Why Hollywood Is Too Exhausted and Scared to Enjoy Donald Trump’s Conviction

The exhaustion is palpable along with the sense that if justice was served, Trump may still end up president, anyway

Donald Trump hush money trial courthouse msnbc
Donald Trump addresses media outside Manhattan courthouse on May 29 (Credit: MSNBC)

Across Hollywood, a strange, dazed silence greeted the felony conviction of Donald Trump. 

You might have expected loud and sustained cheering from Beverly Hills to Calabasas to Malibu. But social media was oddly calm among bold-faced names, and the responses in the power suites of the entertainment industry were not what you might expect.  

Among some, there was cynical indifference. For others there was fear that this definitive knock on the former president would fail to move undecided voters. And there was a palpable weariness at anything related to that Orange Guy after nearly a decade of his downward gravitational pull to the gutter. 

“It’s totally irrelevant, (this) fires up his base,” one top, left-leaning Hollywood executive texted me. “The Democrats are geniuses at moral victories and actual losses … It’s almost like social media makes no difference. It just fires up people that are already decided.” 

The exhaustion was palpable, the sense that if justice was served, it has been too long delayed – and Trump may still end up president, anyway. 

“He can still run, and how is that possible?” asked a top former studio marketing executive. “The scary part is that he knows how to rev up his base with ‘fake news’ this-is-not-America bulls–t.” 

After years of Trump punching down – and up, and across – and even after the New York judicial system finally held him to account with a royal flush verdict of “Guilty” on 34 felony counts, few were moved to raise their voices. Many noted that the echo chamber of politically motivated information would use this verdict to somehow help Trump, rather than delegitimize him. 

And even those who did speak out were somewhat muted in their joy. 

“Usually when a powerful, rich, white male with experienced, expensive defense counsel, is found guilty … he’s really guilty,” tweeted Warren Leight, former showrunner of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and a prolific tweeter. 

Wrote Kathy Griffin, somewhat sadly: “I am sitting in a restaurant by myself crying.” Presumably tears of joy, but still. It’s the sense of sorrow that seems to be overtaking any sense of celebration. 

The truth is the entertainment industry has been in a state of emotional paralysis for months, less about the widely loathed Donald Trump than about Israel’s war in Gaza that has divided friends and driven a wedge into the liberal and heavily Jewish community of Hollywood. 

For months, fear has been the paramount emotion – fear of reaction to public support for Israel, fear of public support for Palestinians, fear of antisemitism, fear of provoking or being provoked, fear of being on the wrong side of a complex human tragedy. And fear that Trump would be the ultimate beneficiary of President Biden’s support for Israel, or more recently his criticism of Israel. (Yes it’s both contradictory things at the same time.) 

And then where will we be? 

So it’s been months of locked-down responses. And while the silence has been deafening and the fear palpable — emotions have nonetheless been roiling. 

Trump is a known quantity in entertainment, for better or worse. By now, most have seen the man, watched him rise in media, watched him perform in government, watched him on Jan. 6 and beyond — and they long ago made up their minds. 

The idea that Trump paid a porn star hush money ahead of the 2016 election is, simply put, not a stretch. Among the people I spoke to privately, none needed convincing that he was guilty. And many remain skeptical that the felony conviction will move the needle in favor of Biden this election cycle. 

One vocal celebrity found his voice, though. Actor and activist John Leguizamo managed to celebrate the verdict, tweeting his jubilation, but also his worry that the future of democracy hinged on misinformation:  

“Finally the tephlon Don has been held accountable! No one is above the law!” he rejoiced. “You can’t have a functioning democracy if don’t all have access to the same facts! We need to bring back the fairness doctrine that kept news legit!”

Comments

4 responses to “Why Hollywood Is Too Exhausted and Scared to Enjoy Donald Trump’s Conviction”

  1. cadavra Avatar
    cadavra

    I think the best description would be “satisfaction that the system worked.” Jubilation at the verdict is negated by the sadness that all of this could have been avoided if more people had gotten off their lazy keisters and voted for Hillary.

    1. Wishing21 Avatar

      Hillary -the woman who kept a private, illegal server – the woman who used bleach bit to erase said server after it was subpoenaed? The woman who had her underlings smash their cell phones after they were subpoenaed? Who lied about Benghazi? Who had Bill’s “bimbos” threatened to keep their mouths closed? Who paid for the phony Steele Dossier? Who was the first to question Obama’s citizenship? Yeah, she would have been great. 

  2. 12GenUSCitizens Avatar
    12GenUSCitizens

    Leguzamo… for you its always “this is for me and my people!” not the USA!
    As for unHolywood…bowing to satan is exhausting…but then Free Will delivers our direction to ETERNITY! Al fin.

  3. Dave Avatar
    Dave

    John Legui… who??

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