Keeping Up with the Current Events

Lizzie Skidmore, Staff Writer

Celebrities share the same concerns as many others in society. Although what they hold in advantage to everyday people like me is a large platform that can make an impact in important conversations. However, many people argue this power should not be used to discuss politics or other issues — that they should mind their own business and stick to entertaining. But behind their public image as famous and rich celebrities, they are real people too.

As American citizens, it’s our right to be able to speak out on issues, there’s no denying that. To speakout about an issue is not necessarily to take a side, but rather to recognize that something wrong, and sometimes something great, is happening.

Whether that’s being one of 300 women in Hollywood to create the “Time’s Up” movement or sending four planes filled with supplies to a devastated Puerto Rico like reality star Bethenny Frankel, action is important.

For me, as a 17-year-old high school student, I can’t send four planes of supplies to a powerless country, and it’s hard to get the system we live in to take me seriously and listen.

But when people of higher power — of higher fame — understand what the lives of average citizens are like, it’s easier for them to contact a Senator or to tweet out to the world that “No, middle class citizens don’t like your tax plan,” or “Yes, we do agree that we don’t want to start a nuclear war.”

Celebrities having opinions is going to generate some backlash, but that’s the point of having an opinion — to start a conversation, to agree and to disagree. Just because they know it will have a major influence on their followers does not mean they should shut their mouths — it means they should speak louder.

Many celebrities have followed this idea of speaking up — from ESPN reporter Jemele Hill calling out President Donald Trump for not condemning white supremacy to actress Sophia Bush advocating for women’s healthcare and to actor Leonardo DiCaprio founding an organization to bring attention to climate change.

It’s the 21st century, we have entered a culture where celebrities have become influencers, not just in entertainment but in society as a whole.

And if you think celebrities shouldn’t talk about politics, maybe next time don’t elect one as president.