Politics Today: Can Hollywood really impact politics?
January 18, 2018
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In the second post of RHSToday’s newest blog, Politics Today, Amelia Foster will discuss the important role of Hollywood within our politics today and whether or not celebrities should play a role in political discussions.
This year’s Golden Globes was full of celebrities wearing black outfits to support the #MeToo cause, a movement supporting girls to come out with their sexual assault. The night was more politically motivated than artistically motivated, which is relevant in today’s society when politics are being continuously brought up. Celebrities hold a lot of power over their fans, it’s time for them to use that power for good.
Oprah Winfrey, a media-personality since 1983, was the star of the Golden Globes. She won the Cecil B. Demille award, a prestigious award for someone who has made outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry, and made an empowering speech about feminism. Her words nearly moved me to tears as she talked about all that she has gone through as a woman to get to where she is, and how far women have come. As I listened, I knew that celebrities should continue to influence politics.
Our current president, Donald Trump, was a reality TV star before he went into politics. After Oprah’s speech, people were calling for her to run for president. While politicians should stay politicians and celebrities should stay celebrities, that doesn’t mean that the world can’t mix at all. With politics being such a controversial topic, celebrities using their influence can make or break someone’s political opinions.
However, many people weren’t impressed with the focus of the Golden Globes being on politics. Actress Rose McGowan even accused the event of “Hollywood fakery.” Nevertheless, it was important. Many people who support the #MeToo movement or have come forward with being a victim of sexual assault see that the celebrities they love believe in them. Media and politics should mix, as the people who are now being represented are getting a chance to have a voice.
Nowadays, many movies and television shows are making a political statement by casting choices and script choices. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a Fox comedy about cops and four out of seven of the cast are actors of color who all have wildly different personalities, leaving stereotypes in the dust. The broadcast has continuously been criticized for being “too political” while the people who say that ignore the ones whose stories are being told for the first time by this progressive show.
Media has always been used to make a statement. The original 1977 Star Wars trilogy used the antagonists to represent Nazis and the original Star Trek used a diverse set of actors to make a point about social progress. Both of them have done very well and are popular, but their more political aspects haven’t been well-received. People have always been criticized for being too political. Maybe the problem is just that no one wants to talk about politics.
People are influenced by all forms of media. Children are influenced by their favorite characters on the silver screen, whether it’s obvious or not. Proof of this can be seen through the “do not try this at home” warnings before televised stunts are performed. Watching celebrities proudly support a cause influences many fans to follow. It’s not the celebrities fault they have all this power, but it comes with fame and they should know how and when to use it. The Golden Globes was an excellent example of this as Hollywood made a statement about what they believe in and how they will not let crimes go unpunished.
The Golden Globes had an impact. Every black outfit worn and award given made a statement. The Hollywood life is idolized by millions everywhere and when Hollywood decides to hold an event like this, people pay attention. Political opinions can be swayed by anyone famous, and with Hollywood impacting the future of politics, the world can start to change for the better. Like Oprah said in her speech, “maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during the darkest nights.”
Amelia Foster is a junior, the Arts and Entertainment Editor and the Multimedia Editor. When she's not in room 112, she's probably thinking about journalism...