Virtue-signaling has infected the non-political outlets.
Using one’s position in power or spotlight to promote their own ideas and opinions can either be a huge help for their agenda or play into their demise. Charity events held by celebrities to benefit organizations they hold near and dear are not only good PR, but often times result in the collection of more money for a cause, as well as raise awareness. Then there is the overly preachy side of this — where the average American is bombarded by unwanted opinions when they were just looking to watch an entertaining show or sporting event.
With the seemingly never ending Kaepernick-effect fiasco and the most recent flop by the MTV Music awards, I think it is very apparent that people are sick of these Hollywood elitist and national figures talking down to us on “everyday issues.” Every time Katy Perry would appear on the screen, I was immediately perturbed by her questionable outfits, which were quickly forgotten as soon as she started making uncomfortable political jokes. As an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton, it is no question she is not pleased with the current administration. Appearing several times on the campaign trail, even offering Mrs. Clinton the option of a personalized campaign song, Katy Perry is more active than many of her celebrity peers. That being said, the MTV music awards was not the place to propagate her own views. It was for “Music Videos,” as clearly stated in the name, unlike the actual content which fell under the “poorly written jokes” category.
Even now being out of a job, Colin Kaepernick’s domino effect continues to take a toll on the NFL. Players continue to sit and kneel during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality in America. Do any of these players hand over their paychecks to send the kids in lower-income cities to college? Or do they reject the police escorts they receive on game day? This is just another example of celebrities using the wrong platform for their own political gains. If they wanted to start their own PAC or go on their own time to spread awareness, I encourage it. The NFL has been losing support over this controversy, and it is no surprise. The average American is sick of facing their own daily issues, and then having their entertainment turned into a political circus.
“I do not need someone who is making millions of dollars a year, and flying around on their private jets to their multiple homes around the world, telling me about my carbon footprint — I am talking to you Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Those at the top in Hollywood are faced with very different challenges than I am. There is no dispute that they all have their own issues, but you will not see me talking down to them and trying to give my opinions. I do not need someone who is making millions of dollars a year, and flying around on their private jets to their multiple homes around the world, telling me about my carbon footprint — I am talking to you Leonardo DiCaprio. The hypocrisy that comes from these elitists is a result of their fans’ idolic worship, while simultaneously being surrounded by other egos that just feed into their own complexes.
My response to these celebrities turned political analyst is often annoyance. They need to assess their audience, the purpose of the event, and the message they are trying to convey. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there is a time and a place. Not only does this mixing of politics and pop culture annoy me, it also worries me. Just as it worries me that a large part of millennials admit to getting their political news from late night television shows, celebrities will be reaching their audience with little accountability for their actions. They are not being fact-checked or questioned on their statements. To their fans, their word has become gospel. With the attention span of people shrinking, their willingness to believe things that come out of their hero’s mouths will increase. If people like someone’s music or movies, they may in turn blindly believe that their idols are also knowledgeable about other subjects. Does Katy Perry know about the Electoral College or the voting process in America? She might, but she is not doing a good job to explain it or promote education about it if she does. Instead, she is making jokes about the popular vote, which fires her audience up and rehashes the fight over electoral votes versus the popular vote.
That is just one example of how celebrities use their status to preach their own opinion, which comes across as fact to many uninformed voters. This is dangerous because the concerns for the average Hollywood elite doesn’t match those of the average voter. Social issues dominate the Hollywood scene because those people are not facing the same economic and safety issues the normal person is forced to endure. Speaking out for liberal social agendas is more enticing when you are sure your mortgage for your multimillion dollar mansion is covered, or your gated community is safer than our embassies. Looming college loans take priority over the owls living in the way of the pipeline in North Dakota.
As someone who watches several news programs, reads online newspapers, and searches a variety of accounts on social media every day to get my daily dose of politics, I know where “reliable news” comes from. Once my brain has melted a little and my blood pressure level has risen a few points, I like to distance myself by turning to some mindless TV or reading. This is becoming next to impossible, because my outlet has now taken it upon themselves to save the world from the dreaded Right and preach their own opinions at me through the screen.
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