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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: Celebrities are not political experts and should not be looked at as such

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President Barack Obama records an episode of The View at ABC Studios in New York, N.Y., July 28, 2010.

Hollywood celebrities and other big-name stars have dominated pop culture on another level since the rise of social media and advancing technology. Like the average citizen, these recognizable figures have the constitutional right to have and voice their opinions, even on political matters. However, the difference between celebrities and the average citizen is that a celebrity has enormous influence. 

Despite their heavy influence, pop stars and Hollywood actors should not have their views held to an abnormally high standard strictly based on their fame. 

There may be no other celebrity who likes to make outrageous and controversial claims on national television more than Whoopi Goldberg. She has amassed tons of fame from acting and her highly popular talk show, “The View.” Goldberg has used “The View” to voice factually incorrect and outrageous views, and some don’t go unpunished by the media. In early 2022, Goldberg claimed that the Holocaust had nothing to do with race. Instead, the issue that drove the Holocaust was “man’s inhumanity to man,” whatever that is supposed to mean. 

The public severely called out Goldberg after this statement. With public perception making itself clear, Goldberg took little time to come out and apologize for her ignorant comment. However, it didn’t change Goldberg’s habit of voicing her political and world opinions on her show. Goldberg continued to apologize on multiple other occasions throughout 2022. While this is not the first painfully inaccurate comment made on “The View,” Goldberg lost much credibility after the public outrage.

Celebrity interference has become more prominent since former President Donald Trump entered the political arena, a phenomenon that would almost help normalize celebrities being outspokenly political. The anti-Trump bandwagon has always been an easy and socially acceptable group to join out loud in many social circles. Celebrities have slammed Trump publicly and online for years now and there’s almost nothing negatively said about it. 

A clear example is a post on “X” from Taylor Swift in May of 2020 before the election between Trump and President Joe Biden. The tweet was in response to a tweet from Trump’s official White House Twitter account. In the tweet, Swift called out Trump for threatening violence against participants in the riots following the death of George Floyd. The exact line she criticized was “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

If you were to just casually scroll through the tweet from Swift, you could see her take was not very well received. It was not her responsibility to demonize the president’s proposed handling of nationwide protests and riots that led to looting in many major cities.

Wealth and fame are fantastic blessings, but they do not equate to being informed. But the scariest part about this is not a tweet from four years ago, it’s the political influence that Swift reportedly has today for absolutely no justifiable reason. 

Personally, I don’t care who Swift votes for or who she wants to endorse. However, the fact that almost a fifth of the country’s voters could be more likely to vote for a Swift-endorsed candidate when she has absolutely no background in politics or government cannot be rationally explained. Maybe her music is amazing, maybe she is one of the biggest pop stars in the entire world. Even with both those statements being true, that does not make her the least bit qualified to give political advice. 

Celebrities have the constitutional right to voice their thoughts and opinions, but the value we give those thoughts and opinions is something that we as a society have to monitor. So much happens in the world every day, and with that, we need to be careful what we deem as a credible source.

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About the Contributor
Aidan Burns, Staff Writer | he/him
Aidan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major who writes articles by day and waits tables by night.

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