Unsure of who really asked for this, but Matthew McConaughey and Russell Brand decided to hash out the current state of America's democracy. During a recent episode of the Under The Skin podcast, the comedian wondered if the multi-hyphenate (actor, "pickle expert," and minister of culture) noticed a “condemnation and criticism of ordinary working people” by liberals in Hollywood. What followed angered and puzzled many who listened in and read the recaps.
Brand continued, “[There is] a kind of offhandedness, like, ‘Oh, they’re dumb, they’re voting for Brexit, they’re voting for Trump.’ I don’t like it, and I don’t like to hear it." To which McConaughey agreed and added, “There are a lot [of people] on that illiberal left that absolutely condescend, patronize, and are arrogant towards the other 50 percent.”
The Interstellar actor went on to employ armadillo metaphors and discuss how "the left misses it for me just as far as being a marketeer" when it comes to encouraging people to vote and get involved in politics. He stated:
"When you say, ‘Hey, we want to get out the vote. We want people to go vote. We’re going to do a campaign to let people vote.’ I’m like, 100 percent. Yes, everyone ... And then they can't help themselves. At the very end of it they go, 'So, we don't let those criminal bastards get back in office.' You're like, 'No! Don't say the last part. You lost 50 percent of your audience.' And that's part of why so much of the nation of that 50 percent looks at us in Hollywood like, 'Oh yeah, another celebrity over there on the west coasters and the elite in the Northeast."
Ultimately, McConaughey's solution for the divided country is for Americans to make "an aggressive move" to be "aggressively centric," which is easy to say and do when you're a rich, cishet, white male, as several Twitter users and critics pointed out.
Author Luvvie Ajayi Jones detailed how McConaughey's privilege allows him to think in such a way. She tweeted, "Being 'aggressively centrist' as Matthew McConaughey claims to be is to be aggressively privileged. It is to pick no sides, therefore living in purgatory of action. A straight, rich white dude who is sheltered from many of the reasons why people on the "far left" are passionate."
Marlow Stern, an editor at The Daily Beast, pointed out how hypocritical it is that McConaughey profited off of Dallas Buyers Club, a film that discussed how AIDS impacted the LGBTQ+ community, and "is now railing against the "illiberal left."
Twitter user @JasonIsCreating noted how McConaughey's statement was condescending in a way that citizens holding those in power accountable is not.
McConaughey hasn't commented on the backlash he's facing online.