Susan Sarandon Says Bernie Sanders' Hollywood Backers Are "Afraid" to Be More Vocal
"I feel people have to make up their own minds and their publicists are leaning on them," the Oscar-winning actress claimed.
Susan Sarandon is claiming that Sen. Bernie Sanders has plenty of support in Hollywood, but some of those voices have been quiet recently.
"You know, there's a lot of people I've talked to who are afraid," the Oscar-winning actress, a staunch Sanders supporter, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The actress asserts that there are backers who "say 'I am definitely supporting him, but I'm afraid to come out' because either I am woman and I don't want to get shamed — because that has been a big part of what the response has been — or they say, 'I am just waiting to see what happens.'"
Sarandon added: "I understand [celebrities] who say they are waiting because you put yourself out there for [interviews] like this. And people, especially if you're a woman, are making it very, very difficult."
The Vermont senator recently won four states during Super Tuesday — Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Vermont — on the momentum of his anti-Wall Street rhetoric and appeal to young voters. The frontrunner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, nabbed seven states this week — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
"I feel people have to make up their own minds and their publicists are leaning on them," said Sarandon. "And they see what happens to people when they stand out. And I know there are environmentalist actors who understand they he's the guy, but what you get is 'I'm just waiting to see.'"
Clinton may be ahead in delegates, but Sanders is the country's best chance to defeat a likely Donald Trump GOP nominee, Sarandon maintains.
"If you look at the polls, [Sanders] is the candidate who's favored to beat [Trump]," she says. "Both Trump and Sanders are attractive to people who want somebody outside of the establishment, who want somebody they feel is authentic and they're not getting that in other candidates."
The actress points to the candidate's appeal to progressive values and his pitch to the middle class as evidence of his appeal.
"The response to him is still very strong and people are not giving up," she says. "I am very enthusiastic about having a candidate who lives and professes a progressive platform because I care about the environment, and I care about women and children and the middle class."
Sanders would have even more people in his corner if the public were better informed on the real issues, Sarandon said.
"There is only one candidate who cares about the environment in a real way and has not accepted money from the very people who we're trying to protect ourselves from," she said. "So, I'm focused on education because the story the press has been telling for so long was about Clinton and Trump. So people, except for Millennials who go online ... are way behind on understanding what the race is really about."
As for the seemingly impossible-to-stop Trump train, Sarandon points a finger at the media for the "circus."
"The press is responsible for making Trump who he is," she said. "I don't know why. Things have just not stuck on him, and I blame a lot of the circus that was created by the press and not treated seriously for allowing him to get as far as he has. We're just not reporting in-depth, responsible, grown-up kind of journalism. So it's taken people a while to educate themselves. For being such a powerful country, we need to be better informed and more responsible in how we go about choosing candidates. It's not a reality TV show. No one is going to be voted off this island once it happens."