celebrity activism

class topic: Shia LaBeouf and the Pitfalls of Celebrity Activism by  Ginia Belafante

I’d like to believe that when celebrities call attention to social, political, or economic inequality they are doing it to raise awareness because it’s something they care about. But most of the time it’s a PR stunt or serves as an alternative way for them to fill the void of much wanted attention. Although I say that, most of the time I could care less about whether or not a certain celebrity is genuine in their efforts, as long as they are raising awareness or helping anyone in the world. After all, they have a lot of influence and money since our country loves show business and drama (technically, that’s the reason Trump came to be president). This article seems to bash Shia LaBeouf and his alleged “pitfall” but I don’t believe it’s all black and white. First of all, I appreciate that he is actively participating in something he believes in, most celebrities draw a line to their max efforts with a mere tweet or some hashtag on Instagram. Another example is Shailene Woodley and the North Dakota Pipeline who actively protested instead of complaining on social media. There is a part in the article I do agree on though, which is how celebrity activism is only carried out by self-interest: Jennifer Lawerence fighting for equal pay when she’s the highest paid actress making 50 million a year, Scarlett Johansson speaking out about the lack of diversity in Hollywood whilst she takes the lead of Ghost in the Shell (which was meant to be an asian lead) and makes millions, or Leonardo DiCaprio (UN messenger of peace) in National Geographic’s Before the Flood  advocating for urgent actions in preventing climate change while riding in his gas-hungry jet packs and luxury cars in the documentary. Most celebrities believe their doing good by calling attention to certain matters, but as soon as the limelight is over, they go back to living their luxurious lives hiding behind mansions and sports cars. I mean our own president claims to be the model citizen for the working class! Oh, the irony. So although I have mixed feelings about celebrity activism, I’d rather have them half-heartedly advocate for change than not say anything at all and hide behind their wealth.

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