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Celebrities Are Ruining Twitter

When Twitter became popular, regular folk were told how great it would be that they could follow and connect with their favorite celebrities on the social media platform. I am sure most Twitter users do in fact follow several celebrities, because, why not, right? But, whether they’re following a movie star or a musician, they probably didn’t click that follow button expecting a nonstop stream of political hectoring. But, lately, that’s what they’re getting. Earlier this week, Joss Whedon, the director of The Avengers,  took to Twitter to announce (in a now-deleted tweet) that he wanted President Donald Trump to “just quietly die.”

Donald trump is killing this country. Some of it quickly, some slowly, but he spoils and destroys everything he touches. He emboldens monsters, wielding guns, governmental power, or just smug doublespeak. Or Russia. My hate and sadness are exhausting. Die, Don. Just quietly die.

In today’s political climate, celebrities see nothing wrong with wishing death upon someone with whom they disagree politically. The tweets fall in line with more visceral displays of reckless hatred such as Kathy Griffin’s bloody decapitated Trump stunt or Madonna declaring she “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” They see such vile hatred as mainstream—the stuff that will be met with cheers, not denunciations or visits from the Secret Service. They’re not concerned about alienating fans or public outrage because, to them and people in their circles, their attitude is acceptable.

Never mind that roughly half of all Americans disagree with them. They don’t care. Movie ticket sales are at a 25-year low, but they are constantly doubling down on rhetoric that is alienating large portions of their audience. They can’t see the writing on the wall and, even if they could, they regard the people exiting the cinemas as unworthy of their talents. Last year Seth Meyers, host of Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC, told Trump supporters to stop watching his show before flipping them the bird. I doubt any Trump fans actually watch his show, and Meyers probably assumed they weren’t either, since, as he acknowledged, he constantly mocks and denigrates Trump on his show. He certainly wasn’t concerned that anyone in the audience was going to boo him. In fact, the audience cheered.

Is it any wonder that celebrities are turning their Twitter feeds into anti-Trump soapboxes? Pauline Kael, the late film critic for The New Yorker, famously said in the wake of the 1972 presidential election, “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” I’m sure most Hollywood celebrities thought the same thing after Trump’s victory because they don’t realize their deep blue strongholds are surrounded by a sea of red. It’s time for celebrities to get out of their liberal bubbles because they’re not only ruining Twitter, they’re ruining the country by actively participating in dividing it by using platforms meant to connect with people for partisan purposes.