Matt Han / Gavel Media

Does Hollywood Belong in Politics?

“I don’t believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party. I just believe in parties.” Who else could have uttered these words but Samantha Jones of Sex and the City, played by Kim Cattrall? Apparently, Cattrall’s co-star, Miranda Hobbes, played by Cynthia Nixon, did not heed her friend’s words of wisdom.

On Monday, March 16, Nixon announced her candidacy for governor of New York, thereby challenging Andrew M. Cuomo in this year’s Democratic primary. The New York Times emphasizes the great feat she has undertaken for her first bid in office: “[She is] seeking to unseat a two-term incumbent (and son of a three-term governor) who is sitting atop more than $30 million in campaign cash.” She has never run for an elected office. Yet, she is a prominent advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, public education, and women’s health. Perhaps her six-year run as a career-minded lawyer dealing with ignorant and aggressive men on Sex and the City may just be the experience that she needs for politics.

Nixon seems unfazed by her lack of political experience. Her official Twitter bio reads, “Cynthia Nixon is a lifelong New Yorker, actor, and progressive advocate who is running for governor to fight for a better, more fair New York.” In an interview with Glamour, she notes that her primary concerns involve addressing New York’s economic and racial injustice.

Despite her honorable motives, many members of the public cannot look past the fact that she is an actress without government experience. In my opinion, her celebrity identity makes me trust her more rather than less. With fame already under her belt, her primary motive is presumably based upon her genuine care and concern for the people of New York. According to The Ringer, “Ideally, Nixon’s campaign will alleviate the general concern—which has become profoundly urgent ever since Trump’s election—that celebrities inevitably blur the distinction between politics and entertainment.”

In a video she posted on Twitter, she explains, “We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty.” Even if her campaign proves to be unsuccessful, one can’t deny her zest for social justice.

Nixon isn’t the only celebrity to be involved (or potentially involved) in politics. Earlier this year, Oprah was urged by fans to run for president after an enlightening acceptance speech while receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. Although she admits that she felt humbled by the strong response from fans, she denies a possibility of running for president with the claim that it is “not in [her] spirit” nor “DNA.” Another actress, Stacey Dash, well-known for her role as Cher’s best friend in Clueless, filed paperwork in February for candidacy for Congress as a representative for California’s 44th District. However, on March 31st, she withdrew her candidacy “after much prayer, introspection, and discussions with [her] family.”

There is no right answer to the question of whether or not a celebrity should be involved in politics, whether officially or unofficially. Ronald Reagan was an actor who served as the 40th President of the United States. Among Republicans and a few Democrats, Reagan has been generally viewed as successful and favorable. Likewise, Donald Trump was a television personality who is currently serving as one of the most divisive presidents in U.S. history. Until Cynthia Nixon proves her stamina and worth, I suppose the jury’s still out with celebrities in politics.

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