Taylor Swift certainly does not take a literal interpretation of her single, “You Need to Calm Down.” The singer went full out political during her acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards for her “Pride Hymn” video. She railed against the current lack of recognition for the LGBTQ Equality Act petition by President Trump’s administration. A petition was posted for signing at the end of the video that now has half a million signatures, which is “five times what it takes to answer the White House,” Swift said. Then, she pointedly looked at her wrist as if to show that she was counting the time. She closed by saying, “Several points have been highlighted in this video. If you vote for this video, it means you want a world where we all get equal treatment under the law.” Swift was not always involved in politics. She was virtually silent on the presidential elections of 2016, but to paraphrase Bob Dylan, she was “younger then than now.” Her new political activism begins as the nation prepares for the 2020 election. Swift was not the only artist to become political at this year’s VMAs. Rapper French Montana and “GLOW” star Alison Brie spoke in favor of immigration when they presented the prize for the Best Latin American Music video. Montana, a Moroccan-born musician, was proud to present the prize as an immigrant.
Sean Spicer, President Trump’s first White House Press Secretary, will be on the 28th season of Dancing with the Stars. The show typically includes celebrities from the worlds of sports, TV, movies and music, but has had other Republican contestants including Tim DeLay, former Texas Congressman in season 9, Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin, former candidate for Vice President and Governor of Alaska in season 15 and Rick Perry, current Secretary of the Energy in season 23. No Democrats. Many frustrated opponents of Donald Trump have taken to Twitter to protest the decision and to declare their intention to boycott the show. Dancing’s host, Tom Bergeron, has expressed his frustration with having Spicer on the show through a twitter post where he said he was hoping to keep politics out of the show in order to avoid division and controversy. Bergeron also joked about Spicer’s exaggeration of Trump’s inauguration crowd on Good Morning America when he sarcastically said “The nice thing is Sean will be in charge of assessing audience size.” Many other people on the show’s staff feel angered by the decision to include Spicer because they felt attacked by him during his time as Press Secretary. With an administration as controversial as Trump’s, there’s no telling who might be angered by including a member or former member of his administration. For his part, Spicer thinks the show this season will set an example for how Americans can disagree over politics while still getting along.