A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Celebrity involvement in Politics

Recently, there have been more and more celebrities voicing their opinions on their political beliefs. This can affect the way we see them, good and bad. There have been people all over the board who support different sides of different issues.

One of the biggest and most controversial celebrities involved in politics is Kanye West. He had been known to support the president of the United States and this has angered lots of people. It first started a few months ago when he tweeted about his support of Donald Trump. He also happened to be wearing the Make America Great Again hat. Soon after this, he put out a record, “Ye” and lost supporters because of his actions and tweets.

“It was a shock to me that he would support someone like this, and it made me not want to even give his music a chance,” said sophomore Juan Garcia.  

He continued to avidly express his opinions and even appeared on TMZ, ranting about how slavery was a choice. The more he expressed opinions like this one, the more followers he lost.  

“That [was the] last straw for me as a supporter…It seems like he is making these issues [appear] like they aren’t a big deal,” said senior Lizzy Hernandez.

West is not scared to let others know what he thinks. He is very confident and always has been. A few weeks ago, he also appeared on SNL, once again wearing the MAGA hat. Soon after that he posted a selfie wearing the hat and went on yet another rant on instagram.

“I think he has strayed away from himself. I can’t tell if he is doing this for attention or just because this is what he actually believes,” said Garcia.

Sometimes it seems like celebrities just want attention, but others are a little more quiet about their beliefs. Like Taylor Swift, who stayed silent during the 2016 election but now, has been a very important voice in the Me Too movement and has been an advocate for voting in order to properly represent the nation.

She posted a lengthy political post on instagram where she praised two democratic candidates from Tennessee, her home state. Research showed that voter registration went up soon after she made this post, but she also received backlash from this. In her post she mentioned how she was reluctant to express her opinions before, but because of the events that have occured in the past two years she is now ready to be a voice.

“I’ve definitely seen her make an impact [with] us, we grew up listening to her music so it makes sense that we would listen to her now,” said junior Mackenzie Schwartz.

While not everyone is a fan of Swift, there is still an impact being made by her. Whether we like it or not, it must be known that celebrities play a big role in the decisions we make in politics. They can sway people to vote certain ways or maybe to not vote at all.

“If they have the right intentions in using their fame, it should be used for good,” said Garcia.

Kanye West and Taylor Swift are not the only celebrities to be involved in politics. Other celebrities include talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Chance the Rapper, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lebron James, and many others. These stars are able to recognize their influence on the culture of America.

“No matter what their opinions are, I think they should be able to voice them, but they should also keep in mind that certain opinions are not popular and it may ruin their image,” said Hernandez.

Celebrities come out to support their beliefs, but they have to know that there are consequences to this. For many, it can make you love the celebrity even more, or hate them all together. While we all have the right to exercise our freedom of speech, it’s important to know that there is an effect on how you are portrayed to others and that there is a limit to what we can say.