram, including on Tuesday, when she indicated that both she and her mother had voted for Bredesen.