Democrats’ starry roster gets mixed reviews on social media
When it comes to star power at the national political conventions this month, there seems to be a clear winner: the Democrats.
Let’s just compare the lineups. Republicans: Former “General Hospital” actor Antonio Sabato Jr., “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson and “Happy Days” vet Scott Baio.
And the Dems? Paul Simon, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman and Chloe Grace Moretz are just some of the celebs poised to turn up in Philly this week. J.J. Abrams produced the video introducing Michelle Obama before her Monday night speech.
Despite the starry roster, however, the first Hollywood presence at the Democratic National Convention on Monday was roundly mocked on social media. R&B group Boyz II Men — likely brought in simply because its popular song “Motown Philly” was just all too appropriate given the setting — were blasted as irrelevant by some, including “Gasland” filmmaker Josh Fox:
Lovato, the 23-year-old singer, was received far more warmly a few hours later. The onetime Disney Channel star has long been open about her struggles with bulimia, self-harm and bipolar disorder.
“I stand here as proof that you can live a normal and empowered life with mental illness,” she said, addressing the crowd. “I’m proud to support a presidential candidate who will fight to ensure all people living with mental health conditions get the care they need to live fulfilling lives.”
Lovato, dressed in a bedazzled beige mini-dress, then proceeded to perform her single “Confident” — an empowerment anthem that has also been used to promote “Bachelorette” Joelle Fletcher in advertisements for the ABC reality show this season.
Meanwhile, the camera continually panned to dozens of DNC attendees whose signs indicated they were still supporting Bernie Sanders. Cue Silverman, a longtime Sanders fan who says she will now come aboard Team Hillary since Sanders is out of the race. While other Sanders supporters like Susan Sarandon and Shailene Woodley have yet to endorse Clinton, Silverman urged DNC attendees to focus on what Sanders did for Democrats — and move on.
“Not only did Bernie wake us up, he made us understand what is possible and what we deserve,” the comedian said on stage. “Hillary heard the passion of the people behind Bernie and brought those passions into the party’s reform. And that is the process of democracy at its very best and it’s very cool to see. ... It’s so inspiring. Just a few years ago, she was a secretary, and now she’s going to be president.”
When Silverman finished her speech with a joke, the crowd erupted, loudly chanting “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” Sen. Al Franken — who gave a speech earlier in the evening — returned to the stage to tell Silverman he’d been told by event producers to “stretch” — i.e., stall until it was time for the two to introduce Simon. What followed was an extremely awkward silence, filled only by more Bernie!” cries. Silverman suggested “Unity! Unity! Unity!” as an alternative chant. When that didn’t work, she became visibly irritated and started improvising: “Can I just say to the ‘Bernie or Bust’ people: You’re being ridiculous,” she said. “Thank God they can fix this in post.”
The snark earned her raves on Twitter:
The party may still be torn between Clinton and Sanders, but one thing was clear: Everyone at the Philadelphia convention seems anti-Trump. Eva Longoria, the final celebrity to address the crowd on Monday, got personal in her speech — calling out Trump on all the reasons he offends her. As a ninth-generation American from South Texas, she said, “My family never crossed a border — the border crossed us.
“So when Donald Trump calls us criminals and rapists, he’s insulting American families,” said the actress. “My father is not a criminal or rapist. In fact, he’s a United States veteran. When Trump cruelly mocked the disabled reporter, he was also mocking my special needs sister, Lisa, and many like her. When he said that a ‘wife who works is a very dangerous thing,’ he not only insulted me, he insulted my mother, who worked as a special education teacher for 30 years and raised four children while being a wife. I believe in the candidate who believes in all of us, and that candidate is Hillary Clinton.”
Check back in later this week for updates on what Dunham, Ferrera and Moretz have to say at the DNC.
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