Whether she’s campaigning for action on climate change, speaking out about her fluid sexuality or getting arrested for protesting the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Shailene Woodley has never been afraid to fight for causes she believes in.
Now, the 25-year-old actor and activist has revealed how she plans to move forward in Donald Trump’s America.
“I’m going to do every single thing I can to stand up to fascism, because that is not what I believe in,” Woodley said at US ELLE’s Women in Television event in Los Angeles. “That is not what I am here in this world to support and to birth new children into.”
Trump will be inaugurated as president on Friday 20 January. California-born Woodley – who was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton’s progressive rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, during the US election – said that the American people need to start having serious discussions about issues that shape their country.
“Why is racism such a big deal in America?” she asked. “Why does that systematic problem exist and how did it start? How do we address that at the root cause of the problem?”
The same questions need to be asked “with feminism,” Woodley said. “Same thing with LGBTQ rights.”
Woodley, who will soon be seen starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in new HBO series Big Little Lies, also observed the importance of having constructive conversations with people of different views and political affiliations.
“I stand against hate, I stand against greed, I stand against patriarchy,” she said. “I stand against anything that puts another down in a negative way. But I do stand for compassion and I do stand for empathy. Even if I don’t understand why you believe certain things, I want to have a conversation about why you do.”
The actor said that her desire to create positive change was one of the reasons she signed on to play Big Little Lies, which follows a group of women all struggling to maintain the impression of a perfect life.
“To have a show, especially now that everything has gone down in our political climate, where women are at the forefront, but it’s not preaching feminism, and it’s not preaching a certain idealism – we don’t see enough projects where you just get to know the inner psyche of a female,” she said.
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Woodley isn’t the only celebrity to speak out about the importance of staying politically engaged once Trump takes office. After the Republican’s election victory, Mary J. Blige urged her Twitter followers not to “accept hatred as a reflection of who you are… Keep living and striving to do and be better”.
Katy Perry, meanwhile, who campaigned passionately for Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the election, has said that the defeat of her “hero” left her more motivated than ever “to fight against social injustice and to promote equality and kindness as best I know how”.
Images: Rex Features