Celebrities came out in force for the Women’s March on January 23rd, the day after Inauguration Day when President Donald Trump was sworn in. They also stirred up more than their fair share of controversy and scandal. Ashley Judd recited the controversial “Nasty Woman” poem and set off all kinds of firestorms, but Madonna was even booed for her passionate words about bombing the White House, for which she quickly apologized.
We now know that outside of the march in D.C. millions of people — men, women, and children — all marched in various locations both in the U.S. and around the world. And, many of the men and women who participated made it clear that this was not the end- it was only the beginning of taking action, protesting, and protecting the rights and people they hold dear. Click through to see which stars took action.
Emma Watson In DC’s Positive Vibe
With her major claim to fame being her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson has come into her own over the last few years, and has been recognized as a feminist activist with her Feminism Book Club and also for her role as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, where she participated in the HeForHer campaign to advocate gender equity.
Watson is 26 years old, and has already been named to as one of Time‘s “100 most influential people in the world.” Jill Abramson has also noted Watson’s “gutsy, smart take on feminism.” But, you see a whole new dimension to Emma Watson as she flew from England to Washington DC with her mother, all to participate in the Women’s March. Watson said that the turnout was “incredibly heartening and it feels incredibly positive.”
Natalie Portman – We Should All Be Feminists
Yep, Natalie Portman was noticeably pregnant and as beautiful as ever, as she wore a t-shirt that said, “We Should All Be Feminists.” As part of her participation in the Women’s March, she was surrounded by so many fellow celebrities and friends, as she took the stage and said, “I want to thank our new president, you just started a revolution.”
Kerry Washington was also at the event and said that she was inspired by Portman’s speech. Portman challenged the crowd of marchers to seek leadership positions and to support other women who do so. She said, “We need to demand freedom from fear over our bodies and control over our own bodies.”
Alicia Keys Takes The Stage
Alicia Keys is an internationally-renowned singer, songwriter, pianist and actress. She’s won 15 Grammy Awards and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide. She has been an activist on the forefront of several important causes, including her Keep A Child Alive foundation, which supports families affected by HIV/AIDS.
She joined the Women’s March in Washington DC, as one of the key speakers, taking the stage to encourage the audience to embrace the “feminine.” She said, “We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise!” She also performed her “Girl on Fire” single, changing the lyrics a bit for the “These girls are on fire.”
Drew Barrymore Stands For Her Daughters
You may remember her for her role in ET as a kid, or any of the other memorable starring parts in Never Been Kissed and Ever After (and so many others)through the years. Her participation in the Women’s March wasn’t just for herself. It was for her daughters too.
“I love women,” Barrymore wrote via Instagram. “I live for my two daughters. And I am full of pride and unity with all women today.” Her daughter, Olive, also marched, sitting atop her father’s shoulders with her very-own sign. Barrymore also posted another note, related to the appearance of her extended family at the Women’s March: “Let’s let this fire burn brighter every day and do not let it fade. Let’s take it all the way! We owe it to everyone who has already fought for dignity and freedom. Let’s show all the girls that to become a woman is the most powerful thing!”
Madonna Draws Controversy
Madonna is an internationally renowned singer, actress, and businesswoman. She was one of the key speakers on stage as the Women’s March, which she called a “revolution of love and a refusal, as women, to accept this new age of tyranny.” Ever ready to be the spark that sets off no end of glorious controversy and debate, she said, “To the detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything…” maybe you can guess the rest!
Her string of f-bombs were one thing… but she got into even more hot water with her quip: “Yes I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything.” She quickly apologized, saying that she’s not “a violent person” and that it’s important to hear (and understand) her entire speech. Perhaps the best way to reinforce her point is to look at how she led the crowds in chanting “We choose love.” Madonna also performed “Express Yourself” and “Human Nature.”
Cher Stands With Alicia Keys
Cher is a famous American actress and singer, known for a wide range of roles and her distinctive singing voice. She won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and a special CFDA Fashion Award, among several other honors. And, she was there in solidarity at the Women’s March in Washington DC. She’d famously threatened to “leave the planet” if Donald Trump became President.
Instead, she told People: “I’m here because I want to lend my voice. I want to give support and let people know that this was important enough for me to come and hear them and help them.” Like so many of the other participants in the march, she wanted to inspire change, and encourage action. “We can make them hear our voice,” she says. “We can join organizations. We can keep the fight up. We have to keep this fight up. We can’t become complacent.”
