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July 12, 2012 - Stephen Browne
Oh dear, Jane Pitt, mother of the actor Brad Pitt is in hot water. As in getting death threats hot water.
Seems the lady wrote a letter to her hometown newspaper, the Springfield (Missouri) News Leader in which she endorsed Romney, criticized Obama, and opposed abortion and gay marriage. She immediately became the recipient of a lot of nasty, vulgar, and threatening tweets.
Mrs. Pitt's daughter-in-law's father, actor Jon Voight has come to her defense. And of course everybody is wondering what it's like at the Brangelina household, both fervent Obama supporters it seems.
Except me. What I'm wondering is, when did we get to the point that the political opinions of actors, and now actors families for heaven's sake, are of such consuming importance?
Actors in general are not legal experts, sociologists, economists, or scientists. (With an interesting exception. Former child star Mayim Bialik, has a PhD in neuroscience and works in the field, in between appearances on the geek sitcom "The Big Bang Theory.") Yet we find actors endorsing political candidates, and holding forth on what ought to be done about the economy, energy policy, or climate change.
And weirdly, politicians are deferring to them, courting them and giving them face time, even at the White House. Anybody remember it wasn't all that long ago that actors weren't considered respectable enough to marry into good families or be buried in the church?
I'm not disputing the right of actors to have their own opinions, or to make them known through the media that pays such obsessive attention to their private lives.
What I'm wondering is, why are we listening to them?
In fact, it was Brad Pitt himself who put it best when he was once asked for his opinion on some consequential issue.
He answered, "Why are you asking me? I'm a guy who wears makeup for a living."
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