A group of Hollywood celebrities are calling on Republican electors in the Electoral College to disregard their states’ voting results and deny Donald Trump the presidency when the group casts their official ballots on December 19.
In a star-studded video PSA released Wednesday, actors Martin Sheen, Debra Messing, Richard Schiff, Bob Odenkirk, BD Wong and others urge Republican electors to be “American heroes” and ensure Trump doesn’t reach the 306 electoral votes he earned in November’s election. It would take 37 so-called “faithless” electors to prevent Trump from reaching the required 270 electoral votes.
“Republican members of the Electoral College, this message is for you,” Sheen, who played a fictional President on the political drama The West Wing, opens the video. “As you know, our Founding Fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue, and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is to an ’eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.’”
“An eminent degree,” chimes in Messing. “Someone who is highly qualified for the job.”
“I’m not asking you to vote for Hillary Clinton,” say several of the stars, including electronic music-maker Moby.
“By voting your conscience, you and other brave Republican electors can give the House of Representatives the option to select a qualified candidate for the presidency,” adds Schiff, who played White House communications director Toby Ziegler alongside Sheen on The West Wing.
The video ends with the celebrities telling the electors that they would earn their “respect” by performing this “service to the American people.”
The video was posted Wednesday by a group calling itself Unite for America. The group describes itself as a “multi-partisan movement of concerned citizens and volunteers, united against the unprecedented threat of an unqualified candidate taking our nation’s highest office.”
Celebrity PSAs proved a popular marketing tool for Hillary Clinton-supporting PACs during the campaign. Some of the celebrities in the Unite for America video, including Sheen, Schiff and Moby, appered in other video PSAs in support of Clinton before the election.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum