I have to disagree with my colleague Jason Bailey, who recently wrote a (very excellent, despite my dissent) piece declaring that because Trump responds so butthurt-ly to celebrity scorn, critique of PEOTUS by the rich and famous and liberal “could be our last, best hope.” Indeed, there are the Meryl Streeps of the world — celebrities who, when given a platform, prepare for it, don’t fuck it up, and end up reaching a great deal of people with their poignant and empathic insight. But instead of expecting celebrities to be our political commentators, perhaps it’s better to say that on the rare occasion that they do it better than, you know, actual political commentators, we should celebrate that particular occasion; and otherwise, look towards people who’ve made it their job to provide nuance therein.
Because then there are the other occasions, where the very fact that punditry is not their job — and the odd situation wherein we now rely on them for guidance — shows its face in tentative quotes wrenched from celebrities who didn’t want to comment in the first place. That face now belongs to a celebrity who unfortunately, as an artist, is quite excellent, and as a figure, quite charming and funny, but who has now applied that actorly, careless charm and endless privilege to propagating an insidious message!
Nicole Kidman, star who gave such intelligent performances in the likes of Dogville, Birth, and my personal favorite, Practical Magic, star who so deftly wore Virginia Woolf’s nose and spoke her words, has now also released a little turd-gem.
In a recent talk in relation to Lion, an interviewer asked about her duel Australian/U.S. citizenship, and how she feels about the results of the election. Kidman responded, “I’m always reticent to start commenting politically, I’ve never done it in terms of America or Australia; I’m issue-based, I comment on the things that I’m — so I just say, he’s now elected, and we as a country, we need to support whosever the president, because that’s what the country’s based on, and however that happened, he’s there and let’s go.” She goes on to discuss that, however, she as an individual does altruistic things for women and supports gay marriage.
Anyway, regardless of who she voted for (she very well may not have voted for Trump), blind support is not what this country is “based on,” as though the U.S. were a bad film adaptation of some book about acquiescence towards authoritarianism. No, if the electoral college — an institution that, apart from its egregious former usage as a means of helping slaveholders’ votes matter more, was also supposed to protect voters from electing someone inexperienced or, y’know, horrifying — fails to do its job and protect us from an idiot a minority of the American people elected, then no, we don’t need to “support” him. Denying that he’s our president-elect at this point is of course utterly futile, but grinning and bearing it is something only people who look like — and live like — Nicole Kidman can afford to do.
Well, fuck. Grace of Monaco will never be the same.
Watch the aforementioned interview (cluelessness begins at 13:32):