Friday, July 3, 2020

Doing the Most: Celebrities on the Protest Frontlines

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Derrick Murrayhttp://www.jackofallnerdsshow.com
Derrick Murray is a Los Angeles based stand up comedian, writer, and co-host for The Jack of All Nerds Show.

There’s no denying it, America is powder keg in full explosion right now. There is so much happening across the nation that it can be difficult to process emotionally. There are those that wish they could be out protesting but can’t, and others that should be out but are not. This is always most apparent when it comes to celebrities. Celebrities always under the public microscope, how celebs respond to things like pandemics and protests speak volumes about what they stand for. While many have issued statements on social media and have taken to donating funds to necessary organizations, there are those who take it a step further. It is worth noting those who are standing with the people, letting their voices be heard by standing in the streets with others.


John Cusack

John Cusack seems like the lease likely candidate to be standing side by side with protesters. However, his experience is similar to a number of protesters attempting to do so peacefully and being met with violence. In attempt to film the scene in Chicago, a video surfaced of an officer allegedly yelling at him to leave the area then hitting his bike with a baton as he attempted to leave. The 53 year old actor said, “Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons.  Hitting my bike…” While the video doesn’t show anything clearly, it is comforting to know Mr. Say Anything is out there fighting.


Halsey

Halsey has never been one to shy away from being self aware and honest. Whether it’s her music or interviews, she has always an artist who wears her heart on her sleeve at all times. So it should come as no surprise that she was seen in Los Angeles on the frontlines, posting her experience of violence to her social media. In a tweet on Saturday she wrote, “fired rubber bullets at us. we did not breach the line. hands were up. unmoving. and they gassed and fired.”

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Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson is one of the fastest rising actors in Hollywood. Fresh off her appearances in the MCU films like Thor: Ragnorok and Avengers: Endgame as well as her stint on HBO’s Westworld, she is no stranger to the spotlight. Because of this, it is refreshing to see her out there among the people, using her exponential influence to highlight the current state of things. From her twitter she wrote, “I can say that the #LosAngelesProtest was entirely peaceful until the @LAPDHQ arrived and escalated it. @MayorOfLA are you seeing this? Also, where was the robust media coverage then ? #BlackLivesMatter.”


Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has long been under fire for her relationship gossip, but she proved over the weekend that she stands for much more than her love life. Out on the frontlines in Beverly Hills, CA she tweeted, “hours and miles of peaceful protesting yesterday that got little to no coverage.all throughout beverly hills and west hollywood we chanted, people beeped and cheered along,” she wrote. “we were passionate, we were loud, we were loving. cover this too please.”Though she didn’t have the controversial experience as some of the other celebs, she has shown her solidarity with the people on the frontlines of the protests.

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Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas

Though typically in headlines for personal life controversies, Ben Affleck is one of the last celebrities we’d expect to see on the frontlines. Nevertheless, partnered with rising star Ana De Armas he was seen marching with protesters in Los Angeles, holding signs to show his support. While twitter was quick to point out he wasn’t wearing a mask, the simple fact that he was seen marching with the people speaks volumes about where he stands.


John Boyega

Last but most certainly not least, John Boyega made one of the biggest statements from the Hollywood elite. On June 3rd, live from Hyde Park, London, Boyega gave an impassionate speech that proved that the protests have gone international. He passionately decreed, “Look, I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this, but f*** that.” In a show of solidarity, directors and studios stood behind him. Edgar Wright wrote on twitter, ” “Have before and would again, in a heartbeat. So proud of John today.” Writer and director Jordan Peele wrote, ” “Have before and would again, in a heartbeat. So proud of John today,” and was retweeted by Guillermo De Toro. Even Disney owned Star Wars twitter account showed support for the actor, tweeting, “LucasFilm stands with John Boyega.” 

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We continue to live in unprecedented times. 2020 seems to have no shortage of curveballs and life upheavals, making it one of the most tumultuous years in current history. Despite all of this, it is comforting to know that some of the elite stand with us. They are doing more than offering condolence videos or sing alongs. Not that those acts of solidarity are wrong, but seeing many celebrities doing more than expected is refreshing and allows the movement to have a much louder voice than normal. We can’t all take to the streets, but it’s important to highlight those willing to do so. Especially those that have everything to lose by taking a stand and doing more for their community than expected. Now more than ever, we need these voices.

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