When it started to look as if Donald Trump were going to beat out former first lady Hillary Clinton for the presidency in 2016, celebrities started vowing left and right that they would move to Canada if he actually did. (Oh, that they had kept their word … but that’s a separate issue.)
Now that Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, more celebrities are making similar vows to leave the platform for greener pastures like Instagram and TikTok.
I call them “greener pastures” because we all know what makes grass green — fertilizer. And when a group of leftist elites run content moderation the way they do on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and so forth, they tend to create a fertilizer-rich environment.
I’m sure that’s not how either the content moderation teams or the celebs who worship them think of it, but honestly I think most of these folks make a lot more of their decisions based on feeling rather than thinking anyway.
At any rate, according to NBC News, here is the list as it currently stands of celebrities who apparently fear free speech, don’t know how to block offensive content on Twitter, or both:
Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me. ❤️??
— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022
Bareilles, as you may know (I didn’t) wrote and performed “Love Song,” which I find annoying but at least I’ve heard of it. (Admittedly, I haven’t been much of a fan of pop music since Duran Duran’s “Electric Barbarella.”)
It’s only been a couple of days, but so far Bareilles has remained true to her word. That “I’m out” tweet on Sunday appears to be the last one from her account. For now, anyway.
Singer Toni Braxton declared to the world that she doesn’t understand at all how free speech works when she announced that she, too, would be leaving the Musk-owned social media platform.
I'm shocked and appalled at some of the "free speech" I've seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of "free speech" is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC.
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022
Note to Braxton: Free speech protections that exclude what some people find hateful are not free speech protections. As an artist who works with the spoken word, I would think you’d pay more attention to that sort of argument.
I would have expected former professional wrestler Mick Foley — you may know him better as Cactus Jack, Mankind or Dude Love if you’re a fan — to be tougher than a pair of musicians, but I would have been wrong. He declared in a Facebook post Friday (his Twitter account seems to have been deleted) that he was leaving as well, at least for a while.
Brian Koppelman — I think NBC News may really be pushing the boundaries on the “celebrity” definition here — also said he might be back, in a tweet from an account that is now apparently locked. (In other words, he hasn’t really left Twitter, but he does definitely want to look like he left Twitter.)
I’d never heard of Koppelman — I’m sure he’ll be devastated to hear that — but NBC called him “a co-creator of the Showtime dramas ‘Billions’ and ‘Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber.’” That didn’t help me much, since I’ve never heard of those, either. But I do know what Showtime is, so I guess that’s something.
Erik Larsen confirmed to NBC that he had deleted his Twitter account.
“Yeah, I left. I said I would leave if Musk bought Twitter. Musk bought Twitter,” he told NBC in an email. “So, I had no choice. The move only emboldened those most toxic users. The racists, ‘patriots’ and creeps are back in full force.”
Larsen has worked in the comic book industry, and apparently first started gaining a following there when he did some of the artwork for “The Amazing Spider-Man” in 1990.
I’ve heard of Spider-Man, of course. In fact, he’s probably going to end up being the most recognized name in this piece — and he doesn’t even exist.
Téa Leoni publicly left Twitter on Saturday and hasn’t tweeted since. The “Madame Secretary” star left open the door for a return, however.
“[L]et’s see where we are when the dust settles,” she wrote.
Hi everyone. I’m coming off Twitter today—let’s see where we are when the dust settles. Today the dust has revealed too much hate, too much in the wrong direction. Love, kindness, and possibilities for all of you, thank you,
— Téa Leoni (@TeaLeoni) October 29, 2022
Ken Olin tweeted on Friday that he was leaving Twitter as well. His account remains active, but that was the last tweet from it. About a week earlier, he had declared on Twitter his intention to “wean myself off of this soon to be Musk machine.”
Hey all –
I’m out of here. No judgement.
Let’s keep the faith.
Let’s protect our democracy.
Let’s try to be kinder.
Let’s try to save the planet.
Let’s try to be more generous.
Let’s look to find peace in the world.
— Ken Olin (@kenolin1) October 28, 2022
You may remember Olin from “Thirtysomething,” on which he starred back in the day. I don’t, because I never watched it. But you might.
Another show I’ve never watched is “Grey’s Anatomy,” which was apparently created by Shonda Rhimes (which would probably be a pretty good rapper name if she ever decided to switch careers). You guessed it: Rhimes also cleared the hurdle for people NBC considers famous enough to be included on this list.
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022
I always love the “I don’t know what it is, but I don’t want any of it vibe.” It just reeks of open-minded maturity, doesn’t it?
And finally, Alex Winter. If the name sounds vaguely familiar to you, Winter is to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” what Andrew Ridgeley is to Wham!. He apparently edited his Twitter bio to read “Not here” and to link to his Instagram page before deleting his account completely.
Truth be told, I only recognized one of these “celebrities” — a term I believe NBC defines as “people who live in the greater Los Angeles area and hold political / cultural opinions with which we agree” — but I did recognize Alex Winter once NBC told me who he was and I knew Toni Braxton’s name. (If you’re keeping track at home, the one I recognized was Téa Leoni, and I probably only recognized her because she used to be married to David Duchovny — probably not the first thing she lists on her professional résumé.)
But NBC News said on the internet in front of God and everyone that they’re celebrities, so it must be true.
At any rate, I wish these folks all the best on whatever social media platforms they decide to frequent — I really do. And, for their sakes, I hope that they eventually learn the truth that Erma Bombeck so colorfully described in 1976 about those more verdant ranges:
The grass is always greener over the septic tank