Celebrities in politics: justified in voicing their political opinions!

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It has always been there, between the lines of tweets and Facebook posts: actors and actresses voicing their opinions about politics. But with the 2016 elections and the questionable actions of the newly elected President Trump, celebrities’ opinions on politics have been highlighted by the growing attention of the public. However, controversy and criticism toward such stars are rising. As the debate about personalities and their political opinions intensifies, there inevitably comes the question: Are they justified in voicing their political opinions?

The first amendment states that ¬every person has a freedom of speech. In accordance to the law, every celebrity, whether it be is Kim Kardashian or George Clooney, has the right to speak up about their political beliefs. They are guaranteed their rights to talk about what ever they want whether it is their favorite lip liner or their stance. For example, Meryl Streep’s comment against President Trump should be respected as jer opinion on immigration.

If we all have the rights to speak our opinions, why do we criticize them so much?

To the general public, celebrities are a source of fantasy. They seem to be living in a different universe in which everyday is unique and extraordinary. It seems as though their life is void of all worldly concerns, including politics, and with these fantasies about, regular people tend to forget that they are, in fact, the same species as you and I have the right to speak.

Furthermore, celebrities in stardom are a type of brand: what they eat, wear, and drink are subject to the interest of people. Some follow their favorite celebrities in hopes of becoming more like them while others believe that the person that is supported by their favorite celebrity is good because their supporter is known to be a good person. This bandwagon mentality evidently does affect the popularity of a candidate and forms an improper way of supporting a candidate, bringing criticism that entertainment should not be involved in choosing the next leader of a country.

These two reasons are perfectly good to criticize about their comments in politics. However, we also have to remember that restricting their rights just because of their spheres of influence is discrimination over their jobs. Their affect on the general public should not determine their ability to talk over political belief whether it correlates with yours or not.

Before telling celebrities not to speak, we should consider politics a separate issue from entertainment. As an example, instead of considering which of your favorite celebrities support which candidate, consider which candidate is more suitable – which candidate support what you believe in as a person. Spend more time thinking about politics rather than commenting on how celebrities should or shouldn’t have exercised their right as a person. It is not our right to criticize celebrities for their opinions; to criticize them for it is a violation of their rights. It is imperative for us to expand our opinion on politics than try to limit others’, whether they are celebrities or not.

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Andrea Jiwon Kwon

Andrea Kwon is a junior reporter of Tiger Times.

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