Reality TV star Kim Kardashian recently found some new fans when she refused to go after the sitting president of the United States in an interview with liberal late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.
Despite Kimmel’s incessant goading and prodding to get her to say something — anything — bad about Trump, Kardashian took the high road. She eventually shut down the late-night host by saying, “I have nothing bad to say about the president.”
Kardashian is not the only celebrity today who avoids politics and trashing Trump when doing media interviews. It may seem as if everyone in Hollywood hates the president and wants to preach politics — but some play it pretty close to the vest.
And it really pays off for them with fans.
Here’s a look at five smart celebrities who avoid politics and bashing the president at a time that the mainstream media and Hollywood Establishment practically pray for them to do so.
1.) Mark Wahlberg. The actor’s never been one to preach — and he’s been open about his feelings toward celebrities who do push politics with their fans.
Asked about celebrities who talk politics by Task & Purpose magazine in 2016, Wahlberg responded, “A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t.”
The actor added that Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election showed how little celebrities influenced opinions. “It just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway … They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills,” he said.
Wahlberg added, “A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guys out there providing for their family. Me — I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world, and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”
In recent years Wahlberg has made a name for himself as a producer and actor who highlights true-life heroes in films such as “Lone Survivor,” “Patriots Day” and “Deepwater Horizon.”
“I’m very aware of the real world. I come from the real world, and I exist in the real world.”
He remains one of the most popular actors today — and it likely has a lot to do with his humble attitude toward his fans and his refusal to jump on the anti-Trump bandwagon.
Wahlberg next stars in “Mile 22,” which hits theaters on August 17.
2.) Kevin Smith. It’s unlikely he’s much of a supporter of the president, but Kevin Smith has long avoided politics. He will occasionally throw his support behind a social cause, but Smith will divert from politics anytime the topic comes up in interviews.
The director and actor has one of the most loyal followings in Hollywood through his films and podcasts, and it almost certainly is connected to his positive attitude and message of inclusivity — which is even more powerful because he doesn’t touch politics.
Smith currently has a pilot titled “Hollyweed,” which people can watch and preorder on Rivittv. If enough people preorder the first episode, he has said he’ll make six more episodes.
3.) Dolly Parton. The country star, actress, producer and entrepreneur has always avoided politics — and she’s proud to do so.
In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline” this year, Parton refused to touch on Trump or politics even though the interview tried pushing and prodding her on those topics.
“I’m not getting into any of that,” she said, shutting down the line of political questioning. “I have a lot of fans out there and don’t want to offend anybody. Besides, I just don’t get into that. If you are deciding you may want to ask me something more serious, don’t, because I’m not going to answer it.”
The country singer went on to say that staying away from politics is a golden rule for her career. She remains one of the most popular singers on the planet, so she may be on to something.
You can find the latest news about Parton and her music on her official website.
4.) The Impractical Jokers. The foursome’s rollicking TV show, “Impractical Jokers,” is one of the most popular and inclusive comedies on television right now. It’s enjoyed by all generations and has run for a whopping seven seasons at this point. With an eighth season and feature film on the way, the comedy group — four guys who grew up together in Staten Island, New York — is practically assured of even greater success down the road.
These four typically come as a package deal. Joe Gatto, Sal Valcano, James Murray and Brian Quinn have all typically stayed away from politics on social media and in interviews. They appear on Fox News to promote their show as easily as they appear on any other network.
Quinn revealed through the “Tell ‘Em Steve Dave” podcast, which he co-hosts with “Comic Book Men” stars Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, that at one point there was brief talk of a Hillary Clinton appearance on “Impractical Jokers,” leading up to election day in 2016. The comedians put their heads together and quickly squashed the possibility — knowing it would split their fan base. That may have been one of their smartest decisions ever.
“Impractical Jokers” returns to Trutv tomorrow night.
5.) Norman Reedus. He’s exceedingly popular right now, thanks to his role as Daryl in the hit AMC series “The Walking Dead.” Reedus has spent years traveling the country and meeting fans at conventions, and that likely plays into his decision to stay away from politics.
Plus, “The Walking Dead” likely has a fairly large right-leaning audience. The same goes for this actor’s other popular work, the vigilante crime thriller “The Boondock Saints.” Reedus is likely smart enough to realize this, so he stays away from Trump and politics and keeps the focus on his work in front of the camera.
On a side note, the actor’s “Boondock Saints” co-star Sean Patrick Flanery also keeps away from politics and interacts with fans at conventions almost as much as Reedus. These two have loyal followings — and other stars should be taking notes.
“The Walking Dead” returns for season nine in October.