These Celebrities Got Real About Economic Inequality

Photo: Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Celebrities might not be the first people who come to mind when you think about economic inequality, but a number of A-listers have made powerful statements on the subject.

And their words matter. For 21% of millennial women, economic inequality is the most important issue this election season, according to Refinery29 and ABC News' Vote Your Values poll.

The topic is important to the 2016 presidential candidates, as well. Donald Trump's tax plan includes "reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich," according to his campaign website. In 2015, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that "99% of all new income generated today goes to the top 1%," and he's frequently discussed income inequality on the campaign trail. And former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also proposed increasing tax rates for the wealthy and raising the minimum wage.

Some of Hollywood's biggest names have spoken out on the topic, either by sharing their own pre-fame backstories, or by encouraging equal pay for women. Click through to see what celebrities have said about income inequality. We'll update this slideshow with more viewpoints, so check back as the election season continues.
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Photo: Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Matt McGorry

"We all KNOW that women make less than men (and minority women make even less than white women)," McGorry wrote in a Facebook post in 2015. "In an imaginary world, even if the 78 cent statistic wasn’t completely accurate, we still KNOW that there's a disparity."
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Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, and Maya Rudolph

In a 2014 video directed by Adam McKay, three cartoon alpacas — voiced by Poehler, Silverman, and Rudolph — help explain income inequality in the United States. The video, released by We the Economy, features the alpacas entering the workforce after graduation. The alpaca whose father works at the lollipop company is given a six-figure management position, while the other two are told there aren't job opportunities for them with the company — at least, not in their country.

"The rich pay lower tax rates than ever, but minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation," Poehler's alpaca says in the video. The clip also features a lollipop explaining how the U.S. economy has changed since the 1970s — check it out for yourself, above.
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
Rosario Dawson

"It's a very complex situation when you think about what are black women making in comparison to white women, what are Latin women making, what are Asian women making in comparison, and it gets even more convoluted," Dawson told MTV News in 2015, speaking about the Hollywood wage gap. "I'm glad that this conversation is being brought up in such a popular, fresh, and strong way. I think that's the way it's going to make people really think about what it means for families and generations when people aren't getting fairly paid for their services. Male, female, young or old, when people aren't properly being paid for the job, what that does for their children and their access and opportunities…it just builds up."
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Photo: Abel Fermin/REX/Shutterstock.
Mark Ruffalo

"Income inequalities in cities have increased dramatically since 1980," Ruffalo tweeted in 2015, along with the link to a Huffington Post article about the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals.



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Photo: AGF/REX/Shutterstock.
Pope Francis

"Inequality is the root of social evil," Pope Francis tweeted in 2014.
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Photo: Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
America Ferrera

"I'm voting for Hillary because no candidate in this race has done more to empower this first-generation American millennial woman, raised by a single immigrant mother, and educated in public schools, to grow up and contribute back to society — even if I needed a free lunch along the way," Ferrera wrote in an op-ed for the Huffington Post in April. "She believes in the potential of a girl like me. And I believe in the potential of a president like her."

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