September 17th marks the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Last year when the protests broke out, we were slightly confused when a barrage of insanely rich celebrities hypocritically threwn their support behind the movement. Occupy Wall Street's slogan "We are the 99%" is derived from the idea that the protesters represent the difference in wealth that separates the top 1% of society from every other American citizen. Occupy has defined the top 1% of Americans as anyone who with an annual household income greater than $593,000. So why are multi-millionaire celebrities announcing their support and grab headlines? And why is Occupy Wall Street allowing rich celebrities to co-op their message? For the record, here is a list of the 10 richest celebrities hypocritically supporting Occupy Wall Street. Oh and by the way, these celebrities have a combined net worth of $1.255 billion…
- #1 Yoko Ono Net Worth - $500 million.
- In several interviews Yoko Ono has stated "I love Occupy Wall Street! John is sending his smile to Occupy Wall Street. I am sending my love to Occupy Wall Street. We are all working together." Interesting words for a woman who has essentially done nothing of merit for 30 years except inherit a fortune from one of the most famous singers in music history.
- #2 Russell Simmons Net Worth - $325 million
- It should be noted that on top of being a hip-hop mogul, Russell Simmons happens to be the founder of a high fee credit card company called UniRush Financial Services. That doesn't seem like something Occupy protesters would be happy about.
- #3 Roseanne Barr Net Worth - $80 million
- Last year Roseanne Barr famously went on Russian Television and said that she thinks anyone who has more than $100 million should be beheaded. Interesting that her net worth is $80 million. I guess she doesnt make "the cut".
- #4 Deepak Chopra Net Worth - $80 million
- Deepak Chopra stated that #OWS is "turning anger into awareness". The fortune Chopra has made off his fluff filled books just turns me to anger.
- #5 Kanye West Net Worth - $70 million
- Last year when Kanye West showed up to support Occupy Wall Street, he arrived wearing hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of jewelry and clothing. I think Kanye didn't quite understand the message.
- #6 Alec Baldwin Net Worth - $65 million
- I actually love Alec Baldwin, I think he's great on 30 Rock where he earns $300,000 per episode. But he must understand the irony of making so much money from NBC which is owned jointly by two massive corporate conglomerates, GE and Comcast. Not to mention the fact that Baldwins earns millions each year endorsing a credit card company owned by a Fortune 500 financial services corporation.
- #7 Susan Sarandon Net Worth - $50 million
- #8 Michael Moore Net Worth - $50 million
- #9 Tim Robbins Net Worth - $50 million
- #10 Nancy Pelosi Net Worth - $35.5 million
Over the last year, guitarist Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine has positioned himself as one of the most active and vocal celebrity supporters of OWS. Morello has organized several large protests and concerts to help the Occupy movement. For the September 17th anniversary, Tom is planning to lead a massive protest march throughout New York City's financial district. The goal of this protest is to "disrupt traffic throughout the Financial District by creating a swirl of roving intersection occupations surrounding the Stock Exchange [in order to imagine] a world without Wall Street." Morello's goals seem slightly ironic when you consider his net worth is $30 million! $30 million makes Tom not only a standing member of the 1%, but he's more like the .001%. Meanwhile, Morello's Rage Against the Machine band mate Zack de la Rocha recently landed on our list of the richest lead singers in the world with a net worth of $25 million. De la Rocha has remained relatively quiet over the last year, but he did release a poem that was "dedicated to the Occupy movement whose courage is changing the world." In a further twist of hypocrisy, Zach's poem tells protesters "stay strong, we are winning." I'd love to see both Morello and de la Rocha donate their entire net worths and join the real ranks of the 99%. If that happened, we might take them more seriously.
When we originally published this article last year we were especially confused to hear that Roseanne Barr, a woman worth $80 million, announce on Russian Television that she wants to behead all rich people. We wrote an article where we described her statements as ironic, hypocritical, stupid and possibly masochistic. Fourteen minutes after we published the article Roseanne lashed out at us over twitter with a series of vulgar and ridiculous tweets calling us, for example, "lying piece of shit commies".
We clearly struck some sort of nerve with the former comedian/current nut farmer (true story). To be totally frank, we just don't understand why extremely wealthy celebrities continue to show up at Occupy Wall Street protests making speeches and offering encouragement over social networks and public airwaves. Celebrities do love attention, so maybe that's the only reason. But what we really don't understand is why anyone involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement would take these multi-millionaires seriously and allow them to participate in their cause. When the protesters marched through New York's wealthiest neighborhoods to tour the homes of the millionaires and billionaires, Kanye West and Russell Simmons joined the march. This just seems wrong. Simmons and West most likely just walked downstairs from their own homes to join this protest of their very own neighbors. If you think either of these rap icons are sleeping in a park you would be dead wrong.
What are your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement? Do you support the cause? What do you think of celebrities who make big political statements? Let us know in the comments.