Matthew McConaughey has caught some heat for speaking about politics, specifically for condemning those who are far right or left leaning. During an interview for Russell Brand’s Under The Skin podcast, McConaughey spoke to Brand when the topic of politics happened to come up. McConaughey claimed he was “aggressively centrist” when it came to political views, but his fans have deemed that this is a privileged claim to make.
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.
— Luvvie (@Luvvie) December 7, 2020
In a press push for his new book, “Greenlights,” Matthew McConaughey spoke to Russell Brand on his podcast Under The Skin with Russell Brand. The podcast’s main goal is to understand what is “beneath the surface” of the people we admire, as well as exploring “ideas that define our time, of the history we are told.”
The two got to talking about politics eventually and the internet is not all that happy with what was said. Brand described a specific mentality in which our societies value fame and money as measures of success.
Brand asked McConaughey, “coming from where you are coming from, once you’re a famous person, people think that’s all you are and that’s all you’ve ever known….sometimes I feel that people don’t reckon that people come from anywhere. Now we live in a time where, in my country and yours, where there is- I have sensed- a lot of condemnation and criticism of what one might describe as ordinary working people. A kind of offhandedness of like, oh they’re dumb, they’re voting for Brexit, they’re voting for Trump. I don’t like it, and I don’t want to hear it because of my own experiences and my own upbringing…how do you feel about that kind of judgement?…Do you feel there is a way of meshing together these apparently disparate groups- these liberal professionals classes and what you might describe as working ordinary people of any color or variety?
McConaughey responded by saying, “that’s my hope. I do think so because the work I’ve got to do is defining the science behind they’re valuable. The science behind why they work, the science behind why that doesn’t mean you have to now come over, and it doesn’t mean that you’re coming over to the proverbial “other side.” I’ll say this, I’ll meet you in the middle, I actually think that is more of a dare right now more than it’s ever been.”
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) November 28, 2020
The actor himself claims to be a centrist when it comes to politics. McConaughey regaled a political metaphor to Brand that someone once told him, “the middle of the road (centrism) is nothing but yellow lines and dead armadillos.” His response to that was, “I’m walking down that yellow line right now and the armadillos are running free and having a great time. You know why? The other two sides, the two vehicles on either side of the political aisle are so far apart their tires aren’t even on the pavement anymore.”
He argues that if you frame it as getting “aggressively centric” you can bring the two political parties closer together towards the same goals. McConaughey claims that by framing it this way, the “aggressive” part would appeal to those extremely right. When talking about the left, McConaughey agreed that there are many who are patronizing and condescending towards the “other 50 percent.” He believes that many extreme liberals have a good call to action, but their “gotcha” delivery tactics cause them to lose half of their audience. McConaughey hypothesizes that this contributes to the idea the liberal elite-ism stereotypes.
He then proceeds to compare 2016 Hollywood liberals to 2020 Trump supporters, saying that they both were in complete denial when their candidate lost the presidential election.
There was a brief rumor that McConaughey would run for Texas governor, but the actor has denied it, claiming that “politics seems to be a broken business, politics needs to redefine its purpose.” And perhaps that’s for the better, because McConaughey fans aren’t that happy with him right now.
Many were upset at Matthew McConaughey for fighting to be a centrist, claiming that this is a privileged stance to be taking right now when the United States continues to fail those in marginalized communities.
I need rich white dudes to not call people "patronizing" for feeling that the political is personal, esp when the other side is wants to deny women's rights to their own bodies, put kids in cages and allow the killing of innocent people at the whims of police. TF, Matthew??
— Luvvie (@Luvvie) December 7, 2020
Many claimed he is just another “white man showing his privilege.”
And others said that it was “absurd” for the actor to compare the liberal reaction to Trump’s win in 2016 to the Trump voters’ reactions of 2020.
Some were upset that McConaughey was defending both political parties. This Twitter user understood the idea of wanting to work together, but that it is hard to conceptualize when he believes one party makes it difficult to do so.
Matthew McConaughey can take his both-sidesist bunk and go away.
I am sorry, I get wanting people to work together, to return to a state where diplomacy is a real thing, but it's by and far ONE side setting everything on fire.
— Windthin~Rebel Scum & Snark Jedi 🏳️🌈🌊🇺🇦🌻🐀 (@windthin) December 7, 2020
But some defend McConaughey, claiming that “woke Twitter” is proving McConaughey’s point that liberals can become condescending.
Matthew McConaughey: 'Leftists are patronizing and condescending towards conservatives.'
Woke Twitter: 'Matthew McConaughey is an alt-right, racist redneck who needs to shut the fuck up.'
Well done for proving his point.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) December 7, 2020
As with most things political these days, this quickly got heated on Twitter. While some interesting points were made in the interview with Russell Brand, Twitter has unanimously agreed that Matthew McConaughey should stick to acting.