Pop Culture and Politics

This election year is dominated by social media. We see the tweets, Instagram images, Facebook posts and even Snapchats from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. On top of reading what each candidate posts on social media, we see celebrities adding in their two cents and sharing their own personal political views.

Celebrities are influential in their own way. With millions of followers, it is easy to believe they have a sense of power in their hands – which they do to an extent, but are celebrities in any place to persuade us to vote for one candidate over the other?

Well, for one, they have huge audiences. It is up to them how they decide to use it. National Voter Registration Day was a few days ago, and different celebrities encouraged their fans to register to vote. Some celebrities showed up at universities or community centers to help register. This type of celebrity political activity works and is very influential to many.

It is when celebrities share their own views on certain topics and attempt to persuade their fans to vote for one candidate over the other that people can get annoyed. Take last week’s debate for example.

The debate last week had social media nearly exploding. Viewers turned to Twitter to live-tweet the debate – including celebrities. While many celebrities making jokes and “memes” about Donald Trump’s sniffling or the words he made up during the debate, others used the timing and their power to make a statement.

Celebrities became vocal on topics like racism, police brutality and terrorism. Shonda Rhimes, creator of “Grey’s Anatomy”, expressed her support for Clinton by calling out Donald Trump and fact-checking him. Other Clinton supporters, Chrissy Teigen and Elizabeth Banks, took to Twitter to show their support.

When it came to Donald Trump, actor and producer, James Woods added his own commentary and support for Trump. Aside from Woods, it seems as though Hillary Clinton has most of Hollywood’s votes.

Celebrities are normal people like us, but some might think they don’t live in the “real world,” and the issues the lower and middle-class face are non-existent to celebrities. Their vote matters and they have every right to an opinion, some people are annoyed with celebrities suddenly becoming politicians and being more involved in today’s current issues.

This brings the question in mind: should there be a line drawn between celebrities and politics?

I can understand why some people might think celebrities and politics do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, but if it takes a singer, model or actress to help get the conversation started, so be it.

This tactic is beneficial to attract a younger audience to real-world issues. If celebrities are capable of getting people to the polls next month or to talk about the problems and the divide within our country, someone is doing the right thing.

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