Recently, celebrities have been strongly ridiculed for expressing their political opinions on social media.
Celebrities are always in the public eye, but when expressing political opinions, there has been backlash. Celebrities are people, very rich people, but people nonetheless. As people, they have First Amendment rights, specifically, freedom of speech. They are under no obligation to keep their thoughts to themselves. So yes, celebrities have the right to express their opinions, and yes, the people have the right to criticize their opinions, but as middle class citizens we have to be aware of the fact that reality for celebrities is very different from the reality of everyday people.
Celebrities’ income puts them in an entirely different tax bracket than citizens working 9 to 5 jobs on the daily. This means money based issues don’t really affect celebrities as they do average income citizens. Not all celebrities were raised in “Hollywood homes.” The rags to riches stories are abundant in the world of the famous, but coming from a middle or low income family doesn’t mean they remember what it is to be tight on money, or to work in fear of losing a needed job because of downsizing or whatever the reason may be. “To live in” and “to know about” are two very different things.
There is no denying celebrities heavily influence the general population, but just because they have influence doesn’t mean celebrities are well informed or well educated on the issues they speak so strongly about. The world we live in has become excessively celebrity centered; there’s no denying the excitement that plastered social media when Beyonce announced her pregnancy or when Ed Sheeran dropped an album with no prior advertising. Society has become so incredibly involved with the lives of the famous that they feel an intimate attachment to their lives and their experiences, trusting their opinions to be fact rather than what they really are, opinion.
The nicknamed “one percent” are the main endorsers and supporters of the political world; when a well-liked celebrity goes public with their political likes and dislikes, their fans are swayed to look into their opinions, if not completely agree with them.
Some celebrities have moved from just stating their opinions, to acting on them, in a positive way. “That 70s Show’” star Ashton Kutcher started an organization called the Thorn Task Technical Force [TTTF]. They searches the dark net for human trafficking victims and human traffickers. Since Kutcher started this organization, 6,000 victims have been saved, and 2,000 traffickers caught. Kutcher sat in on a session of Congress and spoke about TTTF calling it his “day job”, as that is his primary focus.