We are all human. Whether we are ordinary citizens or one born with a silver spoon in his/ her mouth, we get affected by the issues that surround us. Although the rich can afford to ignore the issues that affect the masses while living in their big mansions with high gates, they still see everything once they go out of their expensive homes. What’s more, political issues can also affect their businesses and relationship with others.
But as the world gets smaller and smaller because of technology, it becomes harder for everyone to turn a blind eye to pressing issues that require our attention. Even celebrities rise up to the challenge and speak up about their opinions on various topics. Celebrity activism was even more prominent during the last U.S. election when the stars openly showed their support to their chosen individuals to lead the country.
During the past few years, we have seen an occurring trend of celebrities giving their political opinions. More recently, celebrities have consistently used award shows as a platform to talk about political issues.
Some of the political comments made during award shows occur at the opening of the show and are usually taken as a laughing matter. But how much is enough? Should celebrities bring up their political opinions? Should politics and entertainment be combined at all? I sat down with juniors Grace Zucchetto and Katie Mulligan to discuss this latest trend.
Zucchetto stated that she personally does not like it, and believes that if a celebrity shares their political view, it can skew what a fan thinks about them.
“I know a couple of people that stopped being fans of certain music or something because they were upset with their political views,” Zucchetto said. “I feel as if those should be separate.”
However, she also believes that celebrities should be able to give their political opinion.
“Everyone has an opinion and [celebrities] have a right to voice it,” Zucchetto said. “However, I think they should be careful on how they word it. Their words carry more weight, whether they realize it or not.”
Celebrities have a right to express their political opinions because they are also human. How the country is being shaped will not only affect the common people but actors and actresses too.
Actress Kristen Bell defended herself and other politically-outspoken celebrities in an interview Monday, saying that rather than remain quiet about their political views, stars should use their large audiences and platforms to speak up.
In an interview with The Wrap CEO Sharon Waxman at the BE Conference in Austin, Waxman asked the Good Place star to comment on the “pushback” that celebrities receive when they air their political opinions.
“So I’m not a citizen anymore because I’m an actor? F*ck that,” Bell replied. “I’m a citizen of the United States, I’m allowed to say what I want to say.”
“I’m very lucky to have a platform; I use it responsibly. Some people don’t. A lot of people do,” the 36-year-old actress continued. “But just because I have followers on Twitter doesn’t mean that I’m any less allowed to share what I believe.”
Bell added that she thinks people “should be talking about what they believe.”
“I’m a citizen of the United States of America, so I’m allowed to state my opinions, even if it’s on social media,” she added.
And she has a point, right? Celebrities also have a right to say whatever they want and express their opinions about politics and other issues that plague the country. Not everyone may like what they have to say but nobody can also stop them from airing their sentiments about certain issues.
I caught up with Griffin, who discussed all the above just days after being honored with the Vanguard Award by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus on March 12 for her ardent and unwavering role as an ally in the LGBT rights movement. She sharedher insight into what the hell we do – and what she’s doing – now that Donald Trump is running this country.
What does it mean to you to be an activist and a celebrity with the kind of platform you have in the Trump era?
I think people that believe in any kind of nuanced thought, who can handle a thought, know that, yeah, a celebrity can actually provide a real service for a cause. Celebrities sort of apologize all the time, but we’re voting citizens like anybody else. I defend my right to speak about things as a celebrity or as an offensive comic or whatever you wanna call me. I’ve toured this country so many times, and I’ve also performed in Iraq and Afghanistan for the troops. I’ve performed in a prison. I’ve performed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. So, I kind of feel that’s what I bring to the table – that I’m really, really proud of.
Respect is crucial in order to live in peace and harmony with one another. We all have our differences and we are free to speak up about our opinions but let us not impose our beliefs on others. The world is continually changing and we must all learn to adapt whether we like it or not.
The least we can do is to support the leaders whom we believe can bring about the change that the people need the most. If your political bet doesn’t win, then you’ll just have to respect the decision of the majority and do your best to become a better citizen of the country regardless if you dislike the one in office right now.