BEG: Celebrity opinions affect public


Kutcher's support for Israeli soldiers enraged Palestinian supporters.

People often believe that if they take a stance on a certain issue or cause, their peers will see them differently. This is why many make the decision to  fake apathy even if they truly care about a problem being discussed.

One would expect that this social standard is heightened for celebrities. They are exposed to millions of people that watch the content they produce. Their jobs rely heavily on public approval, and it would be logical for them to say and do whatever it takes to keep the largest proportion of people still interested. On the contrary, celebrities have done the exact opposite due to drastic changes in the current political system. Many public influencers have made their perspective and concerns public. This can be seen through the content they post on their social media, the type of jobs they decide to take or the causes they support.

Since these public figures have such a large and constant role in American society, their actions and opinions have a real effect on the views of the general public. One can claim that they are people just like us and should not affect the way we live our lives. In reality, when there are people perpetually in the spotlight with such large followings, they will have an impact on what we believe—whether we realize it or not.

Celebrities must be cautious about the types of causes they support in front of the public since they have such a large responsibility. Many times, celebrities take a stance on issues that are important and must be changed, and this causes healthy discussions around the country.

For example, when looking at Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem, it created an entire movement across America. People united  to support the Black Lives Matter movement and everything Kaepernick was saying about the infringement on African-American rights. The football player took time before he made his move to work with veterans, research and understand more about what he was trying to portray and the best way to do it respectfully. His outward support for a certain issue gave others the confidence and ability to take the same stance to ensure that their community’s voices were heard.

Recently, at a fundraiser for the support of Israeli soldiers held by the Friends for the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), there were famous supporters that came to help raise money for Israel. These celebrities included  Pharrell Williams and Ashton Kutcher, according to Variety. Myself and other Palestine supporters were outraged when this information was released. Israel and its defense forces continue to attack and murder innocent Palestinians due to the current conflict between the two states. Around 9,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since 2000, according to statistics released in March of this year by research combined from the Israeli Center for Human Rights and the International Middle East Center.

If Williams and Kutcher did more research to learn about the true, disastrous occurrences in Palestine due to Israeli occupation, they might have been more reluctant to support such a cause. By them supporting Israel, the American public who believes similarly will think their perspective is justified.  The Palestinian death toll will keep increasing if celebrities do not take a stance against Israel and use their power to benefit others.

Roseanne Barr’s comments also showcase the problem with celebrities making offensive and threatening comments without any real validity behind them. Barr’s show was cancelled when she posted a racist tweet about former President Barack Obama’s African-American senior adviser. After calling the adviser a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and making a “Planet of the Apes,” reference Barr still believes she is not a racist. The fact that Barr could not realize the true implications of what she decided to post shows that offensive language is so normalized for her, and she makes it standard practice for the rest of the people that follow her.

Celebrities must be aware of the implications of their words and actions. They must be truly cognizant of what they are supporting by doing extensive research and hearing the stories of people affected by an issue. Only then will America become a more informed public that realizes the countless issues that different communities face daily.