Harrison Ford Was Against Celebrities Talking Politics Before He Was For It

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/02/18/harrison-ford-was-against-celebrities-talking-politics-before-he-was-for-it/

Harrison Ford’s recent talk-show attacks on President Donald Trump reverse his previous stance that celebrities shouldn’t comment publicly on politics.

Ford, 77, yesteryear star of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, came out swinging against Trump last week when given an opening by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

Ford appeared on the show to promote a new movie. He had been riffing on Hollywood and personal themes for about six minutes when Kimmel held up a gag magazine cover showing a fictitious endorsement of Ford’s movie that also made a reference to Trump’s July 2019 telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine, which ostensibly led to the president’s impeachment and subsequent acquittal.

Ford cackled. The audience laughed, though not as hard as Ford, while applauding tepidly.

“That’s the first thing that son of a bitch has done for me – ever!” Ford said.

Kimmel tried to change the subject.

“You know, Science Bob is ahh —“

“Speaking of science,” Ford interjected.

“Yeah, speaking of science, yeah. Well, yeah, science has come under attack, hasn’t it?” Kimmel said, apparently referring to Trump’s skepticism about manmade carbon emissions causing climate change.

“Ya think?” Ford said.

“Yeah, I think so,” Kimmel said, with a forced laugh.

“Out the door,” Ford continued. “We don’t believe in science anymore. Nobody here believes in science anymore, right?”

The audience stayed silent for a moment, until Kimmel successfully steered the conversation off politics.

The segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live! aired Tuesday, February 11.

Ford also praised Swedish teen-age anti-climate-change activist Greta Thunberg during a recent public appearance, during which he criticized “our lack of moral leadership” and lamented that “Science is being ridiculed by people in ideological campgrounds.”

Ford didn’t mention Trump specifically during a clip published by the Associated Press on Thursday, February 6, but appeared to refer to him.

Ford took a different tack on commenting about public affairs when interviewed in 1997 by George, a magazine founded by John F. Kennedy Jr. that published from 1995 to 2001.

Kennedy, who wrote the article, asked Ford about his interest in Tibet’s subjugation by China, and elicited half a comment from him about Cuba before Ford stopped himself.

“These kinds of loose lips I have no respect for, in myself or anybody else. These are important issues, and I don’t feel these kinds of conversations are worthwhile. I’d prefer to see the debate over important issues conducted by experts rather than by celebrities. I also don’t want to attract attention to myself,” Ford said, according to the article in the August 1997 issue of George.

Later in the article, Kennedy quoted Ford as saying:

“I don’t talk about religion, politics, or money – by breeding and training.”

Another quote from Ford:  “I am an actor. That’s what I do. As a matter of cultural utility I am assigned a certain role. If I stick to that, then everything’s fine.”

The article does not appear to be available online, but photos from the issue are below:


CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan sounded as though he had read the 1997 George article before he interviewed Ford recently, for a segment that aired Sunday, February 16.

“You’re a good Midwesterner; you don’t really talk politics or religion much, but that’s changed a wee bit?” Cowan said, referring to Ford’s recent climate-change comments and his upbringing in suburban Chicago.

“I think it’s come to the point where we gotta start talking politics,” Ford replied. “But we gotta talk about it in a positive way. We gotta regain the middle ground. We’re in these ideological enclaves. But the truth is in the middle. Progress is made in the middle.”