Oscar winning actor Matthew McConaughey, who has described himself as “aggressively centrist,” spoke with comic/actor Russel Brand on the latter’s “Under the Skin” podcast and McConaughey may have lost a few fans in the process when he called out “Hollywood hypocrites” when discussing the recent presidential election.
McConaughey said that while he hoped people could come together and meet in the proverbial “middle of the road,” he added “the other two sides, the two vehicles on either side of the political aisle, are so far apart, their … tires aren’t even on the pavement anymore.”
His views are not that unique, but the Oscar winner then explained, “There are a lot (of people) on the illiberal left that absolutely condescend, patronize, and are arrogant towards the other 50 percent.”
Such views didn’t fall on deaf ears across social media however. Singer/songwriter Aisha (@aishamusic) was among those who agreed with the harsh sentiments, and responded, “Matthew McConaughey And Russell Brand are right. I’ve seen it firsthand. Hollywood claims to be so liberal and tolerant but is full of hateful, cruel, mean spirited, vengeful lunatics. They are a disgrace. They insanely attack & try to destroy anyone who doesn’t agree with them.”
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@flowerlady61 added, “I absolutely love the description ‘aggressively centrist.’ This is a man who is not only sexy, smart and talented, he is also decent and grounded in common sense.”
Others were far more hostile, and one user @TapMopula offered the thought, “Why anyone cares about the opinions of Matthew McConaughey and Russell Brand is beyond me. They are actors, not political scientists – and awful ones at that.”
The feelings were shared by @PearlVCalhoun2, who offered “And we should listen to him because he is an actor?”
But one must question why the same was never said of Alyssa Milano, America Ferrea and Leonardo DiCaprio – all of whom used their celebrity to become high profile activists and who regularly use social media and podcasts to share political views. Today’s celebrities can often sway elections, a point clearly missed by many.
McConaughey also noted during Brand’s podcast that many of those on the left were in “complete denial” that Donald Trump had won the U.S. presidential election, and simply explained that those same people should understand it is the right’s turn to express frustration and even some disbelief this time around.
However, many of the responses across Twitter directed at McConaughey tried to simply argue he was so “wrong” in his opinion. Few actually addressed the fact that 70 million people supported President Trump. Instead, many of the comments failed to address the point the actor was trying to make – namely that four years ago one side was angry about the results, and now that they are happy they can’t fathom why the other half have similar frustrations.
For too many on social media, if you aren’t with them you’re against America – which is an almost ironic view to take as they were certainly in the resistance but in their patriotic way.
@sam54253103 noted, “The rest of us know exactly what he was saying. Exactly what he meant. Oh hey let’s come together and put all the blame on one side so we can meet in the middle. Yeah right. Anyone who says that is part of the problem.”
However, at least one Twitter user, @RealBotPower, saw this was about a discussion not discourse, “One thing to say about this interview, McConaughey surely got under some people’s skin. Rolling on the floor laughing
So he likes to stir the pot. Calm down people it’s just food for thought. Some humans are able to entertain juxtaposed ideas and debate them. A contrarian aka not one dimensional.”
All this serves once again to show how hard the calls for unity will be if we continue to ignore the other’s side view – and here again social media could be the biggest obstacle to healing the divide.