I’ve been the first to say we should treat entertainers like entertainers, not role models. But in the wake of the Orlando massacre, there are reactions that make me think that, sometimes, I should revise my opinion – including my opinion on some of the stars having the reactions in the first place.
Of course scores of celebs have expressed sorrow and solidarity, said that love is love, and meant it. Their messages remind their fans how they feel and encourage them to donate.
But I love the ones that dig in a little deeper.
Lainey linked to Samantha Bee’s rant on Full Frontal yesterday, but I’m partial to their subsequent livetweets of the gun control filibuster. This one is my favourite:
Lotta empty chairs. Where are the absent senators? #Enough— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) June 16, 2016
Then there’s Anderson Cooper, who was patient and even as he calmly, logically, and systematically eviscerated Florida’s Attorney General, who had the audacity to say she supported “our” LGBT community after previously having said that gay people were trying to “induce public harm” to the people of Florida. He calmly calls her a hypocrite, and he does not let up.
"Anderson, I don't believe that gay people could do harm to the state of Florida."
"But you argued that in court."
Have you already seen yesterday's #Ham4Ham,?
In The Heights/Get On Your Feet star Andréa Burns, who is from Florida, sang after Lin-Manuel Miranda asked people to donate to the Pulse Victims' Fund. She sings What I Did For Love, which is of course a known heartbreaker:
As we travel on
Love’s what we’ll remember
Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won’t regret, can’t regret
What I did for love
What I did for love
But it’s also a f-ck you. To the sh-tty people who have said horrible things. The ones you’ve deleted from your Facebook. The ones who refuse to call this a hate crime against LGBT people, instead just using the blanket ‘tragedy’ and then hurrying to talk about uncomplicated things.
Won’t regret. Can’t regret. Because nobody should have to.
But you know who was a surprise to me? Clay Aiken. I never thought I was going to think about Clay Aiken again, let alone admire him. But he points out that Florida is all ‘with the victims’ on the one hand, but still discriminates against them on the other hand.
I’m not naïve – he’s a literal politician. But he’s also openly gay and someone that people’s grandmothers like. He’s using his powers for good, and I am more interested than him than I ever was before so…it’s working.
If you’re still, understandably, overwhelmed and need something to smile about, Lin-Manuel Miranda also tweeted that he and scores of other stars recorded What The World Needs Now Is Love to benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida. It will be released Monday, and has everyone from Audra McDonald to Idina Menzel to Sarah Jessica Parker to Kristen Bell to Rosie O’Donnell. Maybe we’ll have a live listening party. (For still more of a pick-me-up, check out this thread that appeared on Reddit, (thanks Olivia!) about a guy who thought he could mess with his girlfriend’s Hamilton tickets. It's worth it.)
As Lainey wrote earlier, it’s been such a sh-tty time. Nothing’s enough. But maybe it helps, just a little, to remind yourself of all the people who are on the same side.
Attached - Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andréa Burns outside the Richard Rodgers Theater yesterday.