Jennifer Lawrence has been on a political journey all her life, and strangely enough, one small line in a sitcom was pivotal in opening her mind. The actor got real about her complicated history with politics in Vogue’s September 2022 cover story, detailing how she grew up identifying as a Republican but has since switched to consistently voting blue, even if it’s caused a rift with her family. Lawrence attributed her political shift to a lot of factors, one of which was an old 30 Rock joke that helped make her see the Democratic party in a different light.
Lawrence’s intense Vogue interview got very political because it was conducted shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade back in June. The star revealed the bombshell ruling dug up long-standing frustrations she’s had with her family’s politics. “I don’t want to disparage my family,” Lawrence said. “I know that a lot of people are in a similar position with their families. How could you raise a daughter from birth and believe that she doesn’t deserve equality? How?” She went on to say she often texts her family to try to get them to understand her liberal ideology, but they don’t respond to her political messages.
Though Lawrence didn’t reveal exactly when this rift between herself and her family began, she noted it reached a fever pitch when Donald Trump was elected president in 2016. But Lawrence had been distancing herself from her conservative upbringing years before Trump. In fact, she credited a 2007 episode of 30 Rock with first making her realize she might be a Democrat. When she was 16, a line in the sitcom stuck out to her. It was specifically towards the end of Season 1, Episode 15, when Liz Lemon’s coworker is surprised that she choreographed an ultra-patriotic performance. “Why do you sound so surprised? I love America,” Lemon remarked. “Just because I think gay dudes should be allowed to adopt kids and we should all have hybrid cars doesn't mean I don't love America.” The statement resonated with Lawrence.
Ironically enough, the very episode that made Lawrence first consider leaving the Republican party behind also featured her current political antichrist. During her Vogue interview, Lawrence revealed she has recurring nightmares about conservative pundit Tucker Carlson. Minutes before the Liz Lemon line that changed it all for Lawrence, Carlson appeared as himself in that same 30 Rock episode, debating a confused Jenna Maroney after a recent scandal.
Obviously, that one episode of 30 Rock wasn’t the main thing that made Lawrence break away from her family’s political leanings. She went on to describe how seeing extreme wealth disparity in both America and more countries she had filmed in strongly influenced her liberal ideology. But it’s definitely fun to look back at that 2007 episode of TV through the eyes of a future superstar who’s just starting to realize what she wants to stand for.