The star opens up about her political beliefs and why she won't back down

By Megan Johnson
May 25, 2016 10:15 PM
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Rashida Jones is used to being told to “shut up.”

The Angie Tribeca star returned to her alma mater Harvard University on Wednesday afternoon to serve as the guest speaker for the class of 2016’s Class Day celebration, and the actress didn’t hold back during her speech.

“I’ve been often told to shut up because I’m a stupid celebrity,” Jones told the crowd. “But you know what? I don’t care.”

Sporting a blunt bob haircut, black rimmed glasses and a black and cream colored dress, Jones took the stage in Harvard Yard to give an enthusiastic speech that had both hilarious moments (she managed to slip in a quote from DJ Khaled and reminisced about the time a frozen yogurt machine was installed into her dorm’s dining hall) and also got serious, discussing how she refuses to back down from her left-leaning political convictions.

“Now is the time to be loud. Louder than the loudest troll on the Internet,” said Jones, who graduated from the university in 1997. “We need it right now. People tend to think its annoying for celebrities to be vocal about politics … but I don’t care. There’s too much to fight for. The equality and respect that people before us have fought for and the laws put in place to protect these things are at risk of slipping away.”

Harvard alum Rashida Jones attends the Harvard Class Day ceremonies as a guest speaker on Wednesday.
CJ GUNTHER/EPA

Jones touched on a variety of social issues, mentioning her frustration with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Young, unarmed black men are being killed in record numbers. States are passing laws that are systematically stripping away women’s reproductive rights. A presidential candidate is encouraging us to be violent and racist, and wants to ensure that there be no gun-free zones in this country,” she said.

Jones is the fourth consecutive Harvard alum to give the Class Day address. Her dad, music legend Quincy Jones, had the the honor back when Jones graduated in 1997. Looking back on her own graduation day (Jones says she slept through her alarm and was hung over), the actress managed to give this year’s graduates a dose of real talk.

“This commencement is literally the only time someone will be rooting for your success. America loves underdogs, and you are not underdogs. it doesn’t matter if you’re the first person in your family to graduate college and your grandma is here crying right now. No one cares,” Jones joked. “Because now, you’re Harvard grads.”

Advertisement