Always outspoken as a women’s rights activist, Lena Dunham is an actress, writer, producer, and director. Her first book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, was published in 2014. She also launched Lenny Letter, a feminist online newsletter, in 2015.
Lena tweeted: “We march to show our struggles are not isolated, but bound together by rainbow thread. I don’t rise if you don’t rise.” She also wrote a commemorative poem, based on the advent of the Women’s March, which starts off with “Donald Trump only recognizes the humanity of women who look like his daughter, but after this weekend he better know that we are all his daughters, rebellious ones…”
Amy Schumer Embraces Orange
Comedian Amy Schumer was easy to spot at the Women’s March in Washington DC. She and her pals Jessica Chastain, Chloe Moretz, Madonna, and Amber Tamblyn were wearing bright-orange NASA astronaut suits. So, yeah, she stood out in the sea of pink.
It wasn’t the first time she’d worn the outfit, though. Schumer also wore it during her interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, saying that she wanted to be ready for anything. Apparently, the suit represented lots of things, including a statement against gun violence, a recognition of how far women have come, a protest to Trump’s desire to change NASA’s direction, a nod to Trump’s orange skin, and more. She also carried a Hillary Clinton figurine in her pocket.
Miley Cyrus No Stranger To Scandal
Miley Cyrus has been at the center of one scandal after another, so it may shock you that she wasn’t the one to be criticized or booed at the Women’s March in Los Angeles. She reportedly attended the march in support of her Happy Hippie Foundation, which benefits homeless and LGBT youth, as well as other vulnerable populations.
At the event, Miley said, “To know that I’m not alone in this dream that we are going to see become a reality brings me such hope, and hope is a crucial component in creating the world that we want to live in.” She got a bit emotional, as she said, “We have to never give up. We are living proof that we are stronger together. I just want you guys to all know that the glass ceiling has already been broken.”
Charlotte Church Hints Where She Came From
Charlotte Church is a famous singer who recently announced that she was asked to perform in the Inaugural events, for President Donald Trump, which she declined, calling him “a tyrant” and instigating a Twitter back-and-forth with Piers Morgan.
She joined a growing list of A-list performers who had declined the opportunity to be a part of the Inauguration. The Trump team neither confirmed nor denied that she had been asked. Instead, she joined the millions of people who participated in the Women’s March, holding her handwritten sign.
Sir Ian McKellan With Perfect Facepalm
You may know English actor, Sir Ian McKellan, for his roles in Lord of the Rings and X-Men. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and two Critics’ Choice Awards. He’s also well-known as an activist.
For his sign at the Women’s March, McKellen held the perfect image. It was a photo of Star Trek’s Captain Jean Luc Picard sitting with his head in his hands in disgrace. He also posted, “The Women’s March in London was the longest I have been on… ” In the continuation, he wrote, “The Women and their allies had devised their own visual protests, hand-written and improvised at home, expressing their personal reaction to the new President, whose name in schoolyard English means ‘to break wind,’ appropriately.”
Ashley Judd Recites ‘Nasty Woman’
Ashley Judd comes from the infamous singing family, but she’s also become a famous actress and model, as well as a passionate activist. When she appeared on stage at the Women’s March in Washington, she recited the “Nasty Woman” poem, by 19-year old Nina Donovan.
Her appearance and recitation on stage was applauded and criticized, with the YWCA in El Paso even being urged to dismiss her from her speaker role at the 2017 Luncheon, to which CEO Elke Cummings responded, saying, “We are moving forward with her as speaker.” Ashley’s recitation also set off a firestorm with her sister, Wynonna Judd, who refused to support her sister’s actions.
Chelsea Handler Goes To War!
Chelsea Handler is a comedian, actor, writer, TV host, and producer, most recently known for the Netflix: Chelsea Does. After the most recent election, she no longer sees herself as a Democrat, but she does see this as “war,” saying: “We are all here for the same reason today: To stand with hundreds of thousands of women, to demonstrate respect for our freedom, human rights, safety, and health, otherwise known as ‘Things we thought we were done marching for, but apparently we’re not.'”
