Photo Credit: Juliana Ferrie/Achona Online/Piktochart
Recently, celebrity influence on politics has been prevalent in the media. Through Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media, celebrities quickly spread various movements to promote voter registration and increased civic participation, especially as the election on November 6, 2018 approaches.
Bella Addison (‘20) said, “I think that it is good for celebrities to get involved politically and be active citizens, but ultimately I do not think anyone should look to celebrities for political opinions because they are musicians, actors, and actresses, not politicians.”
In terms of politics, two celebrities in particular continue to catch the attention of the media. For example, on October 7, 2018, pop singer Taylor Swift expressed her own political views through an Instagram post that spiked voter registration. Swift stated that she will be voting for Tennessee’s two Democratic candidates for the Senate, Phil Bredesen, and the House of Representatives, Jim Cooper, in the upcoming election. Swift also provided the reasoning behind her decision and encouraged others to do their own research into political candidates before voting.
Another public figure with widespread political views is Kanye West. West is an active supporter of President Donald Trump, which he has indicated through social media use, various meetings with President Trump, and most recently, his speech endorsing Trump on the comedy show “Saturday Night Live.” Although it was not aired on the show, Chris Rock, a comedian, recorded clips of West delivering his message from the audience.
Pete Davidson Asks Kanye West To “Make Kanye 2006 Again.” pic.twitter.com/iGHGrMVAaz
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) October 7, 2018
West’s past remarks regarding slavery and Trump also sparked controversy. For example, West stated that slavery was a choice and that the 13th amendment should be abolished. During his “SNL” address, West defended his support for Trump and discussed racism in America.
West said, “It’s so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, ‘How could you support Trump? He’s racist.’ Well if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago. We don’t just make our decisions off of racism.”
In response, Pete Davidson, a member of the “SNL” cast, labeled West’s Trump speech as “awkward” and encouraged West to look more into his mental health on “SNL’s Weekend Update” skit.
Hira Khan (‘19) said, “I think that Kanye’s blatant disregard for the plight of minorities is an insult to various people of color that inhabit the United States. Furthermore, he erases the atrocities inflicted during slavery and the discrimination they continue to experience to this day.”