During a songwriter roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter, John Legend spoke out against Donald Trump. Earlier this year, Legend was part of a Twitter feud with Donald Trump Jr. when the singer called the President-elect a racist.
Legend’s comments on Trump came up while discussing his Oscar acceptance speech in 2015 when he spoke out against the incarceration of black men in America. “I wouldn’t have gone up and made that same statement if it wasn’t for the fact that my song was written for a film, Selma, that represented an important moment in American history,” Legend said. The Ava DuVernay film was about the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights. “I had to honor the movement that was in the streets because the people were in the streets at that moment protesting Ferguson and all the other police shootings in our communities.”
From there, Legend noted that it’s “dangerous” to be silent and complacent at the current moment in American history. “It’s dangerous for us to think that it couldn’t happen to us like it happened to Germany in the Thirties and Forties. Trump is saying Hitler-level things in public. The world and America have done some atrocious things in the past, and we could do it again if we had the wrong leadership and if people of conscience don’t speak up.”
Tori Amos, who was also a part of the roundtable, weighed in on Legend’s thoughts as well. “We all have to deal with the DSA, the Divided States of America,” she said. “We have to deal with the emotions.”