This is not your typical Movies blog post.
Then again, Sir Patrick Stewart is not your typical actor.
[Photo: REUTERS/Dominic Lipinski]
More on that in a moment.
There is a long history of "Hollywood activism" -- practically as old as Tinseltown itself -- of actors, writers and other entertainment folks engaging in politics and world affairs. Sir Charlie Chaplin was deported for his leftward leanings and scores more blacklisted for perceived Communist ties. During that Red Scare, the president of the Screen Actors Guild -- a Democrat at the time -- helped both Sen. Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee; he would later become a Republican, governor of California and one of our most beloved presidents. Ronald Reagan had many Hollywood friends at his side when he ran for office, just as Jack Kennedy did before him and Barack Obama after. Virtually every star of the silver screen took part in propaganda films and sold bonds during World War II. From Bob Hope and the USO to Jerry Lewis and the MDA to tsunami and Katrina relief to just a few nights ago with the Healing in the Heartland concert.
We've watched Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie use their fame to do great works for UNICEF around the world. We've seen Jane Fonda and Sean Penn use their fame to make great big fools of themselves around the world. We've watched Gopher go to Congress and the Terminator become the Governator. We've watched countless celebrities put on T-shirts with slogans and take on pet causes, for good, bad or sometimes ugly.
This isn't about any of them.
As you've read by now, I've had a deep love for the Star Trek universe. That includes Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in four of the films. I am connected to Stewart in a deeper, more painful way, too. You need no prior knowledge of his past -- or mine -- to understand when you watch this video.
It's evident that Stewart's passion and pain are indeed real. Even for a thespian of his caliber, there's no doubt that his genuine emotions transcended this moment and empowers his activism. He earnestly -- and, perhaps unintentionally -- makes it clear that, on these issues, he's certainly the real deal.
Blogging protocol dictates that I end with a clever twist on "Make it so," his signature line from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
This moment deserves better than that.