Trumpism and Brexit are often said to have failed to bring people together, and now the twin votes are being blamed for shattering one celebrity couple’s love affair.
The British actor Michael Sheen has claimed that he and the comedian Sarah Silverman broke up because of their passion for politics, and it wasn’t that they disagreed.
Both, in fact hold similarly anti-populist views, but, in a new interview, Sheen says that he and Silverman parted ways because she wanted to spend more time in America engaged in her I Love You, America project, which challenges Trumpism, and he wanted to be engaged in anti-Brexit campaigns in the U.K.
Sheen, who has previously compared the rise of populism to the rise of Nazism in Germany in the ’30s, told the Daily Telegraph that he was inspired to become more politically active by the Brexit referendum.
At the time, he and Silverman were living together in the U.S., but the votes signaled the end of their four-year relationship.
“We both had very similar drives, and yet to act on those drives pulled us in different directions—because she is American and I’m Welsh.
“After the Brexit vote, and the election where Trump became president, we both felt in different ways we wanted to get more involved. That led to her doing her show I Love You, America, and it led to me wanting to address the issues that I thought led some people to vote the way they did about Brexit, in the area I come from and others like it.
“I felt a responsibility to do something, but it did mean coming back here—which was difficult for us, because we were very important to each other. But we both acknowledge that each of us had to do what we needed to do.”
Sheen has since been working with a range of grassroots groups in his hometown in Wales aiming to combat inequality, which includes supporting credit unions and paying for research into ways of funding local journalism.
As the Telegraph says, Sheen “sounds a little wistful” about politics coming before love.