Celebrities & Politics: Friend or Foe

A lot of celebrities have always been vocal about politics. If not directly about the people in the political spotlight, then the issues themselves, heading up rallies and efforts specifically fighting for the rights of others. There are celebrities advocating for women’s rights, gay rights, and legalization, including many more things that are not as highly publicized. But why does it seem like this election, more than ever, celebrities have taken on politics as if it were their duty?

You can look at this from two sides, either helping the current situation of our nation, or hurting it. Does shedding a light on some of the issues of our soon-to-be President push us forward to figuring out the turmoil that is Washington, or does it further blur what needs to be done?

I was on my computer, scrolling through the usual news of the night when I came across the speech that Meryl Streep gave at the Golden Globes, referring to President Elect Trump. She asks us to have empathy, she reminds us that violence begets violence, and that through it all we need to take something that most perceive as bad and turn it into a positive. I think this, more than most, can be shared as an example of Hollywood acting as a friend to us all. It is not a hate speech. It does not make the masses who are against Trump seethe with anger, but instead it is a call to action. It is a claim to realize the issue, and now fight to protect against it if that is your inclination.

Sometimes we see celebrities doing what they do best, and that is to entertain. They write a clever joke about Trump, or make a funny comment on something stupid he has done in the past. I am not sitting here saying I don’t laugh, because I do. Case in point, a lot of things he has done are laughable, and often necessary to meet with laughter if you want to avoid a darker response, but I feel these are the cases when celebrities are a foe to politics. Treating what is happening, in our country, as a laughing matter is dangerous. Treating politics as though it isn’t serious, some might say, is what got us in this position in the first place.

Celebrities and people of recognition can be powerful. Hollywood, throughout time, has been powerful. Movies can shed light on some of the most beneficial and inspiring stories, and a well-known face behind a cause can be what forces change, but we have to make sure that the voices that matter are saying what we need them to say.

So, as President Elect Trump tweets his distaste of the media and of celebrities raising their voices, I stand firmly with many saying keep talking. Not just to be outwardly against an entire group that support him, and not just to point a finger and make fun, but instead to be of service to our country. Instead, be the voice that we all wish we could have.