The media sphere has transformed over the years as entertainment and politics intersect. This intersection affects political campaigns, elections, policy agendas, and international affairs. According to Marsh et al., the types of celebrities involved in politics can be classified into four main groups: celebrity advocates, endorsers, politicians, and politician-turned-celebrities (322). This essay postulates that celebrities should continue being involved in politics because they influence change, ensure that voters exercise their rights, and are entitled to the freedom of speech.
Celebrities are influential, especially as politicians, because they have millions of followers on social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. People are interested in their clothing trends, lifestyles, and opinions. Celebrities interested in charitable events and causes are categorized as energetic and dedicated policy seekers. This influences millions of people and dozens of corporations to adopt their ideologies. Notably, Majic et al. state that it is easier for people to purchase magazines with headlines about celebrities than ones with scholarly or political headlines (4-6). Therefore, celebrity endorsements influence a political candidate’s success. For instance, Oprah Winfrey actively campaigned for former President Barack Obama, affecting his success at the polls (Marsh et al. 330). Moreover, Taylor Swift’s endorsement of Democratic candidates in Arkansas in 2018 influenced the number of votes for the Democratic Party (Marsh et al. 334). Although the Republicans won, it was by a slight margin considering the state was previously Republican.
Celebrities advocate for and teach the public the need to exercise their duties and rights as voters and advocates through their influence. Majic et al. note that celebrities’ political participation impacts the masses’ involvement in political issues (6). For instance, celebrities advocating for and acting in cinemas related to conservation and LGBT rights have led to the acceptance of the related changes in society. For instance, in 2018, Taylor Swift’s tweets in support of Democratic nominees led to a spike in voter registrations in Tennessee (Marsh et al. 335). In the United States, celebrities have continuously been used to influence the public to vote or accept policies since the 1990 Rock the Vote campaign. Celebrities such as Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, and Sarah Jessica have been known to be the public face of voting (Marsh et al. 336). Notably, Australian laws demand compulsory voting. In the United States and other countries, it is essential that influencers and celebrities encourage and remind communities to vote. Hence, celebrities’ involvement in politics should be seen as positive because it involves reminding their fans to vote and accept policies or activist movements that advocate for societal change.
Freedom of speech is considered a democratic right in many countries, and, in the United States, this is the case. Therefore, every person has a right to participate in politics regardless of their racial, economic, or social background. This means that celebrities have the right to openly voice and express their beliefs as long as they do so responsibly (Taylor). Additionally, being well-educated, celebrities can use their freedom of speech to enable their fans to make informed decisions, rather than forcing them into their beliefs. This way, celebrities would ensure that they exercise their duties as citizens while increasing political participation and interest, especially in young people.
In conclusion, celebrities play a crucial role in providing the information necessary for voters to make informed decisions related to elections while endorsing activist ideologies and policies. Moreover, they influence voter turnout during election years, and they have a right to voice their political stance like all other citizens. It is, therefore, important for celebrities to be actively involved in politics without condemnation because they influence positive societal changes.
Majic, Samantha, et al. “Celebrity and Politics.” Perspectives on Politics, vol. 18, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1–8. Cambridge University Press, doi.org/10.1017/s1537592719004602.
Marsh, David, et al. “Celebrity Politics: The Politics of the Late Modernity?” Political Studies Review, vol. 8, no. 3, 2010, pp. 322–340. SAGE, doi.org/10.1111/j.1478-9302.2010.00215.x.
Taylor, Lauren. “Should Celebrities Involve Themselves in Politics? An Opinion Piece.” RGU Union News RSS, www.rguunion.co.uk/news/article/radar/Should-celebrities-involve-themselves-in-politics-an-opinion-piece/. Accessed 24 Dec. 2021.
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