There are several things Jenny Slate doesn’t want to talk about, according to a new interview in the ahead of her new film, Landline__Landline: who she’s dating (: who she’s dating ( ahead of her new film, maybe Jon Hamm?), the Saturday Night Live gaffe that got her fired, how women should or should not look. But there is one thing she notably does want to talk about, and will use her platform to do so: the current political crisis in the hands of President Donald Trump.
“I have enough people following me on Twitter that if I want to support Planned Parenthood or say, ‘We have to impeach our president because he’s a criminal,’ I can reach people,” she said. She has more than 300,000 Twitter followers, to whom she regularly broadcasts missives of support to Planned Parenthood and retweets politicians like Kamala Harris.
But, according to Slate, it’s not just celebrities who have a responsibility to use whatever platform available: “Everybody should be speaking out because what’s going on is terrifying and despicable,” she continued. “It’s really an emergency.” Over his first six months as president, Trump has set an embarrassing track record, in the estimation of many historians, marred by his staff’s incompetence, his own unchecked online presence, and ineffectual, if not actively damaging, policy decisions—and he’s done it all with an administration haunted by nepotism, including his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner in official advising capacities.
Slate is not the first to speak out against the first family—Scarlett Johansson, who depicted Ivanka on SNL, described her as "cowardly," while comedian Sarah Silverman slid into the first daughter's DMs to encourage her to take a more active stance in supporting women's rights in the White House agenda.
And in her new interview, Slate drives this point home. “I think that Ivanka Trump is a fake feminist who will go down in history as someone who really betrayed human beings and who should be ashamed of herself,” she told the Guardian. “I’m ashamed of her. I think she’s really gross and her husband as well.”
Here, a bit of context is warranted. To be more precise: While Kushner has been tasked with solving peace in the Middle East, first daughter Ivanka’s role as senior adviser is more amorphous. A recent New York Times profile described her as among the few individuals who can change her father’s mind; “she can effectively convey criticism to a man who often refuses it from others,” several insiders told the paper.
While Ivanka could be the one to temper her father’s xenophobic, racist policies and statements, there’s been little sign that she’s exercised those powers at all Instead, she’s hawked her namesake brand while making official appearances and made dubious forays into legislation supporting paid family leave, her flagship agenda that her own employees have alleged she only reluctantly supported at her label.
It’s been widely cited that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump, and while it’s not clear what made that majority ally themselves with someone who has been accused of sexual assault—and in fact confessed to harassment on tape—Ivanka Trump’s outspoken support of her father, her active role on the campaign trail and in his administration, may have made him more palatable to many women in the run-up to the election. If he has the backing of an accomplished professional woman like Ivanka, he couldn’t be all that bad after all, right?
In Slate and the view of many, especially progressives, this makes Ivanka more insidious, for her feminism is a meaningless buzzword she uses devoid of its history or purpose . Her support of her father doesn’t make either of them okay—and Jenny Slate is here to remind you.
Watch: Jenny Slate discusses the strange importance of '90s film Joe Versus the Volcano: