Should actors do political commentary?

tmcmeekin

DTVUSA Member
#1
I recently saw where an actor I watched growing up has now been hired to discuss politics on a TV station, and it disappointed me because it was a channel I don't like. This is far from the first actor saying something I don't agree with, but it just got me thinking. It does feel disingenuous when they come out with these opinions AFTER they've made a career and built a fanbase on what is, to me, false pretenses. Then again, when actors become activists or speak out for causes I support, I tend to like them even more. Although I can appreciate that actors have every right to speak their opinions, it does change my opinion of them, for better or worse.

Without arguing about specific issues or people (I don't really care to argue about politics no matter what party or views you side with, and I won't engage in that discussion here) -- do you think actors should be political, or should they stick to acting? Does it matter what venue they use, and when?
 

James

DTVUSA Member
#2
I am amused when actors and other entertainers think they know more than regular people...like me. It is if they think they know better...the thinking class...that spoon feeds the peasants. I exaggerate perhaps. Just play your music, say your lines, and shut up.
Of course they should speak their mind in an interview, blob, tweet. I just don't want to hear it from the stage.
 
#3
It does feel disingenuous when they come out with these opinions AFTER they've made a career and built a fanbase on what is, to me, false pretenses.
??? You feel you have a right to assume any random actor/actress is liberal?? Most citizens in the U.S. of A. describe themselves as conservative, and I bet most people in show business would follow suit, in a closed booth poll. They simply won't speak up about it because of the disgusting, stifling PC police, who brag openly about firing conservatives and hiring liberals. The reverse never happens today, and I can name half a dozen extremely liberal commentators on FNC. How the pendulum has swung since the McCarthy era!

Stacey Dash is an excellent example of a beautiful, courageous, black conservative woman recently hired on at Fox News. She will be very effective in arguing for conservative principles, which is why the liberatzis will do everything they can to proactively discredit her. The internet is already filled with vile, racist epithets hurled straight in her direction. What a shame she's female -- makes it a little awkward to use the "Uncle Tom" cliche.

Guess we'd better not bring up Whoopi Goldberg in this context. No way we can shut her down -- that would be racist.

Rick
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
Although I am not a fan, in 2006 Laura Ingraham wrote a book, Shut Up & Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America and it has many examples where actors and singers use their popularity to promote their political viewpoints and in the process, often overstep their areas of education and expertise. She suggests actors should act, singers should sing and their popularity should not give them license to promote anything they actually know little about.

Of course, that book is aimed at liberal Hollywood but I was not pleased to see Charlton Heston in his 'role' promoting the NRA, in spite of being a strong supporter of my own gun rights. At least he was the real thing, having spent a lifetime as a gun collector and hunter, but so many others heard a single seminar or read a pamphlet on a 'topic' and since they were between 'gigs' - what better way to get back into the limelight?

Another celebrity (by marriage) is Michelle Obama who has little if any formal education in nutrition, yet she has managed to turn Public School lunch programs upside down in the name of eating healthy. One result is millions of kids now bring lunch from home instead of buying lunch at school, after all, they want to eat a real lunch instead of a plate full of legumes. Has anyone noticed White House State Dinners never serve skimmed milk Welsh Rarebit, Tofurkey and bread isn't (almost) banned? I'm moving into 'double-standard' territory such as ex-politician AlGore who owns mansions and private jets that create thousands of times as much carbon dioxide than anyone reading this, but he can and you can't - because of his celebrity status. So, I'm going to add a little CO2 to the atmosphere by cracking a beer ... sssst! OMG! I just contributed to global warming!

Jim
 
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tmcmeekin

DTVUSA Member
#5
Well as I said before I'm not going to debate specific examples... but...

A common concern seems to be that the celebrities may not have any knowledge or expertise in the subject which they're talking about, and they're just using it to further their own careers - but what if they do actually know the subject? Do you take that into consideration? There are actors who have doctorates and have had careers in other fields. They could have read and studied the subject in their own time, too. And the people who are career politicians and pundits don't necessarily have a grasp of the science/social science/etc. behind the issues anyway.

Also, I would argue that in some cases, you don't need an advanced knowledge in a particular field to understand that an issue is serious, and raise awareness about it.
 
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James

DTVUSA Member
#6
I was running a local concert a few years ago. One of the bands frontman said he liked a certain presidential candidate because "...he smoked." Although it was goofy and funny...it was an honest reaction to a candidate. Amost refreshing compared to the other posturing I heard from just about everyone else on camera (TV).
 
#7
Well as I said before I'm not going to debate specific examples... but...

A common concern seems to be that the celebrities may not have any knowledge or expertise in the subject which they're talking about, and they're just using it to further their own careers - but what if they do actually know the subject? Do you take that into consideration? There are actors who have doctorates and have had careers in other fields. They could have read and studied the subject in their own time, too. And the people who are career politicians and pundits don't necessarily have a grasp of the science/social science/etc. behind the issues anyway.

Also, I would argue that in some cases, you don't need an advanced knowledge in a particular field to understand that an issue is serious, and raise awareness about it.
Like you, what bothers me is the aspect of celebrity politics sent up so brilliantly in Team America, namely their superficial knowledge of the issues they're championing ('the corporations...they're corporationy!'). Yes it disappoints me when someone I admire for their work turns out to be politically opposite from me, or just terrible at being a political commentator for whatever cause, but trying to boycott actors from speaking their mind because they are contracted to companies with particular political views is repressive, and we should know them for what they are. And, yes, if celebrity backing is what it takes to get people interested in a good cause, then so be it. It's just sad that this is what it takes.
 
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