The entertainment world displayed a deeper hue of purple during the 2012 campaign between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney than it did during 2008’s presidential contest.
Though the concept of “celebrity” is looser than ever — Obama’s “endorsement” from reality TV child star Honey Boo-Boo comes to mind — GOP-allied headliners from the film, television, and music worlds were markedly more vocal and numerous than those supporting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008.
Four years ago, a total of 54 entertainers (as well as three porn stars) endorsed Arizona Senator John McCain for the presidency. In 2012, Romney more than doubled that number, picking up Kid Rock, Gene Simmons, Meat Loaf, adult actress Jenna Jameson, and a few other less-than-expected stars like Stacey Dash.
We also saw Oscar winners like Clint Eastwood and Jon Voight step up to take a more vocal stance on politics — hopefully without negative career repercussions.
The comedy world brought a few surprising headlines as SNL alumni such as Jon Lovitz and Rob Schneider, despite maintaining their Democrat bona fides, panned President Obama’s job performance. Even as the final weeks of the campaign wrapped up, solidly liberal late-night host Jay Leno broke with his competitors and made semi-regular disparaging jokes about the incumbent Democrat.
These stars remain a small minority in an infamously left-leaning industry, but this level of growth among outspoken Republican entertainers may signal a long-term trend toward a Tinseltown where right-leaning thinkers no longer feel the need to closet themselves to stay employed.