Celebrities speaking out on political views causes debate in the entertainment world

By Hayley Curtiss
February 17, 2017


Graphic by Hayley Curtiss

The 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton was one of the most controversial elections in history. Some celebrities took matters into their own hands and decided to talk politics during acceptance speeches at award shows.

During the Golden Globe Awards, Meryl Streep won the Cecil B. DeMille Award and used her speech time to discuss the situation when Donald Trump mocked the reporter with special needs during a 2015 political rally. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others they all lose,” Meryl Streep said. 

Streep’s statement caused a lot of controversy and debate about whether celebrities should be voicing their opinions on political matters. Mark Wahlberg disagrees with the decision of celebrities taking their personal political opinions to the spotlight and believes that famous people do not live in the “real world” anymore.

“You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood lives in a bubble,” Wahlberg said to Entertainment Weekly.

However, many people disagree with Wahlberg and think that it is America’s first amendment right and as a nation, the people should exercise it as we would like.

“An acceptance speech is an incredible opportunity for celebrities and it’s a time that they can talk about what they really feel and their experiences,” Maddy Artayet, a sophomore at West Virginia University, said.  “If they believe in their political views strongly then I feel like it’s all right for them to use their time on them. Only if they truly believe what they are saying though, people may just say what people want to hear for fame or a pat on the back, but I feel like most of the time it is their true opinions.”

Many others rebutted and said that an award show is not the time or place where political views should be shared.

“I think that it makes the actors look unprofessional and frankly, absurd. Acceptance speeches should be a thank you for all the support they got, not what they believe in,”  Frankie Formisano, a senior at Cabrini University, said. “They turned the award show into something that wasn’t enjoyable to watch. Actors make movies and shows that are for people’s entertainment. Their political views meant nothing to their profession until now.”

During election times, especially this most recent one, people become uneasy because there is going to be a transition of power and it can be nerve-wracking for the American public of who next will take office. This can cause uneasy feelings and it encourages people to speak out for what they believe in.

“I honestly think the only people who do listen to these speeches are us cause we feel as if they are our role models and should coincide with what they say,” Qendresa Nurendini, a sophomore at Penn State University, said. “Well for one, I think people of all publicities whether you’re a celebrity or not, you should have freedom of speech and it’s your right to have the opinions you wanna have. However, if you have gotten accepted for an award or something else and you take the time to share your political views just because it’s convenient for you, it is absolutely disrespectful to not only the people who have helped you get that acceptance.”

Celebrities are public figures who are looked up to and it can be shocking when they take their personal life into their public life. This past election has caused outrage all across America and some celebrities have decided to speak up and take a stand instead of biting their tongue and ignoring what is going on in the “real world.”

Hayley Curtiss

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