Should Celebrities Just Shut Up and Sing/Act/Play/Perform (or whatever)?

@anniepa (27238)
United States
August 24, 2007 9:52pm CST
There are alot of celebrity activists these days and alot of people who complain about them and say they should shut up and do whatever it is they're famous for. Oddly enough, it depends on who they are and what they're speaking out about whether different commentators complain or not. It 's nothing to hear Sean Hannity go on and on about something Sean Penn or Rosie O'Donnell said then break for a commercial and come back and introduce comedian Dennis Miller who feels about the same about the left as the above mentioned stars do about the right. I don't think you can have it both ways, no matter which side of the fence you're on! In my opinion, when someone becomes a big success in his or her chosen field they're given a built-in audience and if they're passionate about something it's probably hard to NOT take advantage of the platform they've been given. Whether or not it affects their careers positively or negatively will be determined by the market. If a singer or actor you like voices an opinion you disagree with it's up to you whether you stop listening to/watching them. For me, unless a performer does something horrible I'm not going to stop enjoying their work if they hold a view other than my own. On the other side of the coin I've seen some stars do a good service by raising awareness of some of the problems of the world. Some say that the rich and famous have no more right than you or I have to give their two cents; that's true, but the fact is while we have the same RIGHT as they do to speak our minds, who's going to listen? We, or whoever bought the CDs, tickets, etc. to make someone a star gave them that voice and if they choose to use it they have every right to do so. What do you folks think? Shut Up or Speak Out? Annie
1 person likes this
9 responses
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
25 Aug 07
It is O'K for a celebrity to have views on anything they want as long as they express them in the appropriate venue. If people have payed good money to go to a concert to hear a group or person perform and then the performers start turning it into a political platform like one of the Dixie Chicks did a few years ago, then I think that is wrong and is not an appropriate place to do it. I also object to award winners making political statements in their acceptance speeches at such places as the Oscars and the Emmys. They should make their opinions know in one of the appriote places that they have much more access to than the average person.
1 person likes this
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
25 Aug 07
Natalie may have had a good reception from some of the audience, but even in Britain I bet there were a lot there who didn't appreciate having paid money to listen to political views. I don't care if some award winner is pountificating on something I'm for or against, I don't like it being done at the award shows.
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
25 Aug 07
I have to ask-I totally agree if someone takes up alot of time during a concert or show to talk about their personal views I wouldn't like that at all if I'd paid for a ticket but if they simply make a brief statement and that's it, is that wrong as well? What about comedians and TV hosts who build their entire acts on political and current event jokes?
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
27 Aug 07
With the commedians and the like you know that is what the show is about and you just don't got if you don't want to hear that kind of comedy. But with muscians it should be about music and leave the politics for the many other outlets that such a celebrity has that regular people don't have such easy access to.
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
25 Aug 07
This is nothing new. I was at Woodstock. Grant it, I was a baby, but I was there. Did Jimi Hendrix and the Arlo Guthrie not speak out against the war? They did and they should have. We are not trained rats who will follow the pied piper out of town. We as humans should believe what we believe and feel what we feel regardless of celebrity endorsement. I follow the music or the movies of a performer that I like, but I do not necessarily follow their political and social views. However, just because I disagree with them, it wouldn't stop me from enjoying their artistry. They are as human as I am. Unless they are not pulling a Mel Gibson, their viewpoints are not going to diminish my respect for them. That said, Mel Gibson's political and social views do not diminish my love of his films, it just makes me respect him less as a person.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
25 Aug 07
Actually I WOULD go to see Dylan and others like him because I agreed with what they were saying. The Dixie Chicks have been brought up several times in this discussion and I was thinking of them, among others, when I started it, and,yes, they "were" primarily a country band (I say "were" because I've read where they now want to be considered "Pop" or "Rock"), and country fans are (or were?) predominantly patriotic, Bush-supporting Republicans. For what it's worth I'm neither a Republican nor a Bush supporter but I AM patriotic. Anyway, back to the Chicks...weren't they performing in England when the offensive remarks were made and didn't it actually get applause from the audience there? If they'd said it in Texas or Georgia they probably wouldn't have gotten out of the building alive! LOL I guess this all sort of means that if a performer's fans come mainly from a certain demographic they need to decide if they're willing to alienate that base by saying what's on their mind or if they should instead...well, shut up and sing? Annie
@Daelin (683)
• Brazil
25 Aug 07
I don't know when this began but it seems right now that celebrities are asked about every subject in the world. Where is Bin Laden? Ask Tom Cruise. What about the global warming? Ask Julia Roberts. Is the economy in danger? Ask Paris Hilton. The real experts are not even listened. People want to hear about any subject from the celebrities because they think celebrities are super people who know everything. People watch a series like 24 and they assume that Kiefer Sutherland is an expert in counter terrorism. The media should interview actors about movies, singers about music and never interview Paris Hilton at all.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
25 Aug 07
"The media should interview actors about movies, singers about music and never interview Paris Hilton at all. " I totally agree. Talk about a waste of an interview. "the economy? Oh that's hot." Pulease. + - !
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@urbandekay (18312)
25 Aug 07
At first I thought it would be a good thing because people would see how vacuous celebrities really are. But then I noticed that the hard of understanding started believing all the driven - doh! all the best urban
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@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
25 Aug 07
I think everyone should (politely) speak up and say what they think. (When I say politely, I mean without swearing or personally attacking another person). I don't think a person should not say how they feel just because they are a celebrity. Just as they have the right to speak up, others have a right to not listen, or to gain or lose respect for the speaker. I know that I stopped watching a certain TV show when its lead actress made a statement I disagreed with and thought was potentially dangerous to people. But I have a right to not watch the show, as she has a right to say what she believes.
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@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
25 Aug 07
Great discussion, anniepa. I agree that celebrities do have a right to speak out on matters that affect us all. They are pople just as we are. I have heard the way the Hannity's and Limbaugh's, etc. slam the ones who disagree with their personal view, but welcome with open arms those who share their opinions. I will distance myself from a celebrity if they cross the line and become abusive. I feel that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but those who are in the limelight must always be aware that what they say can adversely affect their careers. The Dixie Chicks could tell you all about that. If they are great performers though, the fans will usually come back to them after a cooling-off period.
@tsitra100 (171)
• Barbados
25 Aug 07
I think some of them don't know when to stop.
1 person likes this
@ssh123 (31100)
• India
27 Aug 07
It is not their fault. It is the fault of people who bring them to the public forum and ask them to speak out on topics which are foreign to them. And they perform it which will be total substandard. In India, such celebrities are hijacked by the politicians to meet their ends.
@tombiz (2039)
• Philippines
26 Aug 07
If they can help in anyway, why should we refuse whatever thay are doing. But thena gain, the influence of the media entertainment personalities are getting wider and wider. And this imbalance will never be good to the country. The country are not made up of stars solely but of ordinary people. We need ordinary people who rise up to the challanges as our heroes, not stars.