In a society that is dominated by social media, celebrities have extremely influential platforms that are a force to be reckoned with. Whether or not celebrities should use their status to voice opinions for political influence is a highly-talked-about topic.
At the end of the day, celebrities are citizens too. Their label as “celebrity” does not violate their Constitutional rights, one being the freedom of speech. Therefore, it is completely reasonable for celebrities to use their platforms to voice their opinions on serious issues including politics.
On April 25, rapper Kanye West tweeted what sparked serious debates.
“You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to be independent thought,” West tweeted.
After the tweet surfaced, people began questioning West. Meanwhile, reports claimed that the reasoning behind West’s tweets came from mental health issues, considering his hospitalization in 2016. It is truly unjust how people blame West’s opinions on his mental health only because they are different from the political views of other pop culture celebrities.
Fellow musical artist John Legend also voiced his opinion which unraveled to the public in a screenshot of a series of text messages between him and West.
One of the texts from Legend read, “So many people who love you feel so betrayed right now because they know the harm that Trump’s policies cause, especially to people of color.”
The fact that Kanye West is a celebrity should not take away his right to speak out his opinions, even though they may differ from other people’s. It does not seem fair that hundreds of celebrities can bash certain political figures, including Trump, without beginning debate, but those who praise Trump need to suffer cruel judgment.
Many oppose celebrities voicing their opinions on politics because of the celebrity’s apparent lack of knowledge. However, many artists include political and societal issues within the lyrics of their songs and a many actors have starred in movies based upon serious issues as well.
With their powerful platform and fame, celebrities have the ability to raise awareness on political issues. Supporters of big celebrities have a tendency to follow certain opinions they may possess. Hence, fans may show more interest in serious issues such as politics if their favorite artist or actor does so as well.