Simon Pegg on Brexit: ‘I was shocked by it, I feel slightly embarrassed by it’


Brexit happened, David Cameron resigned as prime minister, and Britain now has a new prime minister: Theresa May, who MAY be the second coming of the Iron Lady (but probably not). In the wake of this political mess, some British actors have spoken out, on social media and in interviews. But I’ve actually been surprised by how many major British actors have kept silent. Simon Pegg is not keeping silent. Pegg stars in and co-wrote Star Trek Beyond, the third installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Pegg was chatting with the Daily Beast about the film and more (go here for the full piece) when he started chatting about Brexit and how it felt to see the votes come in last month.

On the villain Krall, played by Idris Elba: “Krall is a separatist. He’s someone who doesn’t believe in togetherness, to give it a more slightly ‘kumbaya’ term. He’s also someone who doesn’t believe that it’s better together. This guy believes that heroes are made in conflict, not in peace, but really it’s just sour grapes. He feels like he got left behind, like he’s been betrayed.”

How that relates to Brexit: “As someone from the UK who’s just faced that very real thing of opting out of a collective which surely had to be for the greater good… I was shocked by it, and I feel slightly embarrassed by it. I feel like we’ve taken a retrograde step. And here, you’ve got a madman talking about building a wall between America and Mexico.”

Watching the votes come in: “I couldn’t believe it. I think the trouble is the Leave campaign offered all these promises that they just couldn’t keep, and the next day they said, ‘Oh, no—we can’t do that.’ Also, some people thought if they voted Leave all the immigrants would leave. I mean, it was a f–k up. I feel a little bit ashamed… I think it’ll certainly have an adverse effect on our economy. It’ll be hilarious if we have to adopt the Euro because the pound bottoms out. I think that it’s going to affect our film industry and make it more difficult for our professionals to cross borders or to bring in other Europeans, of which there is a huge amount. I don’t know what lies ahead. I just feel like we’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”

[From The Daily Beast]

I understand the feeling of embarrassment and shame, because I have similar feelings when I think about how people abroad are reacting to Donald Trump’s buffoonery. I’m ashamed as an American, I’m embarrassed that he is any kind of representation of America and Americans. I think that’s what Pegg is saying – like, the fact that Brexit happened says something bad/negative about Great Britain. It says something about the people who voted for Brexit and the leaders who promoted it.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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19 Responses to “Simon Pegg on Brexit: ‘I was shocked by it, I feel slightly embarrassed by it’”

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  1. Bex says:

    I bloody well hope Theresa May isn’t the second coming of the Iron Lady, because she was awful. Given her previous record on human rights and immigration, plus her recent Cabinet appointments, I’m not particularly optimistic.

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find a performer who supported Brexit given the damage it’ll most likely do to the creative industries- but most have probably been advised not to make a statement seeing as 52% of the country voted for it (ugh) and that’s a lot of people to piss off.

    • pikawho? says:

      I don’t know about other studios, but I know from experience that Pinewood employs a TON of EU citizens. The UK film industry is going to take some big damage in the next few years. A lot of its talent is not quite as home grown as it would like to think.

      • Betti says:

        ITA thou i think a lot of it will be down to the EU funding drying up and the UK gov closing tax loopholes that they have so far turned a blind eye to that will kill off the industry somewhat.

    • Spiderpig says:

      Well, 52% of those who voted. Not 52% of the country.

  2. saras says:

    Strange that all the people who introduced and promoted it bailed ship as soon as the vote was for brexit. That is most embarassing!

  3. Betti says:

    I too am embarrassed by the results but we have to suck it up but am even more embarrassed that May made that moron our most senior diplomat. He’s only going to embarrass us even more during the exit negotiations – but then again, he effs up and she can sack him and he goes away for ever.

  4. Locke Lamora says:

    Does Brexit say something negative about Great Britain? Don’t get me wrong, I would consider myself an Anglophile, but it’s not like Britain ( or parts of it) turned xenophobic and exeptionalist overnight. It has been like that for decades, if not centuries, this is nothing new, Brexit just made it official. And of course, every country is probably like that, I just know a few people who live/lived in England and that is their impression.

  5. Jenns says:

    I think I’m still in denial over Trump. Everything about him is awful. And I don’t even understand how anyone can embrace him. I don’t care if they are in the same party.

    The news this year around the world has just been so terrible that I wish we had a reset button to push.

    • Tiffany says:

      Did you see the 60 Minutes interview with he and Pence. Oh boy, this the representative of one of our country’s party. Damn.

  6. Mira says:

    Cant say i disagree. I was embarrassed by it too!

  7. Sixer says:


    I’m just going to carry on going to festivals with all the other daft Britisher hippies (Tolpuddle: you were lovely on Saturday and Sunday, even if Sunday did get overly Corbynated), waving my fist in the sky at the advent of Pokemon Go, and hiding behind the cushion every time Theresa May comes on the tellybox.

  8. d says:

    I’m shocked that a lot of the Leave leaders left too; it’s almost immoral or just plain wrong; they should have stayed to help. They really truly are the epitome of rats leaving a sinking ship.
    Trump is in the presidential race to win the race; he doesn’t care about running the country. If he wins, he won’t have a clue to do. I think he was/would have just left it to the vice president and I think when he was choosing the candidate, the moment of clarity for him came when it occurred to him he had the wrong person for THAT. What with everything going on these days, I finally do fear for the future; I think the planet is going off the rails and I think it’s heading straight into Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

  9. Becky says:

    You and me both Simon. It’s also going to adversely affect the UK film and TV industries, which hasn’t been highlighted enough I feel.

    • Bex says:

      Every time an actor tried to bring it up, they were hit by the Daily Mail crying that they were overprivileged circus clowns who didn’t understand real problems or something like that. As if British film-making isn’t a multi-billion pound industry that employs thousands of electricians and seamstresses and caterers.

  10. Lindy says:

    I’ve loved his comedies for a long time. I’m not shocked to hear he’s anti-Brexit. Most sane people were.

  11. Petrichor says:

    I heart Simon.

    Just came by to bump the comment count.

  12. Justregisteredbecauseofbrexit says:

    Damn right seventeen million people are insane. I think we’ll look back on this summer and people will blame some sort of collective hallucination.

    More seriously – that was a joke, Brexiteers – I found this London School of Economics blog useful to try and understand why people voted Leave.
    I don’t agree with them, but it helped me through the, “You did what?!?” phase.

    Perhaps the previous poster was right, and the UK has always been like this – it’s just lots of us genuinely didn’t know it. To suddenly discover that half the population like post factual politics is very strange and unsettling.