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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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British celebrities pick sides in Scottish referendum
Scotland's independence debate has gripped the world of show business, pitting heavyweights such as Paul McCartney and Sean Connery on opposite sides, but many remain tight-lipped over fears of repercussions.
On August 7, 200 celebrities signed their names to an open letter pleading the Scots to remain in the union.
These included former Beatle McCartney, rocker Mick Jagger, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and Hollywood stars such as Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Douglas and Bond actress Judi Dench.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been one of the most prolific celebrities in the "No" campaign, publishing the reasons for her decision on her website and engaging in lively debate on Twitter.
Rowling, who was born in England but has lived in Edinburgh for 21 years and is married to a Scot, donated one million pounds ($1.6 million, 1.3 million euros) to the anti-independence Better Together campaign.
"I doubt whether we will ever have been more popular, or in a better position to dictate terms, than if we vote to stay," Rowling wrote.
Taking a more humorous tone, "Austin Powers" actor Mike Myers spoke in the voice of his Scottish ogre character "Shrek" when asked his opinion of the campaign in a radio interview.
 
But other celebrities have proudly backed the idea of Scotland going it alone.
Former James Bond actor Connery declared that "as a Scot with a lifelong love of Scotland and the arts, I believe the opportunity of independence is too good to miss."
And British director Ken Loach, known for campaigning on social issues, urged Scotland to break free.
"The English ruling class are such dyed-in-the-wool imperialists that they can't conceive anything can happen without your approval. But I think: go for it. Other colonised countries have asserted their independence," Loach said.
Comedian Russell Brand added his name to independence supporters one week from the referendum.
"I've never voted but if I was Scottish I'd vote yes," he wrote on Twitter.
He joins Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, designer Vivienne Westwood and actor-director Peter Mullan.
Others remain cautious of expressing a view, wary of attracting anger from the other side of the debate.
Scottish actor and X-Men star James McAvoy has refused to back either the "Yes" or "No" camps, and has criticised the "political bickering...between both camps". 
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