Some very troubling reports are circulating that US actors and celebrities who have either spoken in support of Donald Trump or have been neutral about him are facing pressure, and in some cases even threats.
The most detailed report is by the Daily Wire, which describes abuse and threats against Jennifer Holliday, the opera singer Andrea Bocelli, the B-Street Band, and the comedian Steve Harvey.
The most prominent name is Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman, who it is claimed is being “shunned” by Hollywood and has had contracts with two Hollywood studios cancelled because on 10th January 2017 she said in a BBC interview
[Trump is] now elected and we, as a country, need to support whoever is the president. That is what the country is based on. And however that happened, he’s there, and let’s go.
It seems that this comment – which is hardly a resounding statement of support for Donald Trump – has provoked angry denunciations of Kidman in Hollywood, with Kidman apparently feeling obliged to “clarify” her comments in a further interview (video below).
I have personal knowledge of the original Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s since a member of my family – the director Jules Dassin – was one of its victims.
Dassin was blacklisted in the 1950s because he was a genuine progressive, something which he continued to be throughout his life. It goes without saying that he was an unflinching defender of the principles of tolerance and freedom of expression. He would be utterly horrified were he to learn today that it is those who (falsely) claim to be ‘progressives’ who are driving the current campaign to intimidate and possibly blacklist artists like Kidman. Jules Dassin died in 2008 so fortunately for him he is spared having to witness it.
Speaking for myself I am at a total loss to understand how people who call themselves ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ – and who thereby claim for themselves the mantle of Voltaire and J.S.Mill – can possible engage in this kind of campaign or – by their failure to condemn it – can continue to collude in it.