Celebrities and politicians don’t really like being seen in public with one another. Perhaps there will be a fundraiser or some benefit dinner where they collide, but for the most part they tend to stay away from one another. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. One of those is, of course the White House Correspondents' Dinner; another is the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Democrats this week, as the Republicans did last week with Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr., are shepherding in a few celebrities for their big show. Here’s a brief guide to who will be there:
Who he is: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired NBA player and an author, and in 2012 he was selected by Hillary Clinton to be a global cultural ambassador for the United States.
Famous for: Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game.
The conservative case against him: Abdul-Jabbar has written eloquently and thoughtfully about race and about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Many conservatives interpret the latter as a hostile group.
Who she is: Erika Alexander is an actress.
Famous for: Alexander is famous for playing Max on the mid-'90s sitcom Living Single.
The conservative case against her: Frankly, I’m not sure if there are enough Republicans or Democrats who watched Living Single. If everyone did, this world would be a better place.
Jason and Jarron Collins
Who they are: Jason and Jarron Collins are twin brothers who played basketball at Stanford and then had relatively long careers in the NBA. Jarron is an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.
Famous for: Jason Collins is famous for being the first active NBA player to be openly gay (NBA player John Amaechi came out, but only after he had retired). Collins was lauded for his courage.
The conservative case against them: Both brothers, at best, were just role players in the NBA. Neither one averaged more than 7 points throughout their careers.
Who she is: Lena Dunham is an actress, director, producer, and writer.
Famous for: Dunham is famous for creating, acting in, and directing her HBO show Girls:
But Girls isn’t her only project. Dunham speaks about cultural and societal topics, bringing national attention to things like mental illness, women’s rights, endometriosis, gun control, and gender equality.
The conservative case against her: Take your pick. Conservatives have disliked Dunham since the world was young. She’s been criticized for being a spoiled brat, too nude, too sexual, and perhaps the most incendiary claim: that she sexually abused her kid sister (various psychologists, her sister, and Dunham, have all said this was not a case of abuse) and wrote about it in her memoir.
Who she is: America Ferrera is a working actress.
Famous for: Movies! Ferrera was in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Real Women Have Curves. She was also in Ugly Betty.
The conservative case against her: She probably throws a wrench into Donald Trump’s catchphrase of "Make America Great Again." She also isn’t Salma Hayek or Gina Rodriguez:
Who he is: Tony Goldwyn is a working actor.
Famous for: Tony Goldwyn is famous for playing President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant on Scandal.
The conservative case against him: Conservatives and liberals can agree President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant is one of the worst Republican presidents ever to be on television.
Who she is: Star Jones is a lawyer, journalist, writer, and television personality.
Famous for: Star Jones is famous for being on The View.
The conservative case against her: Star Jones was on The View.
Who she is: Eva Longoria is an American actress, producer, director, philanthropist, and political activist.
Famous for: Longoria is most famous for her work as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives. Since Housewives, she has gone on to produce shows like Devious Maids. She has also worked in the political sphere, serving as a national co-chair of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, and has been a vocal advocate for immigration reform.
The conservative case against her: Longoria appeared in the 2008 film Over Her Dead Body, which sports a meager 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Who she is: Demi Lovato is a pop music star.
Famous for: Lovato once dated one of the Jonas brothers. She is also known for going to rehab in 2011, and, like a phoenix made of mascara, sweat, and glitter, she reemerged stronger than ever with hits like "Skyscraper" and last year’s undeniable hit "Cool for the Summer":
The conservative case against her: For Lovato and a lot of singers, their target audience often influences how vocal they are politically (I would be surprised if Taylor Swift voted in this election). Lovato isn’t as big a name as Swift or Selena Gomez, both of whom probably would have been Democrats' first choice to be on the Clinton campaign trail — but who also probably have more to lose than Lovato by being vocal about their politics.
Who she is: Debra Messing is a working actor.
Famous for: Being one of the best things about Will & Grace.
The conservative case against her: The only other thing she’s done since Will & Grace is Smash and Mysteries of Laura.
Chloe Grace Moretz
Who she is: Chloe Grace Moretz is a working actress.
Famous for: Moretz appeared in 500 Days of Summer as Rachel, the protagonist’s precocious young sister, and then followed it up playing Hit Girl and absolutely stealing the Kick-Ass franchise. She was also quite good in Let Me In, the American remake of Let the Right One In. Nowadays she’s more famous for picking fights with the Kardashians.
The conservative case against her: Conservatives might actually like some of what Moretz says when it comes to the Kardashians. Moretz likes to act above it all, often calling out the Kardashians for being famous for doing nothing and for teaching young women that they have nothing to offer besides flaunting their bodies for fame.
She’s been criticized for not being intersectional — that she only clings to feminism when it suits her. And as MTV’s Ira Madison pointed out, she often doesn’t practice what she preaches.
The day after the Pulse Nightclub shooting you tweeted about Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles https://t.co/VZxp3p1rMn— Ira Madison III (@ira) July 18, 2016
Who she is: Katy Perry is a huge pop star.
Famous for: Katy Perry is responsible for creating one of the best and most undeniable pop songs of all time:
And one song that has become a Fourth of July staple, which imagines America as a firework:
The conservative case against her: Perry once created a paean to California women, basically the most not-Trump demographic in the country.