Should celebrities be held to account in the same manner as politicians?
With Brexit, the recent inauguration of Donald Trump and the general political unrest that has spread throughout the world in recent months, it is no surprise that many celebrities have used their platform to give their views on social and political issues.
This past weekend millions around the world took to the streets for “The Women’s March”. All the world’s major capital cities were awash with protesters showing their unified stance against that misogynistic rhetoric of Mr Trump. Many celebrities were amongst the protesters, in a move designed to draw maximum attention to the cause.
(Left What's Up TVs images scenes form the March on London)
The Washington D.C. march saw The Queen of Pop, Madonna, take to the stage to give an address. In it she was very damning of Trump and his supporters, claiming that “good did not win in this election”. In her closing comments, she quite bizarrely remarked that “she had thought about blowing up the white house…but it would not change a thing”. Social media reacted very harshly, with many critics claiming that Madonna’s outlandish comments did nothing but detract from the original message of the march.
Similarly, last week our Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused French President Francois Hollande of trying to “administer punishment beatings” as if he were in a “world war two movie”. This very emotive and purposeful comparison of a European head of state to a period of Europe’s very dark past caused a massive stir on social media.
It has prompted a conversation about to what extent both celebrities and politicians should be held accountable for their comments made on a public platform. Given that social media has meant that celebrities can be as involved in the political sphere as much as politicians themselves, as well as having equally large platforms, it can be argued that they both need to be equally careful in the way they articulate themselves.
For better or for worse, when celebrities lend their voices to political discussions they become leaders and spokespersons for whole swathes of people. Whilst they may not have the diplomatic responsibilities of politicians, they do have to ensure that their public statements are properly thought through and cannot be interpreted as hateful or violent. This is not to say that they should dilute their message, but comments such as Madonna’s this past weekend demonstrate how important it is for all public figures, from all walks of life, to not overstep reasonable boundaries.
What do you think - would you like to see celebrities being more outspoken or should they stay in their lane?
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