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Tipsheet

Did You Catch the Irony of Jennifer Lawrence's Story About Her Family's Rift Over Trump?

Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Julio wrote earlier this week about Hollywood actor Jennifer Lawrence discussing her political side, which isn’t in line with her conservative family. The situation isn’t unique—there are scores of American families with members with differing political views. Some can manage that like ordinary people, while other families have broken down irreparably over the 2016 election. What’s hilarious about the lengthy piece in Vogue is that Lawrence says she has nightmares about Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It’s these anecdotes that give one pause as to their authenticity. Was she joking? Joe Biden should be pure nightmare fuel as he’s very touchy with the women, even smelling their hair, and has a ‘grandpa grabby hands’ tendency with younger kids. Yet, I don’t think Americans have dreams about him. Also, that would be repugnant. 

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Yet, the portions about Trump, her family, and the drama it has caused are beyond contrived. It doesn’t seem like a fissure that has damaged the relationship beyond repair. It could be that the Lawrence clan just doesn’t talk politics, which is also fair. Political operatives James Carville and Mary Matlin’s marriage is well-known for their aversion to political discussions since they work for opposing parties. Lawrence’s conversation predictably veered into top-notch liberal bubble platitudes that shouldn’t shock anyone. She’s Hunger Games girl—her films have grossed at least $6 billion worldwide—so she must also play the part of liberal activist. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, being that you need to adopt a hard-left persona as a prerequisite for remaining employed in that town (via Vogue):

Much of her disappointment was directed at certain relatives back in Louisville, Kentucky, where she’d grown up, including her father. The 2016 election had torn open a rift in her family. Repairing it was an ongoing process. Particularly since having a baby, she had been trying to heal. She even discussed with her therapist the recurring nightmares she has about Tucker Carlson. “I just worked so hard in the last five years to forgive my dad and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they are getting is different. Their life is different.” Lawrence had a haunted look in her eyes. She would stop at times to apologize or make a self-deprecating joke, then get visibly overtaken by emotion again. I felt like I was watching a real-life version of whatever it is that happens when she acts. “I’ve tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry I’m just unleashing, but I can’t fuck with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have to be political. It’s too dire. Politics are killing people.”

The reversal of Roe was reigniting all of it. She had not been entirely in Hillary Clinton’s corner, but still found it incredibly upsetting that the country elected Donald Trump. “It breaks my heart because America had the choice between a woman and a dangerous, dangerous jar of mayonnaise. And they were like, Well, we can’t have a woman. Let’s go with the jar of mayonnaise.” And now, thanks to Supreme Court justices appointed by that dangerous jar of mayonnaise, the unthinkable had happened. “I don’t want to disparage my family, but I know that a lot of people are in a similar position with their families. How could you raise a daughter from birth and believe that she doesn’t deserve equality? How?”

Growing up in a conservative home, Lawrence thought of herself as Republican. But it was almost a cultural thing, like sports or something. She had the notion that there were two teams and that the Republicans were her team. Then one night when she was 16, she was watching 30 Rock and Liz Lemon said something along the lines of, I’m not a crazy liberal. I just think people should drive hybrid cars. It made sense. It seemed rational. Later, when she made movies in other countries, she saw how money always tended to concentrate at the top, not just in the United States, how it rarely trickled down to working people. She gathered more perspective the more money she made. To her, “Republican” had always meant: Why should my taxes pay for your haughty lifestyle? Now she saw holes in that logic. “Nobody likes to see half their paycheck go away, but it made sense to me. Yeah, for the greater good, I guess it makes sense.”

Just as the professional inevitably mixed with the personal, the personal inevitably mixed with the political. The persistent pay gap between her and her male costars, for example. (The hacking of Sony Pictures computers in 2014 revealed that Lawrence’s compensation for American Hustle had been considerably less than that of her male costars. More recently, Vanity Fair reported that she earned $5 million less than Leonardo DiCaprio for Don’t Look Up.) She knows all actors at her level are overpaid, but the discrepancy is still bothersome. It reflects the pay gap between men and women writ large, and it delivers the same insult: “It doesn’t matter how much I do. I’m still not going to get paid as much as that guy, because of my vagina?” The hacking and leaking of her nude photos felt punitive, as though it was because she was one of the highest-paid actresses in the world that someone thought: Strip her clothes off.

Roe was hitting especially hard. Lawrence herself got pregnant in her early 20s. She one hundred percent intended to get an abortion. But before she could, “I had a miscarriage alone in Montreal.” She got pregnant again a couple years ago, while shooting Don’t Look Up. By then she was married and very much wanted to have a baby. She had another miscarriage. The second time, she had to get a D&C, the surgical procedure by which tissue is removed from the uterus. To imagine children and 18-year-olds in any sort of situation with limited options was simply too much to bear. Even more so now that she does have a baby. “I remember a million times thinking about it while I was pregnant. Thinking about the things that were happening to my body. And I had a great pregnancy. I had a very fortunate pregnancy. But every single second of my life was different. And it would occur to me sometimes: What if I was forced to do this?”

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They get different information, says the woman who doesn’t even know that the Dobbs decision didn’t ban abortion nationwide. Abortion is still legal, even with Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court. There hasn’t been an apocalypse. The abortion debate had picked up right where it left off before the Supreme Court nuked an emerging consensus in 1973. Also, her analysis of the 2016 election between Clinton and Trump, who she called a jar of mayonnaise, is classic liberal elitism. Hillary was a terrible candidate with an awful agenda. The talking point that women can be elected president because of deeply entrenched misogyny is precisely why a liberal woman won’t be the first female elected to the White House. It will be from the Republican Party. Feminist Camille Paglia was quite confident regarding the reasoning, which is that GOP women care about more things than just abortion. You can lump phantom misogyny, pronouns, trigger warnings, and other issues that don’t help working-class Americans. None of the above enables job creation. It’s an academic exercise that the wealthy and the privileged can wallow in—people who can afford electric cars and not care about how inflation is torching their bank accounts. 

Lawrence is one of those people who have an enormous net worth—$170 million-plus—which is due to her hard work. She’s a talented actress and has made a great career for herself. She shouldn’t be censored or told to shut up, but the 2016 election, the Dobbs decision, and people holding opposing views don’t constitute Armageddon-like conditions. Most people have zero time to dwell on what others think about concerning a host of issues, let alone the ones that matter most to liberal America, which also happen to be the most irrelevant. Global warming is not a top issue for regular Americans—it is considered life or death for the neo-Trotskyites that dot the coasts and the cities. I would bet heavily that more people care about rising crime in the cities than abortion. 

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