Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Arrested for Protesting



Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Arrested for Protesting

Script written by William Regot

Not every famous arrest is for a DUI. From Shailene Woodley to George Clooney and Jane Fonda, a lot of celebrities have been reprimanded for their political activism. WatchMojo is counting down the 1op 10 stars who were arrested for protesting.

Special thanks to our user MikeMJPMUNCH2 for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at https://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Celebrities%20Who%20Have%20Taken%20Part%20in%20Protests
Script written by William Regot

Top 10 Celebrities Who Have Taken Part in Protests and Got Arrested

Not every famous arrest is for a DUI. Welcome to, and today, we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Celebrities Who Have Taken Part in Protests and Got Arrested.

For this list, we’re looking at famous people who have attended a protest, and as a result, were taken downtown.

#10: Shailene Woodley

In October 2016, this star of the “Divergent” series joined the Standing Rock Sioux and her fellow environmentalists to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, which would threaten the Native American tribe’s water security and sacred burial grounds. Her arrest was documented in real time for fans to see on Facebook Live. For her participation in the Dakota Pipeline protest, Woodley was brought up on trespassing and rioting charges, but she entered into a plea deal where she admitted to disorderly conduct. In the end, the actress didn’t get any jail time, but she did receive 12 months probation.

#9: James Cromwell

This Oscar-nominated actor played Arthur Hoggett in the critically-acclaimed film “Babe,” and it would appear that he has a soft spot for animals in real life as well. Decrying animal cruelty, Cromwell crashed a University of Wisconsin board meeting in 2013 to let them know how he felt about the school using cats as test subjects for experiments. Another time Cromwell was arrested was in 2017 when he joined other fellow members of PETA to interrupt a SeaWorld show so they could raise awareness for the conditions of orcas raised in captivity.

#8: George Clooney

As an activist advocating human rights for South Sudan, Clooney was arrested in March 2012 in front of the Sudanese Embassy at Washington DC. The actor was part of the effort to stop the government of Sudan from committing violence against its people and denying them basic aid from the international community. Charged with crossing a police line, Clooney was given the opportunity of paying a $100 fine without having to make any court appearance. Among the others taken into police custody was George Clooney’s dad. If you’re going to get arrested for a good cause, why not get in some father-son bonding?

#7: Lucy Lawless

In February 2012, along with six other members of Greenpeace, this “Xena: Warrior Princess” actress snuck aboard a ship in Port Taranaki, New Zealand which was designed to locate places to the drill in the Arctic. After spending more than three days aboard the ship to postpone its use, Lawless and her mates were all arrested and charged with burglary. The activists pled guilty to trespassing, and they were fined roughly $550 and were given 120 hours of community service. This was a light sentence considering Lawless could have faced up to three years in prison for her charges.

#6: Woody Harrelson

In 1996, Harrelson and nine other activists climbed Golden Gate Bridge to show their support for a 60,000 acre plot of Redwoods found in Northern California. The trees were set to be cut down by a Texas businessman as part of a land development deal, which was something Harrelson’s group wanted to stop. Atop the Golden Gate Bridge, the protesters set up banners which disrupted the flow of traffic, and were subsequently arrested for trespassing and creating a nuisance, among other things. It was a bold stunt, even for an unconventional star like Woody Harrelson.

#5: Jane Fonda

The two time Academy Award winning actress was arrested at a Cleveland airport in 1970 after returning from Canada where she gave a speech on the Vietnam War. Authorities seized a bag of pills and accused Fonda of drug smuggling, though she claimed the charges were trumped up to smear her reputation and keep her from giving more speeches criticizing the war. The alleged pills turned out to be nothing more than vitamins. That same year, Fonda was also arrested in Seattle as part of effort to help a Native American tribe keep part of their land.

#4: Susan Sarandon

In 1999, Sarandon was arrested along with 219 other demonstrators outside New York Police Headquarters. They were protesting the police killing of Bronx resident Amadou Diallo, a West African immigrant who was shot at 41 times by officers despite the fact he was unarmed at the time. The protest of police misconduct lasted for 13 days, and afterward, Sarandon and the group of demonstrators were charged with civil disobedience. This was apparently not Sarandon’s first arrest however, as the actress claims to have also been arrested when she was a teenager at Vietnam War protests.

#3: Daryl Hannah

This actress and activist has been handcuffed all over the United States. In 2006, Hannah was arrested protesting the demolition of a large urban farm in South Central Los Angeles that was about to be torn down to make room for a warehouse, and again in 2009 after trying to block a mountain removal in West Virginia. She’s also been arrested more than once trying to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, once in Texas in October 2012, and twice during sit-ins at the White House, in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Clearly, being taken into custody isn’t enough to make this celebrity back down.

#2: Joan Baez

As you would expect from a 1960’s folk singer, Baez was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War. In October 1967, the musician joined a group of 250 protesters who were trying to physically block young men who were being drafted from entering a military induction center in Oakland, California. The group wanted to prevent the men from joining the fight and gave them anti-war literature to change their minds. For her participation in this event, Baez was arrested along with 40 other protesters, and she spent 11 days in jail. Later that year, Baez was arrested again, this time spending more than a month behind bars.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Rosario Dawson
- Noah Wyle
- Danny Glover

#1: Martin Sheen

Having reportedly been arrested more than 65 times for his activism, the “West Wing” actor attributes his social justice commitment to his Catholic faith. Sheen’s civil disobedience has spanned at least two decades, starting in 1986 when he demonstrated against Reagan’s “Star Wars” missile defense system, all the way to 2007 demonstrating against nuclear power in Nevada. Sheen has also tackled U. S. foreign policy, commenting on America’s involvement in El Salvador in 1990 by defacing a Los Angeles federal building with red liquid to symbolize bloodshed.