Celebrities and speaking out


The above tweet was one of the responses on Twitter, after Taylor Swift released her latest music video for “LookWhat You Made Me Do.” At the end of the video, she pokes fun at herself over the many criticism she hears. As the tweet points out what Swift doesn’t acknowledge is her silence over Donald Trump’s behaviour or America’s most recent election.

Swift hasn’t been vocal about social or political issues, except her support of feminism and anti-sexual assault. In 2015, a radio DJ sued Swift after being fired from a morning radio show he co-hosted because she accused him of grabbing her butt. Swift countersued for $1 and won. Swift also has a famous “squad,” comprising of other famous women, in the name of feminism.

The question is do celebrities have a responsibility to speak about social issues or politics to their fan base?

Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructor, Beverly Sinclair says “no.”

“Speaking out about issues can be both good and bad,” Sinclair adds.

Angelina Jolie publicizing the surgeries she had to prevent cancer has been credited with saving thousands of lives. However, Jenny McCarthy’s campaign to stop immunizing children because of the belief that vaccines causes autism is credited with a return of eradicated diseases such as measles and whooping cough in North America and the deaths of many children.”

Ross Pink, a KPU instructor, says, “She has a right like any other citizen to say what she thinks.” Pink says celebrity involvement in political elections isn’t that old, citing John F. Kennedy’s campaign being the first to have celebrity endorsements.

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