Handler is also just one of the activists who has been recently chastised for hurting the anti-Trump cause with harsh rhetoric. When asked if she’d have First Lady Melania Trump on her show, she replied, “To talk about what? She can barely speak English!”
Charlize Theron Joins The March
The Women’s March was an emotional day for everyone, so it’s not surprising that Charlize Theron was captured with tears in her eyes. She wasn’t the only one! Chelsea Handler and Mary McCormack posted: “What happened didn’t just open our eyes – it slapped us across the face. Now we’re awake… and more galvanized, focused and motivated to fight.”
Theron joined Handler and McCormack at the Women’s March. As she has said in the past, “We just need to put our foot down. This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn’t mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you’re doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way.”
John Legend & Wife As Multi-City Team
Chrissy Teigen was part of the Women’s March in Washington DC, and John Legend participated in Utah. Of course, Legend was also clearly sporting his “I’m with Meryl” sticker, and he has been posting his discontent via Twitter, with posts like: “He lies about the most obvious [expletive]. We know he doesn’t read or write anything beyond 140 characters.”
His presence at the march clearly demonstrated how much can be accomplished when everyone works together. He’s famous for saying: “All men should be feminist. If men care about women’s rights the world will be a better place.”
Rebecca Hall – Messy & Complicated
Rebecca Hall addressed the crowd outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square during the Women’s March. She’s known for her roles in The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe), The Town, The Awakening, Frost/Nixon, Iron Man 3, Transcendence, and The Gift.
Hall said, “We need to be messy and sloppy and three-dimensional and complicated, and that’s writing a strong woman.” She also said, “What we’re all bad at admitting is that if it were not for arbitrary circumstances, of gender, time and place, social and historical context, and brain chemistry, we all have the potential to go over the edge.”
Peter Capaldi Brings Dr. Who Dimension
It seems even more appropriate that Dr. Who connections would find their way into the Women’s March since the show has been incredibly empowering to female characters. There have and will likely always be those claims, though, that the idea of a time lord plucking a young companion out from the depths of obscurity and taking her on a journey through time and space is misogynist and just, well, idiotic.
As for Peter Capaldi, he’s already addressed at least some of the sexism and ageism on the Dr. Who set. He’s already well-established in his career, so it’s also very quite possible (even likely) that he’d face no obvious repercussions for speaking out. But, he’s also a serious actor, which means he knows that it does him no real favors to have a young woman ridiculously draping herself round him. It wouldn’t really be a truly epic event without the Doctor, though.
Carrie Fisher Was There In Spirit Too
With the all-too-recent and too soon loss of Carrie Fisher, it was still evident that both celebrities and fans could feel her presence at the Women’s March, both in Washington DC and elsewhere around the world. Mark Hamill captured a few of the photos and the sentiment. He’s right too. She would have been there, among the crowds, resisting.
One of the many signs and posters said: “Women Belong In The Resistance.” As an interesting side note, Hayley Gilmore was the designer of those Princess-Leia/Carrie-Fisher/Resistance posters, and she reportedly didn’t receive any compensation for her designs. You’ve just kinda gotta agree with what Angela Watercutter writes for Wired: “As a feminist icon, Fisher—who never tired of pointing out that Leia slain Jabba while wearing that damned bikini—would have been proud to see so many women making Leia such a powerful symbol.”
Melissa Benoist Brings Supergirl’s ‘Steel’
You probably know Melissa Benoist for her role as Supergirl in the increasingly popular TV series and she brought an epic “Woman of Steel” sign for the Women’s March. Who but an out-of-this-world Supergirl could pull off a sign like that?
Benoist flew down from Vancouver to Washington DC with her sister and best friend to participate in the Women’s March. “It just seemed like a very straightforward way to say something pretty poignant,” she said of her “Hey Donald.” And, of the march, she said: “It was just an awe-inspiring event that I will never forget, and I’m so proud I was a part of it.”
Vanessa Hudgens & Sis Roar
Vanessa Hudgens is a famous American singer and actress, who shot to fame with Disney’s High School Musical. Vanessa and her sister, Stella, both headed out to the Women’s March, with a sign “I am Woman hear me roar!” and shirts, all of which caused quite a stir.
Hudgens didn’t always see herself as a feminist, but a few years ago, she said that Beyoncé helped her to understand what it was really all about. She sees the “girl power” and says, “There’s this new wave of feminists coming up that are truly about equal rights for women.”