In a society where the general population is heavily influenced by the 1%, have celebrities started to use red carpet events to further their political agendas?
Following the conclusion of the Golden Globe awards, where invited celebrities turned out dressed in black head to toe in support of the “Me Too” movement which was started to support victims of sexual assault, the phrase “Oprah for President 2020” was plastered over Twitter timelines following the conclusion of her emotional acceptance speech.
“I think Oprah’s speech was very powerful and probably inspired a lot of young girls to work hard to succeed in their futures,” said senior Erin Hogge. “But I do wish celebrities would keep politics out of award shows and Hollywood in general because it takes away from the element of fun in the entertainment industry.”
Opposition to the current political situation is evident in the midst of red carpet events, especially in the last two years. At the 2017 Women’s March many celebrities made an appearance, and some who were unable to attend in person showed their support on social media. Beyonce had posted an official poster of the 2017 Women’s March, saying, “…we raise our voices as mothers, as artists, and as activists.”
Since the election of Trump to the office of president, there was turmoil on social media from celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, who is well known for her slander of the president as well as being married to the pop star John Legend.
It’s natural for people to turn to their idols for guidance, and out of natural curiosity, their opinions, but what happens when celebrities are able to heavily influence the population?
“I think they do have the power to influence people. When I was little I loved Sharpay Evans and I wanted to have a little dog and wear pink a lot [like her] so I think so,” said Natalie Seyler.
On the red carpet many topics are in relation to current events and politics.
“There is always an issue that people are talking about and celebrities are usually questioned about their stance on it,” said freshman Audrey Rader. “Many celebrities have millions of followers. They also influence people through televised events, and even if you do not watch the event, it will most likely be in the news in the morning.”
Students think celebrities use primarily social media to influence the populace, even if they are unaware of it.
“A lot of times I think that celebrities jump on the bandwagon of making red carpet events political,” said Herbert. “But their actions don’t always match their words and I think that is where things start to get problematic.”
Students have differing opinions on celebrities’ use of their popularity, but most agree that they do use their popularity for gains of some sort.