Stars shed light on public opinion

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Today’s society idolizes celebrities as the public is curious to find out what clothes a particular celebrity is wearing, what restaurants he or she goes to and even the names of the people he or she is dating. Despite the public’s desire to know all the day to day activities of celebrities, people also have a yearning to know the beliefs, ideals and stances that they take on certain issues. Therefore, celebrities have the ability to make an impact on public opinion regarding prevalent issues of the day. This impact is beneficial to the public because it sparks an interest in social and political movements endorsed by celebrities.

Many people today tend to take no interest in particular issues aside from learning about the newest trend set by their favorite celebrity. However, when a popular figure voices his or her own opinion, fans will begin to take an interest and even an active role in the particular movement.

jayz

Recently, rapper and music mogul Jay Z (pictured left)announced that he supports same-sex marriage as he believes that not supporting the issue is “plain and simple” discrimination. There is no doubt that his stance will have an impact on the public’s opinion because he is a leading figure in the hip hop world. His stance has the ability to shape the ideas of millions of young Americans who are influenced by his lyrics and who would follow the voice of their favorite musician much more so than a distant political figure whose words make little, if any, impact. With Jay-Z’s statement, people will realize that the issue of same-sex marriage is of serious concern and measures must be taken to ensure equality.

“There are some good people out there who are celebrities that I would trust,” said junior Stefan Lyon. “If they make a good point regarding a particular issue, I would reconsider my own opinions.”

With newly developed interests on issues, the public will begin to actively voice its own support. Academy Award winning actor George Clooney showed his support for President Obama by hosting a fundraiser in May 2012 at his Los Angeles home. Over a 150 prominent actors, actresses and business men and women attended the event, which generated almost $ 15 million for the President’s reelection campaign. Since many popular icons attended the event, it has caught the public’s attention and forced them to reevaluate President Obama’s campaign and motives, influencing their own stances on the upcoming presidential election.

Celebrities also participate and help endorse a wide range of movements and organizations. For instance, Brad Pitt is greatly involved in Habitat for Humanity and Oprah (Pictured right) oprahprovides funds and materials to build schools in Africa. Furthermore, during their Los Angeles concert on May 19, 2012, the band, Pink Floyd, promoted anti-war themes only a day before the NATO Summit in Chicago, which made crucial decisions regarding global conflicts. Fans of Pink Floyd’s music embrace the anti-war theme that the band expresses in its various songs. The band’s lyrics have inspired people to take action against governmental decisions regarding war for over three decades.

“Celebrities have an impact on public opinion because people look up to them and as a result, they have the ability to convince people,” said AP European History teacher Julie Schepple. “People who participate in politics will most likely not be swayed by the opinions of celebrities while people who are less inclined to participate in politics will probably be influenced by celebrities.

Celebrities have an impact on public opinion because they promote interest in specific issues, attracting the attention and support of the general public. Even if people disagree with the ideals of celebrities, their opinions urge them to reconsider their own beliefs and ideas. Thus, the opinions of celebrities cause the public to think about the issues pertaining to today, which is important in a time when public participation in politics is at a rapid decline.

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