On March 24, hundreds of thousands of people across the US took part in a massive planned march to demand tighter restrictions on guns and protest inaction by politicians as mass shootings continue to happen in American schools.
Alongside them on the streets, or supporting them with their dollars, were a number of celebrities. All of them serve to reiterate the point that, in the current US political climate, public figures are often expected to take sides and, arguably, risk more by remaining silent than speaking out.
The list of those who turned up at the events in Washington, DC and other cities or voiced their approval of the students on social media is extensive, including Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, and other members of the clan, as well as Common, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lady Gaga, and Yara Shahidi.
Some of the celebrities didn’t just attend the events but also performed, helping to draw even greater crowds. Among them were singer Demi Lovato, for instance, and rapper Vic Mensa.
In Los Angeles, celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and Jaden Smith joined in on the protests, chanting and dancing. Nick Offerman headed to the event wearing a shirt with a blunt message directed at the NRA.
In New York, Paul McCartney attended a rally not far from the location where his Beatles bandmate, John Lennon, was shot to death on the street.
Other celebrities gave money to support the students. George and Amal Clooney donated $500,000 (paywall), and Oprah Winfrey matched their contribution.
Jimmy Fallon partnered with MTV and the NAACP to sponsor a bus of students traveling from New York to Washington. Taylor Swift, who doesn’t often wade into political debates, said she had also donated money.
These celebrities helped to make the marches an even bigger cultural event—and it probably didn’t hurt that they may have bolstered their status in the eyes of their largely young audiences. Those who think celebrities should stay out of politics can expect to keep being disappointed.