Choose a celebrity or multiple celebrities and discuss the phenomenon of celebrity appeal in America. Do celebrities have an obligation to use their popularity and appeal to speak out against things like global warming and war? Also, their great and often rapid accumulation of wealth, should this obligate them to support social justice causes, and in what ways? Some clear examples to discuss are Dicaprio and Pitt or even Mortensen and Michael Moore. Recent developments revolving around the presidential inauguration and celebrity refusals to participate, could provide good points for discussion. One more point for discussion would be to evaluate the effect that certain celebrities have had on the social or political causes they’ve endorsed, in our contemporary moment or in the past.
This is an interesting topic. I think it might also be interesting to examine the effects of public social/political advocacy on celebrity popularity. At the risk of sounding cynical, it seems to me that a celebrity publicly stating opinions about political/social issues can work either for or against him/her - depending largely, of course, on whether or not people LIKE the opinions he/she is stating. This is admittedly just a casual observation on my part, but from what I gather, when people LIKE the message, they tend to cheer the celebrity on and praise him/her for sharing the message - but when they DON'T like the message, they tend to trash the celebrity, call for boycotts of his/her work, and/or declare that celebrities in general should "just shut up" about politics. The various reactions to Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech are a good new example. – OBri10 months ago
Celebs are damned if they do or if they don't. If they speak out about social justice causes, they're labeled as phonies or ppl say that they're only speaking out because it's the 'trend' to do so. However, if they don't speak out they're criticized for not using their public roles properly. – seouljustice10 months ago
I think another important point to discuss in this is how much the celebrities actually do for the organizations they promote versus just talking about them. This goes a long with the affect they have had on those issues. I think drawing a clear line between the movements/organizations growing because of the groups own efforts and what the celebrities have actually contributed.
– JenniferRobinMc10 months ago