Mikhail Baryshnikov: #ITrustHer
Russia played a contentious role in the 2016 election even before American intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that the country acted covertly to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald Trump. In July of 2016, Trump publicly called on Russia to hack Clinton’s emails. And in September, he suggested that Vladimir Putin was “a leader far more than our President.” These comments–at best dangerously irresponsible and at worse, bordering on treason–demanded a response that would call out Trump for his recklessness while reinforcing Hillary Clinton as a thoughtful, experienced leader whose humanitarian track record showed that, contrary to the decades-old negative right wing frame, she was a candidate Americans could truly trust. ART NOT WAR found the perfect spokesman to condemn Trump’s cold war-style rhetoric: Mikhail Baryshnikov–a legendary artist who fled the U.S.S.R. after 25 years behind the Iron Curtain, became an American citizen, and inspired the world through his work. “Take it from one who knows,” says Baryshnikov in this powerful direct address. “Hundreds of thousands of people like me have fled countries led by dangerous totalitarian opportunists like Donald Trump. Don’t let that happen to our beautiful United States of America.” Our message from Baryshnikov earned 4.5 million views and reached an audience of almost 10 million, 68% of whom were women voters, our primary target audience. The video was shared on Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page and garnered millions of dollars of earned media on television (CNN) and the press (Hollywood Reporter, NY Times, Washington Post et al). Most importantly, Baryshnikov’s message struck a nerve with conservative voters, sparking heated discussion on Trump’s relationship to Russia that continues to this day.