By Stacy Jenel Smith and Erick Johnson
Almost every time you turn around, it seems there is another outbreak of indignation over a movie, TV or pop star 1) speaking out on an issue (as those who agree with the star would put it), or 2) opening their big ignorant mouths (as those who disagree tend to think). Herewith, the Top Ten Most Outspoken Stars in Hollywood, ranked by the headlines their statements generate, the frequency of same, and whether they have a current career as a performer.
1. In first place, tireless talker Martin Sheen, who -- like him or hate him -- gets big points for consistency as an unwavering pacifist/political activist for decades. The "West Wing" star has been arrested several times, beginning in 1986 at an anti-SDI (President Reagan's Star Wars initiative) demonstration he calls the happiest day of his life. He's back in the news now with comments he made the other day while collecting an award as a Christian role model in Windsor, Ontario, where he told Canadians he was proud of them for not entering the Iraq war. Said Sheen, "Every time I cross the border, I feel I've left the land of lunatics. You are not armed and dangerous. You do not shoot each other. I always feel a bit more human when I come here."
2. Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon take the No. 2 spot as a couple, because not only are they linked as life partners, but they've taken hits of public disapproval together. This year, their anti-war statements -- such as Robbins' "I'm against this whole, 'Let's bomb a new country because things aren't going our way'" -- led to threats against them and the cancellation of a 15th anniversary celebration of "Bull Durham" at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Dixie Chicks
are newer at the Soap Box game but deserve the No. 3 position for the sheer vociferousness of response to Natalie Maines' statement, in France, that they were ashamed President George W. Bush
is a fellow Texan. They, too, are back in the news now, with Martie Maguire telling Steel Magaine that the group is leaving country music because country music left them first, meaning the furious, record-burning reaction to their statements against the war in Iraq and Bush. Of course, Dixie Chicks watchers have been seeing them making moves toward pop for awhile now anyway.
4. Barbra Streisand has become nearly as well known for her activities as a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat as she is for her voice. In Babs' world, the party has the answers -- "Lovely democratic me'mries, of the way we were...As long as democrats were the majority, I could sleep nights, not weep nights" - as in the lyrics she sang especially for Demos at one of the many party fundraisers in which she's performed.
5. Dennis Miller rounds out the top Five for his daring and unusual (in Hollywood) move of coming out as a strong supporter of President Bush since the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- and now with his weekly commentaries on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" show. The comic doesn't necessarily like to wear the conservative label, but he's considered a hero by conservatives because of comments like, "If you're in a peace march and the guy next to you has a sign that says 'Bush is Hitler,' forget the peace thing for a second and beat his a--."
6. Danny Glover, who called the U.S. President a racist and deemed America "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world."
7. Johnny Depp: "America is like a dumb puppy...a broken toy...Disneyland... you wouldn't want to live there..."
8. Julia Roberts: "Republican comes in the dictionary just after reptile and just above repugnant."
9. George Clooney: "The problem is we elected a manager, and we need a leader...Let's face it: Bush is just dim."
10. Jessica Lange: "I despise him [President George W. Bush]. I despise his administration and everything they stand for."