Celebrity Activism

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PHOTO 2006 BY MARIANNA [CC0]

   Celebrity activism has its pros and cons. On one hand, someone out there is using their fame and popularity to bring attention to important issues, such as poverty, education, medicine, etc. For example, Rihanna recently received an award for all of the work she has done, described here by the Huffington Post.

The Harvard Foundation, which annually honors prominent public-spirited leaders, named Rihanna as the recipient of the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award for her charitable work promoting healthcare and education in the Caribbean. In addition to funding a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine in her home country of Barbados, the singer has set up the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program to help Caribbean students attending universities in the U.S. succeed.

 

Now she, here, is a great example of a person who brings attention to problems and tries to solve the problem in her own way, making a difference. She isn’t just mouthing words, she’s saying and doing things.

Now the cons to celebrity activism can be seen in the issue with Shia LaBeouf and the exhibit, “He Will Not Divide Us,” in Queens, New York. While he has brought attention to the issues that have surrounded Trump, what has he done to actually bring about change?

Celebrity activism can act as a catalyst, it doesn’t always have to BE a part of the solution to problems. However, celebrity activism doesn’t help when words are spoken, but actions are not taken. In essence, the situation can be described in 1 word: complaining.

As the author of the NY Times article has said, “The real work of combating bigotry is handled not by groovy street theatrics but by the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who march and protest and call their legislators.”

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