Unlike celebrities like Oprah and Emmy Rossum who turned on the Trump family when it became fashionable to do so, actor Hugh Jackman hasn’t disavowed his longtime friendship with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
After making headlines when the power couple attended his 50th birthday bash, the Wolverine star defended his relationship with Jared and Ivanka on Tuesday’s episode of “The View.”
Friends over politics
“They’ve always been so kind and generous,” Jackman said, recalling an incident when Ivanka wrote a congratulatory handwritten note to his late mother-in-law Fay Duncan when she won the Order of Australia medal for her charity work.
Jackman, who recently wowed audiences with his performance in 2017’s The Greatest Showman, said he doesn’t understand why people let partisan difference affect their relationships.
“People question, ‘Really?’ And I’m kinda like, ‘OK, let’s say your friends of 15 years’ father became president. Whether you agree with the politics or not, do you just dump your friends?” Jackman said. “I’m like, ‘no, no you don’t.’ I don’t understand that.”
According to Page Six, Ivanka and Jared’s appearance at Jackman’s birthday party made some “liberal types” at the event squeamish, although a source at the party said that there were no personal confrontations. “There was no snubbing. Everyone was polite,” the anonymous source said.
Jackman defended his relationship to Page Six, as well. “I’ve been friends with them for 15 years so I am sure they were happy not to talk politics for a night.”
Jackman hasn’t shied from sharing his relationship with the Trump family on social media. The Australian star recently tweeted a photo of the First Daughter during a couples’ night out, and Ivanka was spotted catching up with Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, as she exited their New York City apartment.
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 15, 2015
The Hollywood buzz surrounding Jackman’s 15-year relationship with Ivanka comes just as the political drama The Front Runner was released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Although the film opened to a poor showing on its Election Night debut, there are whispers of Oscar aspiration for Jackman, who plays disgraced 1988 presidential hopeful Gary Hart.
Box office bust or Oscar aspirations?
Of course, some pundits couldn’t help but tie the A-lister’s relationship with the president’s daughter to The Front Runner’s box office performance. “It is hard to say if Hugh’s relationship with Ivanka and Jared or the less than stellar reviews have hurt the film,” said Danny Deraney, the owner of a high-profile Hollywood talent agency. He admitted that the release date could be affecting ticket sales, though.
“Jackman has had a pretty much pristine reputation and is almost always well received,” Deraney told The Mercury News. “Despite that, the company you keep, no matter who you are or how great reputation is, can be perceived as a negative by the public or for that matter, adoring fans.”
Hollywood’s liberal elite should take notes on how to separate their business and personal relationship from politics. In an era when celebrity award shows have turned into “resistance” festivals, and out-of-work actors seek to revive their careers by shamelessly throwing mud at the White House, Jackman stands out as a man of class and integrity.