The new strategy feels more like performing for the choir.
The celebrities in Hollywood are experiencing a curiosity in their lives, and livelihoods — diminishing rates of influence. After years of assuming they were a major cultural force there was a wake-up call in 2016. Following extensive support for Hillary Clinton and a seemingly endless stream of public service announcement videos they were met with an election result few anticipated.
For a time they relied on this same method of conveying their social messaging but then the celebrity PSA might have met its death this spring. As the pandemic shutdown was getting ramped up a video was released showing a number of celebrities singing ‘’Imagine.’’ It was cringe-inducing and roundly ridiculed, and as a result we have been greeted with far fewer of these clips during this election. But the stars appear to have shifted gears to a new methodology — staging cast reunions on behalf of their political causes, which are exclusively Democrat in nature.
The lockdowns have actually aided in this effort, as the ability to cobble together a cast virtually is far easier than a physical gathering of members who are spread across the country. Possibly inspired by the announced one-off reunion involving ‘’The West Wing,’’ showing an episode on HBO Max, a number of other shows have been staged with alumni appearances. The ‘’West Wing’’ cast came together to raise money and awareness for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote non-profit group, and a number of other shows have been following suit.
Much of the cast of the classic film ‘’The Princess Bride’’ gathered to raise money for Wisconsin Democrats last month. Including Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, and Carey Elwes. This has led to a rush of other gatherings to be staged on behalf of the Democrats. Also helping the Wisconsin Dems is a planned ‘’Happy Days’’ gathering, which makes a bit more sense as it was set in Milwaukee. The actor Scott Baio is an avowed Republican, so the role of Chachi is going to be filled by John Stamos.
A number of the castmates from ‘’Seinfeld’’ are getting together to raise money for Democrat state candidates, but the choice is a curious one. The show was based on obnoxious Manhattan-dwelling New Yorkers, so fundraising for Texans is an off decision. Julia-Louis Dreyfus will be busy as she is also participating with the cast of her HBO hit comedy ‘’Veep’’ to lend support for North Carolina Dems. (And in that vein, the writer from ‘’Veep’’, David Mandel, also wrote the content for the PSA in support of the postal service, that featured the character Newman from Seinfeld.)
And still more reunions abound. There was a virtual cast reading involving stars from a couple of the ‘’Star Trek’’ series, as well as politicians, such as Pete Buttigieg, and Stacey Abrams. The teen hit film ‘’Superbad’’ is coming together for a political fundraiser, as well as some of the cast of the show ‘’Private Practice’’ coming together for Biden’s Get Out The Vote campaign organization.
While changing the effort it is clear that Hollywood still believes they hold a level of influence over the electorate. As a result they continue with their attempt at swaying minds to the same side as their pet causes.