No stuffy politician is safe against the charm and charisma of a well-watched celebrity. But can stardom ever mix with social justice?
I hail from the golden state of California, where actors not only play politicians on the big screen but can actually become one in real life. Many around the world know Arnold Schwarzeneggar as the indestructible killer robot from the Terminator series. I know him though as my former Governor, or as I put it more affectionately – my Governator.
Schwarzeneggar is not the first or last celebrity who used prestige to make political transition. It should be noted that celebrities are perfectly matched for the contemporary political era because of their fame and wealth. Most recently, reality TV-mogul Donald Trump made open allusions to the idea of a Republican presidential bid. Fortunately, that idea was soon fired off.
Hollywood celebrities are like America’s royalty. They have influence over their audiences. Here in the USA, fame somehow equivocates to power. Congress may make the decisions but it is Hollywood that persuades potential voters. While not many celebrities run for a seat in Senate, it is common for Hollywood hotshots to show their heart by becoming socially active.
One shining example is the philanthropic power couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Together, they have donated millions to various international and domestic charities in dedication to eradicating extreme rural poverty, protecting natural resources and conserving wildlife.
In fact, according to House Representative, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), “We should be glad that there are celebrities out there who care enough to use their fame to shine the spotlight for a day on an obscure disease and the children that it afflicts.”
Sometimes, they may use their notoriety to generate public interest in a little known cause, e.g. – when George Clooney was arrested in March outside Sudan’s embassy, protesting the Sudanese hunger crisis.
Occasionally, they may use their worldwide reputation to spark international controversy, which is what Madonna did this past July. In a video during her concert in Paris, the outspoke singer superimposed the image of a swastika onto the face of France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
While tabloid magazines encourage us to believe otherwise, celebrities are human too. Although they hail from Hollywood, their political and social beliefs are as complex as the rest of us.
They just use their fame to make a louder statement.