When It Comes to Politics, Celebrities Need to Stay in Their Lane (This Means You, Ja Rule)

Ja Rule discussing the 2016 election? James Franco defending McDonald's? For the love of Beyoncé, make it stop.

Michael Arceneaux

When I saw a screencap of Ja Rule on the FOX Business network with the caption “Ja Rule on 2016 Election,” I thought Mariah Carey’s Adobe Photoshop staff members were playing around on their lunch break. Then reality hit. This was real, which means we now live in an age where Ja Rule is on national television playing the role of political pundit. That is one of the most depressing sentences I have ever typed.

Ja Rule was on the network to promote Magnises, a credit card company aimed at millennials. Because what thing do millennials need more right now than additional debt? In explaining how this business venture came to pass, Ja Rule explained, “It’s a very unique situation. Whenever you can marry the affluent with the less fortunate you get the birth child, which is called hip hop.” It’s called credit debt, beloved.

After that confusing statement came even more perplexing political punditry. On the 2016 presidential contenders, Mr. “It’s MURDA” said, “I like Hillary, but, you know, it’s crazy — because I also think Jeb is a good candidate as well, but I’m a Democrat so I will vote Hillary.” Yes, it is crazy to learn Ja Rule, a former incarcerated rapper,
thinks the guy who once said “we need more for-profit prisons” is a “good candidate.” I’m assuming this is about taxation.

Whatever the case, why in the hell is Ja Rule talking about the presidential election? On a business news network, no less. What next? Eightball and MJG will appear on CNN to discuss Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina entertain the already crowded GOP presidential field? Wait, let me shut up before that actually happens.

Then there is actor, not amazing writer, director, and presumable performance artist James Franco, who randomly rambled about McDonald’s being there for him in the Washington Post.

Franco, seemingly miffed by the bad press McDonald’s has generated in the last year or so, wrote what is the equivalent to a lengthy, oversharing Facebook comment under an articled posted. He dropped out of college and found a job at McDonald’s and ultimately quit the job after booking a Super Bowl Pizza Hut commercial. Uh, okay.

In this diatribe, Franco writes, “I hate to whistleblow, but everyone ate straight from the fry hopper.” And: “I got hit on by the hamburger cooker. He wanted to hook up in the bathroom, but he didn’t speak English, so he had someone translate for him.” Not to be outdone: “And I went on several dates as a thick-tongued kid from Bed-Stuy, even though my only brush with the actual place had been through watching Do the Right Thing.”

I just vomited in my mouth a little bit. What does this have to do with McDonald’s current situation? Why was this printed in the Washington Post as opposed to revealed in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel? Does Franco not even realize that even if he was a college dropout who needed money, he still had claim to certain socioeconomic and aesthetic advantages that put him ahead of some of the very fast food workers people are raging about needing to be paid better? The same goes for the food that’s been fed to po’ folks.

Of course he doesn’t because he’s writing about stealing fries, eating frozen apple pies, and being propositioned for sex by non-English speaking co-workers as some sort of nod to Mickey Ds. Someone tell me that Franco donated his check for this assignment to a less famous but overall more skilled writer? If not, I can send my PayPal info, James.

There other recent examples. Like rapper A$AP Ferg declaring racism to be over. The same can be said of Kanye West, who described racism as a “dated concept” — proving he doesn’t know much about racism and anything published about it in the last…I don’t know, decade, century, pick one. Or Gwyneth Paltrow, who tried and failed to do the SNAP challenge. I mean really, who better to teach us all about the cycle of poverty than an heiress?

For a while now, I’ve become exhausted with celebrities entering fields that aren’t their forte. I would never suggest celebrities only keep their thoughts light and bright, but I do know Teairra Mari once sang about the virtues of staying in one’s lane. At least some of the stars realize they’re often outplaced i.e. Lil’ Jon, who couldn’t believe he was asked to opine about President Obama and other things at Oxford College. That doesn’t make it any less bizarre.

If you believe in not living in a world that’s basically an old Dave Chappelle sketch, join me in asking producers and editors to cut the s–t.

Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop. For the love of Beyoncé, make it stop.