Leonardo DiCaprio Lends His Voice to Increase Voter Participation in New Video
PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at DiCaprio's video with Vox Media for a new limited series called, Whose Vote Counts, Explained, which is produced by Vox and Vox Media Studios, in partnership with his Appian Way Productions. Voting resources are available throughout the series from several organizations including When We All Vote, which is Michelle Obama's nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing participation in every election.
"In 1776, voting was a privilege, almost exclusively for white men with property," DiCaprio, 45, says.
"In the founding constitution, you will not find the right to vote. This right to vote has been a battlefield in American democracy," says a Black female voter.
"If your vote didn't matter, why the hell are so many systems and people trying so hard to prevent you from voting?" a Black male voter asks.
"All of us may have been created equal. But we'll never actually be equal until we all vote. So don't wait," DiCaprio says.
DiCaprio's video is one of three short-form episodes. The other two are narrated by Selena Gomez and John Legend. Stacey Abrams, Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are also featured.
DiCaprio is among the many celebrities who have been encouraging voter registration ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Finneas, DJ Khaled, Billy Porter, Julianne Hough, Usher, Quavo, Loren Gray, and Nicky Jam have all participated in the international advocacy organization Global Citizen and voter registration organization HeadCount's non-partisan Just Vote campaign, which works to to "engage 1 million young voters and get 50,000 young people registered ahead of the 2020 elections."
In addition, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the casts of One Tree Hill and Will & Grace, have taken part in the I Am a Voter campaign – a nonpartisan movement dedicated to encouraging voter participation ahead of the election.
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Mrs. Obama, who launched the We All Vote initiative in 2018, has been vocal about the importance of voting.
In an interview with Shonda Rhimes for Harper’s Bazaar, published in June, she said, "Voting is so much bigger than one election, one party, or one candidate. It’s great to feel inspired by candidates and the visions they put forth, but it is by no means a prerequisite to casting a ballot. Because at the end of the day, someone is going to be making the decisions about how much money your schools get and how tax money is distributed. Voting gives you a say in those matters."
Since leaving the White House, Mrs. Obama has made voting access a major focus with her When We All Vote initiative — work that has increased relevance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In May, the mother of two also launched a new nonpartisan coalition of mayors from around the country who will work together to continue to push for safe voting policies, including online voter registration, early in-person voting and mail-in voting.
As she told Rhimes: “Nobody should have to choose between their health and making their voice heard.”
Whose Vote Counts, Explained is available on Netflix.
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