To no one’s surprise, there continues to be a vast divide between most of the entertainment industry and the Trump White House. The two sides generally don’t like each other. And that is putting it nicely.
According to a report in the Washington Post, A-list entertainers Billie Eilish, Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Depp, George Lopez and Justin Timberlake are among the celebrities blacklisted from a $250 million PSA ad campaign by the Trump administration.
In fact, of the 247 celebrities considered, only 10 made the cut. The names were among the documents from September and October released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
The contract for the ad campaign, which Politico reported on in August, aimed to “defeat despair and inspire hope.” According to the Post, the criteria used by Trump workers for choosing participants were based on “whether they had ever criticized the president, or supported former President Barack Obama, gay rights or same-sex marriage.”
The administration people may have given the 18-year-old Eilish a little too much credit. The documents say she was “destroying our country and everything we care about.”
And J-Lo, as Super Bowl halftime show loyalists remember, criticized Trump’s immigration policies. Three Democratic House lawmakers reportedly sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. They claim the HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Michael Caputo, wanted to use the taxpayer-funded ad campaign to boost Trump’s election hopes.
None of the PSAs ever went live, and the campaign is currently under review at HHS.
The “approved list” reportedly included actor Dennis Quaid; gospel singer CeCe Winans; singers Marc Anthony, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miranda Lambert, Garth Brooks and Enrique Iglesias; Hasidic singer Shulem Lemmer; TV doctor Mehmet Oz; and NBA star Dwyane Wade. Three are said to have done interviews, but as of Oct. 1, all had reportedly withdrawn consent to use their footage.