Six Degrees of Kevin Costner: Why Celebrities Aren’t Choosing Choice

15 Jun

I’m thinking of George Clooney. Angelina Jolie. Bono. Rosario Dawson. Cynthia Nixon. Even Tori Amos. I’m thinking of celebrities, but more than just that, celebrities with an easily identifiable cause. Clearly I err on the side of human rights and women’s health, but it would be right within that cross-section that one should be able to find a celebrity advocate for reproductive justice. And they are just not there. So why is it that the case? Do we really care who represents RAINN or V-day or UNICEF?

We live in a celebrity-saturated culture, and I’m certainly not here to judge. I check Gawker as much or more than I do the Times. Don’t you? And that’s my point. This fact of life is more than something we need to recognize in ourselves, we must leverage it as advocates… just like everybody else.

So why hasn’t empowered sexuality and reproduction attracted a sexy celebrity to play face to the cause? Now I know six degrees of Kevin Bacon may get all the fame, but I believe it is the degrees of Kevin Costner holds the key. Now I know what you are thinking Kevin Costner, really? Hear me out.

BUT FIRST it must be noted there are very legitimate reasons for not openly and actively supporting choice due fears for their own safety. We just spent the past couple weeks blogging about the tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s murder, and he’s only a doctor. Take a celebrity who may already be stalked for their fame alone and add this additional risks and it could be potentially dangerous. I would never discredit anyone for their hesitation to visibly support reproductive justice if they were to be made personally vulnerable.

Now back to my Kevin Costner theory. Did you know NARAL had not one but two famous faces at their 37th Anniversary Luncheon? None other than the Al Franken, our favorite new Senator feminista, and Amy Madigan. Who is Amy Madigan did you say? Only one of the stars of Field of Dreams. Remember 1989? You know what else she starred in that year? Roe v. Wade as Sarah Weddington (the attorney the argued Roe). Herein lies the lynchpin.

Kevin Costner “invented” a tool to clean up oil spills after his life changing experience in Water World. He was inspired by the film he was in. His work. Could it be that his Field of Dreams co-star Amy Madigan was similarly inspired by Roe v. Wade? Taking it one step further, could it be the almost complete absence of women choosing abortion in film and television that have left celebrities in cold? Do some actors need to try on the skin of the cause through a character before they come to truly understand it? Crazy, maybe, but completely unfounded, I think not.

6 Responses to “Six Degrees of Kevin Costner: Why Celebrities Aren’t Choosing Choice”

  1. Shannon Drury June 16, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Al Franken is my senator, and I couldn’t be more proud to have helped elect him. But you’re absolutely right about the lack of celebs attaching their faces to the cause. The March for Women’s Lives in 2004 had a number of stars present–who could forget Ashley Judd’s homemade “this is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt? I remember Tyne Daly’s impassioned speech, and Ani DiFranco’s stirring performance (which I remember mostly because my mother turned to me and said “this girl is really good, but who is she?”).

    Andy Samberg was photographed in a NOW t-shirt not too long ago. Do you think he and his GF Joanna Newsom could be convinced to play a benefit for the National Network of Abortion Funds?!

  2. Nicole June 16, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    All good points! Of course it would be wonderful to have Andy Samberg as an rj advocate. I hadn’t seen the NOW bit before, so thanks for passing that along.

    Really, anyone who is silly/smart enough to stick it the Spike TV awards with a NOW t-shirt is fine by me.

  3. Divine Oubliette August 29, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    List of Pro-Choice Celebrities –

    Margie Adam, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Aniston, Curtis Armstrong, Elaine Aronson, Bea Arthur, Ed Asner, Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, William Baldwin, Meredith Baxter, Shari Belafonte, Maria Bello, Polly Bergen, Thora Birch, Amy Brenneman, Betty Buckley, Jessica Capshaw, Lynda Carter, Stockard Channing, Jill Clayburgh, Kate Clinton, Glenn Close, Cindy Crawford, Sheryl Crow, Alan Cumming, Tyne Daly, Blythe Danner, Kristin Davis, Ossie Davis, Dana Delany, Laura Dern, Ellen DeGeneres, Ani DiFranco, Illeana Douglas, Denise Dowse, Fran Drescher, Kirsten Dunst, David Eigenberg, Hector Elizondo, Emme, Eve Ensler, Giancarlo Esposito, Melissa Etheridge, Morgan Fairchild, Edie Falco, Frances Fisher, Calista Flockhart, Jane Fonda, Bonnie Franklin, Janeane Garofalo, Ana Gasteyer, Indigo Girls, Annabeth Gish, Whoopi Goldberg, Lauren Graham, Maggie Gyllenhaal, LisaGay Hamilton, Ben Harper, Ed Harris, Salma Hayek, Marg Helgenberger, Isabella Hofmann, Helen Hunt, Amy Jo Johnson, Kathryn Joosten, Ashley Judd, Catherine Keener, Carole King, Swoosie Kurt, Christine Lahti, Sanaa Lathan, Sharon Lawrence, Lisa Loeb, Amy Madigan, Natalie Maines, Wendie Malick, Joshua Malina, Camryn Manheim, Frances McDormand, Ewan McGregor, Marilyn McIntyre, Sarah McLachlan, Moby, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, Alanis Morissette, Kathy Najimy, Alyson Palmer, Joe Pantoliano, Mary-Louise Parker, Adrian Pasdar, Pink, Martha Plimpton, Doris Roberts, Paul Rudd, Susan Sarandon, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, Martin Sheen, Cybill Shepherd, SONiA, Fisher Stevens, Gloria Steinem, Julia Stiles, Corky and Mike Stoller, Sharon Stone, Amber Tamblyn, Mary Testa, Charlize Theron, Uma Thurman, Heather Tom, Stanley Tucci, Kathleen Turner, Ted Turner, Sarah Weddington, Audrey Wells, Bradley Whitford, Alfre Woodard, Thom Yorke, Amy Ziff, Elizabeth Ziff, Ellen Page, Eddie Vedder and Julia Styles

    *Not a complete list.

  4. Nicole August 30, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Hi Divine! Thanks for sharing that. Where did you get that list from? Do you have any links to show their individual affiliations? I know a lot of these folks have showed up to protests and some have participated in projects of all forms celebrating reproductive justice, but I still don’t see any of them as a leader in the movement. But please correct me! I really want to be wrong on this one.

  5. .Michelle January 13, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    Martin Sheen is pro life is certainly is not pro choice.

  6. Steph L January 16, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    @Michelle

    I fins Sheen a rare tolerable type of anti:

    “Q: What are your views on abortion?

    Sheen: I cannot make a choice for a women, particularly a black or brown or poor pregnant woman. I would not make a judgment in the case…I personally am opposed to abortion, but I will not judge anybody else’s right in that regard because I am not a woman and I could never face the actual reality of it.”

    He has supported candidate runs for Dean, Kerry, and Richardson – all pro-choice.

    Sheen has called conservatives “bastards” and a “dangerous bunch of fascists.”

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