Take Two: Performers Pushing a Political Agenda

Emily Jacobsson and Pauline Villegas

Politics is everywhere, and almost everyone holds a political view, whether they voice it or not. Recently, in wake of the chaos in America, more and more actors have stepped forward to share their views, resulting in  little but criticism from the opposition. Those attacking them claim that they know nothing about politics, and therefore should stay out of it. This seems rather ironic coming from a nation that voted Donald Trump, a former TV reality star, into the oval office.

Celebrities, although at times it can be hard to believe, are just regular people and hold opinions just like the rest of us. Even further, they are entitled to share these opinions.

Saying that actors can’t speak on social and political issues just because of their field of work belittles the free speech this country takes such pride in. Regardless of income, gender or skin color, everyone deserves to have an opinion on what is going on in their government. Whether they choose to agree with current political events or speak out against them, they deserve to do so without people trying to silence their voices.

During the recent election, many celebrities took to social media to encourage their followers to get into the voting booths. Most shared their support of Hillary Clinton with the hashtag #I’mWithHer, though there were few celebrities, including Mike Tyson, who openly supported Trump. Political views aside, their posts encouraged many young adults, who may not have voted, to submit a ballot on Election Day. Celebrities who speak out about political issues encourage their audience to educate themselves on the current political climate.

Yet at the same time, actor Mark Wahlberg stated that celebrities should not talk about politics because they live in the bubble that is Hollywood, which prevents them from being able to understand the common voter. It is naive to categorize all voters under one category, as even within the middle class voting populace, each voter goes through drastically different experiences, which will affect their views. A celebrity’s experiences and opinions are no less valid than anyone else’s.

This January, Zendaya, Scarlett Johansson and Uzo Aduba were only a few of the many celebrities that participated in the Women’s March. When celebrities take political stances that are largely agreed with, such as Women’s Rights, they don’t receive backlash. As the public, we support celebrities sharing their political views when we agree with them. In return, we should have the decency to listen when they share a view we don’t hold in common.

In times like these, it’s hard to not take a side in such a divided America. Celebrities have a much bigger platform than most people, which gives them even more of a motive to speak out on the political issues that matter to them, and while we don’t have to agree, we should listen.