One of Donald Trump’s recent executive orders has provoked an immediate, strong and vocal response among citizens worldwide.
Widely referred to as the Muslim Ban, CNN explains that the order keeps “…refugees from entering the country for 120 days and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations out for three months.”
The order caught many by surprise, including the Justice Department and Homeland Security, but as news of the ban spread and stories emerged of families being separated and legal residents being prevented from entering the country, protesters showed up en masse to American international airports to resist the order many are calling xenophobic and short-sighted.
Celebs were among the hundreds of thousands who also took to social media to express shock and dismay about Trump’s statement — made worse for many by the fact that it was released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Lawrence shared strong feelings of disappointment in a Facebook post.
Kim Kardashian West
Kardashian West let the numbers speak for themselves, tweeting a data table showing the annual American deaths caused by, among other things, Islamic jihadist immigrants (2) and falling out of bed (737), captioning it simply “statistics.”
DeGeneres spoke out in support of the immigrants and refugees who have made America their home.
Rihanna didn’t hold back when expressing her outrage with the executive order.
The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry was blunt when asked about the ban, refusing reporters requests to tone down his language, saying, “No. Y’all gonna bleep that out. That’s how I feel about it.”
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, George Takei & Amy Schumer
Other celebs put their money where their mouths were by deleting their Uber accounts in response to the company’s pro-Trump stance and decision to continue servicing customers leaving JFK airport after the New York Taxi Workers Alliance declared it would not pick up any passengers from the airport 6 to 7p.m. in solidarity with Muslim Ban protesters.
Amy Schumer joined the Uber boycott and urged others to do the same by posting one of the best signs seen at the Muslim Ban protests on her Instagram account.
But a handful of other celebs went a step further, taking their action from the pages of the internet to the streets.
Penn turned hate into help by responding to an offensive tweet and raising over $500,000 in donations for Syrian refugees.
Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui penned an impassioned open letter about the ban.
Her letter, released to People, reads in part, “Raise your hand if you are an immigrant, or the sons and daughters of immigrant parents, or the grandchildren of immigrants, or the great-grandchildren, or great-great-grandchildren? Wait…are everyone’s hands up — including yours, Mr. Trump — except for the Indigenous people of the Americas?! Because they should be.”
Some joined hundreds of thousands of protesters and showed up at Muslim Ban protests around the country, including How to Get Away with Murder’s Jack Falahee.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Mahershala Ali
And several SAG winners took advantage of their televised platform by expressing their opposition to the “un-American” Muslim Ban in their acceptance speeches, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali.
Sia, Judd Apatow & Jack Antonoff
Many celebrities chose to support organizations fighting the Muslim Ban by offering to match donations to the American Civil Liberties Union, the organization that successfully challenged the executive order in federal court. The ACLU recently announced that it has raised $24 million in donations since Trump’s announcement.
Sia pledged to match fan donations up to $100,000.
With Judd Apatow quickly following suit.
And Jack Antonoff joining in and pledging to match donations up to $20,000.
The ACLU wasn’t the only organization getting some love. Singer Grimes matched fan donations up to $10,000 for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Hollywood celebs often come under fire for speaking out on political issues, a common criticism being that they have no business discussing politics and should stick to acting, singing or performing. But I take the opposite view; America’s cult of celebrity means that Hollywood’s rich and famous have access to a far larger audience than many politicians or lawmakers, and the effects of their words and deeds can be profound and far-reaching.
In addition, celebrities are citizens of this country first and foremost, and they are doing what we all should be — speaking out instead of staying silent, making their dissent known and their resistance vocal. It’s the only way we’re going to get through the next four years with our country intact.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.