Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Celebrity Speak Out
My friend has been pestering me about celebrities speaking out in public about anything except whatever creative venture they're promoting. I, of course, am thoroughly ambivalent about it. What troubles me more than artists speaking out about political issues (informed or not) is the vehemence of people who oppose this. Anti-abortion protesters in Kansas don't get this riled.
Their argument is, "I did not pay to see this" (even when it's on free tv) and "They're taking unfair advantage of their celebrity." The latter is the more telling argument, and I think the true source of resentment. They sense, rightly, that their own opinions don't matter to anyone, or at least don't have the power to persuade and influence others. Every time a celebrity opens his or her mouth, it's a reminder: "Celebrities have power and influence, I don't." And what makes it more hurtful is that the offended person, or the pubic in general, has conferred this power upon the celebrity by buying their wares. "What? The Dixie Chicks are anti-war and anti-Bush? But, I spent my $16.99 (plus tax) at Wal-Mart for their music. How can they have turned against what I believe in?"
So, if you're against celebrities speaking out about things, great. Can you take a page out of your own book and just stop talking about it?
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