“You have harnessed fear for political purposes and only love can cast that out,” Marianne Williamson declared in the first round of presidential debate, addressing President Donald Trump.
A handful of celebrities of slightly dubious standing have heard that call — TV star and activist Alyssa Milano, it-gal Nicole Richie, and pop-folk artist Jason Mraz.
Public records of all candidates’ individual donors are available online; a cursory glance at Williamson’s shows an overwhelming number of yoga teachers, life coaches, psychiatrists, and, yes, the occasional NASA engineer.
Milano, who has become a public fixture in the glittery liberal resistance against the Trump administration, informed her Twitter followers on Tuesday that she is exploring supporting Williamson for the Democratic bid. “I’m going to my first fundraiser of the election cycle” she wrote, tagging Williamson. “I know. I know. But she’s the only candidate talking about the collective, soulful ache of the nation & I think that’s an important discussion to have.”
Milano added, “And as I’ve said before, I’m not committing to anyone yet. I’m going to support everyone if given the opportunity until the choice is crystal clear.”
Milano’s tweets were not popular with her audience, receiving more comments than likes. Science writer Erin Biba responded to the tweet, writing, “You’re supporting an anti-Vaxxer.” Biba went on, charging Milano with “supporting a woman” who has, Biba claimed, pushed pseudo-science on people suffering from AIDS and post-traumatic depression, and shamed fat women. It’s true that Williamson has been critical of mandatory vaccination, though it’s not clear if those critiques have risen to the level of being an “anti-Vaxxer.”
More quietly, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, best known for his hit song “I’m Yours,” donated $500 to Williamson. Actress and it-girl Nicole Richie gave $1000. Radha Agrawal, the entrepreneur who co-founded the period underwear company Thinx and founded the dance party Daybreaker, gave the maximum $2,800. Dave Navarro, former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and frontman of Jane’s Addiction also gave, as did Broadway actress Jayne Houdyshell, and sixteen-time Vogue cover model Amber Valletta.
Williamson’s cache has long included the support of celebrities, most prominently Oprah Winfrey. When Williamson ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California’s 33rd district, she was endorsed by an A-list that included Sarah Silverman, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry. Alanis Morissette wrote her a campaign song.
We’re not endorsing anybody, but we’d like to see Jason Mraz and Nicole Richie cook up a tune for Williamson.
Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at Singer@forward.com or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny
Alyssa Milano, Jason Mraz Support Mariane Williamson