You may have noticed that Tuesday’s debate sparked some strong feelings across the board.
It was a thoroughly upsetting night. One man screamed over everyone like a two year old while another man struggled to get a word in edgewise. They were both debating the fate of an entire nation and the futures of billions of people. Healthcare and the Earth’s climate were on the chopping block. For most of us, it felt like a nightmare or a fever dream.
Even celebrities weren’t exempt from the debate’s horror. While most of them have long been able to remain “apolitical,” no one was safe from what we saw on Tuesday. In a strange way, the debate was a vulnerable shared experience, one that makes it clear that no matter how powerful or influential a celebrity or political party may be, no one is exempt from the potential collapse of American democracy.
Like many of us, celebrities sat frozen in their chairs while Trump blatantly refused to denounce white supremacy and continued interrupting Biden, forcing the moderator, Fox News journalist Chris Wallace, to demand that he quiet down.
Frank Ocean reemerged from a long silence to tell the world that he is launching a voter registration initiative. “Debates are on. It all feels fake,” he wrote in an Instagram story. “The problem’s that it’s not. Donald is president and might not leave the White House even if he loses the race so some say. Pls vote. Watching him dragged out will be way more entertaining than these debates. If you’re not registered swipe up to blonded.co the form just takes 2 minutes to fill out. Goodnight.”
Frank updates his IG story https://t.co/Dxly2eDNtt
— Blonded. (@Blonded.)1601433319.0
Now, fans can check their registrations, register to vote, sign up to vote by mail, and get election reminders by visiting the site https://blonded.co/.
Dozens of celebrities shared their strongly worded thoughts online. “The entire country has to make a decision as to whether it will continue to downplay the fact that our President is an openly racist White Supremacist and what that means for its citizens, or… VOTE HIM OUT,” wrote Chance the Rapper.
Cardi B expressed her displeasure in an Instagram post, writing, “I though that was so mean and unnecessary.PLEASE WE GOTTA GO VOTE !”
John Legend succinctly wrote, “We can’t put ourselves through another 4 years of this walking dumpster fire.”
We can’t put ourselves through another 4 years of this walking dumpster fire. https://t.co/bsUoIl4N3P
— John Legend (@John Legend)1601430677.0
“Do you condemn White Supremacy?”
Trump: “When you say white supremacists, how supremacist we talking?” https://t.co/x3QGtqfKAv
— Josiah Johnson (@Josiah Johnson)1601434400.0
Ariana Grande saw it as a call to action. “hello ! if last night’s debate didn’t light a fire under your ass i’m not quite sure what will. please make sure u and everyone u love / know is registered & ready. u can also vote early ! only 34 days til the election is over. please tell a friend. https://t.co/B7cu7izTsd pic.twitter.com/8B2ssOx0Zh,” she wrote.
a lot of things feel scary, dangerous and uncertain right now… but there are things within our control: voting, c… https://t.co/rE6gK223BB
— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1590779385.0
hello ! if last night’s debate didn’t light a fire under your ass i’m not quite sure what will. please make sure u… https://t.co/tWTlCu4dMp
— Ariana Grande (@Ariana Grande)1601483545.0
Some people avoided the debate altogether. “Tbh I ain’t even watching it. I know what it is. Two completely incompetent, unqualified males debating which one has a bigger ego. Politics aren’t going to save this nation. Look into local grassroots orgs and mutual aid programs and GET TO WORK if u wanna see change,” Lauren Jagueri wrote.
“Take off the gloves, #Joe! Slug him hard a few times, for the 206,000 dead AND the living, for all the fallen soldiers he’s maligned, for all the innocent people he’s called rapists, for #PuertoRico, for women, for the planet, burning in front of our eyes, and for the future,” wrote Bette Middler.
How dare you? How dare you? Are you trying to tell us we didn’t see and hear DonaldTrump interrupt #JOEBIDEN ince… https://t.co/FB0R4rsDvg
— bettemidler (@bettemidler)1601434613.0
Fellow Broadway star Idina Menzel, Ellen Pompeo, and Rob Thomas posted the same message asking fans to raise funds to help swing Texas blue. “There’s no debate: If we #TurnTexasBlue, Trump is through. $38 for 38 electoral votes. Match me: http://38for38.com,” the message read.
In general, most people watching the debate seemed to feel a sense of shame and horror. “America, Are you okay with this dipshit? Seriously? I’m so ashamed that we’ve lowered ourselves to even consider another term for this shameful loser. Even if you think it’s still defendable behavior. Your children are watching,” wrote P!nk.
Viola Davis wrote, “My takeaway from that Reality Show….excuse me Debate is…..VOTE!!!! VOTE!!!! VOTE!!!!”
Ava DuVernay’s tweet also was a call to action: “For those who hadn’t been listening for the past 4 years, Trump just told you that he ain’t leaving and that he is a white supremacist. If that doesn’t get every American who is not white into overdrive to toss his ass – we may actually deserve what happens next,” she wrote.
“The Nazis killed my family members. Tonight Trump told them to ‘stand by.’ I have never imagined saying these words in my life. ‘Mr. President, F*** YOU,'” wrote Josh Gad, the Jewish star of Frozen.
If you are as worried as I am about what’s happening to the USPS, please spread this info about voting by mail now:… https://t.co/h8iDs0KO2B
— Josh Gad (@Josh Gad)1596940771.0
Late night talk show hosts also had some choice words. “Watching that debate sterilized me,” said Stephen Colbert.
Of course, many Trump supporters loathe Hollywood superstars, and won’t listen to anything these people have to say. Some of them are too far gone. That’s why we all need to join together and vote in November.