by Devika Sunand
After Brad Pitt voiced his opinion about Donald Trump’s impeachment trial at the 2020 Oscars, the question of whether or not celebs and influential people should express their political opinion has become a topic of discussion.
Now, celebrities for a fact, hold the power to influence the masses. There are people who see celebs as idols, worshipping them and blindly believe what they say! This can prove to be both positive and negative for the celebrities as well as the public. Their power and public status makes it easier for celebrities in terms of promoting their work and gaining mass support, while the other side of the coin makes them the target of both positive and negative critique. The very reason advertisers use celebrities for promoting their product is because of the influence they have in the public eye. So, when a celebrity voice his/her opinion about a specific topic or an issue, it is obvious that the public will listen. Some stand up with them and some stand against them, some applaud them for their different opinion or daring move while some criticise them for their inability to be on the ‘right side’ and bash them for their words.
“Celebrities voicing their individual opinion over a topic must not be treated as anything different”
But, at the end of the day, it would not be wrong to say that you don’t get influenced unless you want to do so. What celebs say is their perspective and opinion. We, as individuals, should be able to think through the positives and negatives before forming our opinion regarding a particular topic. In the 21st century, the freedom of expression is one of the most powerful tools you can hold and it would be wrong to exclude some people of this right, based on their public status and media profile.
Whether or not celebs should voice their political opinion completely depends on them. They have the right to decide if they want to speak on the topic or not. There are celebrities like Mark Wahlberg who feels that celebrities should not voice their political opinion as they are not fully aware of what’s happening around them. Now, this can also be interpreted in different ways because there are also celebrities who keep a close tab on politics and the ‘real’ world. So, if they wish to comment on it, or voice their opinion on what they think about it, then why not?
The ‘Right to freedom of speech and expression’ gives every individual the right to express their views and opinions regardless of frontiers. Our freedom to vote for whoever we want, and to be able to express why we did so is something we must cherish – it isn’t a given for everyone, unfortunately. Therefore, celebrities voicing their individual opinion over a topic must not be treated as anything different. The constitution provides equal rights for its people and taking away the right of a specific group is not how a democracy works.