Scarborough Country’s special co-host for Hollywood week, Heather Tom, talked to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on whether celebrities are expected to be role models. Plus, would Ben Affleck ever enter politics?
ON HOLLYWOOD BELIEFS
BEN AFFLECK: It’s not that Hollywood tries to push any agenda or anything. Hollywood is probably the most-responsive. And I’m sure your friend Joe Scarborough is a good, Adam Smith, free-market kind of guy. So, if anything, Hollywood probably reflects best the-sort of what pop culture is asking for and wants.
ON RUNNING FOR CONGRESS
HEATHER TOM: It’s been said that you’re going to take a run at Congress.
AFFLECK: Only against Joe Scarborough. I think this is a great country. I think politics is a wonderful—and it can be a wonderful form of public service. Too often, it’s corrupted and it becomes about winning.
What’s interesting to me would be to work on a campaign where you just
said, “Look, I’m going to tell the truth and run on issues and not worry about focus groups, polling, interest groups.”
ON BEING A ROLE MODEL
TOM: Do you think you, as a celebrity, have a responsibility to try and change people’s public opinion, try and open their minds a little bit?
AFFLECK: No, I don’t actually. I am embarrassed a lot of times when I hear celebrities speak. For whatever reason, they’ve been given a microphone, I guess because they’re famous and people know their names. It’s the same with athletes. It’s like, just because you’re a good basketball player doesn’t mean that you should be the person that we turn to, to figure out how to solve the budget deficit.
TOM: As a celebrity and as a role model, do you feel a certain responsibility to try and open people’s minds a little bit?
JENNIFER LOPEZ: I don’t know that we have that power, per se. I don’t know. I don’t think of myself in that kind of big way, where I can change people’s minds and all that. At the end of the day, I’m an actress and I love what I do. I’m a singer. And I hope that, whatever projects I do, whatever things I work on, whether it’s a movie or a song, whatever, that it just touches and entertains somebody.