In this very politically polarized climate, celebrities have been using their platforms to talk about their political and social views. The recent Oscars were filled with speeches on such topics. And who can forget Meryl Streep’s Donald Trump speech at the Golden Globes? But this new wave of celebrity activism has been met with mixed reactions, and begs the question, should celebrities be commenting on politics?
If you ask Tomi Lahren of The Blaze, she says no. Let’s ignore her rant against Iran (not that there isn’t a lot to be said about it), and focus on her argument that the elite status and high income of celebrities makes them out of touch with the American people. She followed that up with the idea that celebrities always have causes to “ramrod down our throats” that don’t impact them.
Honestly, I can see the argument that celebrities don’t have the same lifestyles as most people. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still care about the same issues, such as LGBTQ rights, women’s issues and race relations (though, I will admit – you don’t hear many celebrities talking about income inequality).
One thing that should be pointed out is that most of the politicians and pundits that are speaking out against these celebrities are conservatives who don’t like how liberal Hollywood tends to be. I wonder if they’d feel the same way if celebrities leaned Republican.
Oh, wait! We know exactly what happens to Republican celebrities – they become president! Hypocrisy has always been a strength for conservatives.
Also, politics and entertainment have always been intertwined. The Washington Post has a great piece on past political speeches at Hollywood awards shows. From Marlon Brando’s protest at the Oscars in 1973 to Dustin Lance Black in 2009, celebrities have always been speaking up about injustice.
Not only that, but entertainment itself has constantly been used as a vehicle for social and political messages. From Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” (about racism and lynchings), to “Dr. Strangelove” (about the Cold War), it’s virtually impossible to separate the two.
Celebrities have a platform that most people don’t, and they’re using it to speak up about the important issues. I think that’s a great thing.