“Who’s Sophia Bush?” is a question asked by people who don’t watch a lot of millennial-friendly hit television or keep up with an online social media presence of 1.9 million followers on Twitter and 2.9 million followers on Instagram that the actress has turned into a constant, and constantly intense megaphone for political activism. Some may be tuning in for news about her show, or a shot of her on a red carpet, but when she tweets, more than twice as many people see it than anything that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Senate Minority Chuck Schumer put out. (Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, John McCain, Elizabeth Warren and Marco Rubio are the only senators who have her beat.)
Bush isn’t related to the family that produced two presidents, and it takes about two seconds talking to her to figure out that she’s a liberal. But it doesn’t take much longer to see the amount of time she spends thinking and reading about the issues she cares about, and regularly lights up into causes for people outside the usual run of political obsessives—“People who have values and are champions of equality need to be speaking up about why that’s important,” she said.
“It’s like, I want to walk into Congress and raise my hand and go, ‘Hey, bros, if I’m expected to pay for your Viagra, you sure as shit are going to pay for my mammograms.’ What is happening? This is insane,” she told me in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast, hours after the House passed its Obamacare replacement plan.
As for President Donald Trump, she said she can’t believe people have stopped talking about the sexual harassment complaints against him or the “Access Hollywood” tape.
“We have a sexual predator in the Oval Office,” she said. “It’s like Bill Cosby all over again.”
We sat down in New Orleans during the technology- and activism-focused Collision conference, which she attended in a Hillary Clinton-homage red pants suit and “Solidarité Feminism” T-shirt to talk about proudly embracing feminism and what she faces as both a woman in her industry and a Democrat who isn’t shy about standing up for what she believes in.
Bush, whose day job is playing the detective Erin Lindsay on the show Chicago P.D., was at the Women’s March in Washington the day after Trump’s inauguration and has been part of other events, but more often she turns to social media.
“It’s not a strategy. It’s … I have a feeling and I talk about it. It’s the same as if I’m having dinner with friends and some insane thing has happened in the political arena that day and I come to dinner and I’m like, ‘Can you fucking believe this?’” she told me. “I’m screaming on the internet and I’m screaming at home and I’m also like sharing things that I find inspiring and beautiful.”
She’s noticed a change among her followers since November.
Read rest of the article here, where you can also listen to the podcast episode.