When Marianne Williamson took the stage in June for the first Democrat debate in the 2020 presidential race, viewers fell mainly into two groups: those who had never heard of the woman who proclaimed love as her platform to those who have been fans since Oprah Winfrey launched Williamson’s career as a bestselling self-help author.
Williamson has literally lived all over the United States, but her connection to Hollywood is one of the strongest given the Winfrey support dating back decades to the celebrities who are endorsing and even contributing to her presidential campaign.
The celebrities who have spoken out or opened their wallets for Williamson including Alyssa Milano – who tweeted she was attending a fundraiser for Williamson – to Deepak Chopra, Marcia Cross, and Nicole Richie, all of whom have donated to her campaign, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Milano’s support was noted in a Daily Beast commentary that chided celebrities’ embrace of Williamson.
The Reporter conducted a Q. And A. with Williamson, asking the candidate about a range of issues from her new-found celebrity to criticism for her now-reversed stance on vaccinations ahead of the next Democrat debates taking place at the end of the month.
The Reporter wrote:
Self-help aficionados have long been well-acquainted with the 67-year-old candidate, who’s authored 13 books — her most recent is A Politics of Love: A Handbook for a New American Revolution — and has been championed by no less than Oprah Winfrey, who first hosted her on her talk show in 1992 and remains a friend. (“I think part of being her friend is respecting her privacy,” says Williamson when prodded for Winfrey’s thoughts on the campaign.) Dismissed as everything from a kooky hippie to a dangerous anti-vaxxer — the first label she accepts, the second she rejects — Williamson, with her calls for love, has set herself apart in an overcrowded field.
The Reporter asked Williamson if the campaign trail has become too difficult as she comes under scrutiny.
“Absolutely not,” Williamson said. “The aftermath of the debate performance was pretty fascinating, actually. Because as much mockery as there was, there was also serious attention given to the substance of my remarks.”
Williamson addressed the vaccine controversy associated with her in the interview.
“My sloppiness in talking about that was a self-inflicted wound,” Williamson said. “I’m pro-vaccine. Pro-medicine. Any time there is a medical intervention, there is both benefit and risk.”
“Government must come down on the side of public health,” Williamson said. “Having said that, I understand that many areas having to do with food, health, and safety are places where Americans have questions. And I don’t believe that questioning should be squashed.”
Williamson declared herself “completely pro-choice,” even though she has in the past endorsed a waiting period ahead of an abortion taking place.
Williamson revealed that she voted for Hillary Clinton, yet she was “passionate” about Bernie Sanders in 2016.
The interview highlights other Hollywood connections Williamson has had, including serving as the family-designated roommate to 17-year-old aspiring actress Laura Dern in the ‘80s. And in 1991, Williamson officiated Elizabeth Taylor’s final marriage at Michael Jackson’s infamous estate.
“You seem like a highly intuitive person. What were you feeling?” the Reporter asked to conclude the interview.
“All kinds of things,” Williamson said.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter