2012 was arguably the year that pop culture – of which Hollywood is the gravitational center – and politics intersected and fueled each other more than ever before. The stories that defined America in 2012 were the ones that revealed just to what degree society’s movers and shakers now recognize how crucial Hollywood’s messages and pop culture influence are.
Here is just a partial list of notable pop culture/political collisions in 2012:
Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood delivered a quirky Republican convention address directed at President Obama, represented by an empty chair. It swiftly became a wildly popular cultural meme on both sides of the political fence.
In support of Obama’s reelection, Girls creator Lena Dunham narrated and appeared in an official campaign video called “My First Time,” in which she compared voting for the President to losing one’s virginity. Hers was only the most controversial of a slew of other pro-Obama videos put forth by Hollywood stars like Will Ferrell and Cher.
The music biz got into the act as well, whether intentionally or not. Just before his performance before our President himself, South Korea’s Psy, the “Gangnam Style” rapper behind the most-watched video in YouTube history, drew fire for an earlier rap in which he wished death upon American servicemen and their families. Megastar singer Katy Perry, wearing a skin-tight dress designed like a voting ballot with the box for Obama checked off, performed at his campaign rallies, and lesser music stars from aging rocker John Mellencamp to recording artist will.i.am also assisted in the last-minute campaigning.