Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

Hollywood Needs to Stay Out of Politics

Everyone seems to be praising Taylor Swift for finally getting into politics. Well I am not, and I’m the girl who arrived to my local Target promptly 15 minutes before opening to get her “Reputation” magazine when it was released last November and spent hours watching videos and buying CDs to gain access to presale tickets for her “Reputation” Stadium Tour. Even though good things came from Swift entering into the political realm, such as Vote.org reporting that voter registration went up significantly within 24 hours after her social media post, I still wished she hadn’t said anything at all. I am fine with her promoting her fans to go vote, but I’m not fine with her blatantly stating her voting decision. That is her personal opinion and it should have stayed that way.

Now, I do not have a personal vendetta against Swift, as I love her music and her fan base, but a vendetta against all celebrities that decide to voice their political opinions or to endorse a political campaign.

They have such a wide range of access to young, influential fans who, like myself, want to go out and buy everything their favorite celebrity endorses. For example, when Taylor Swift released a presale for her Fujifilm collaboration, you bet I pre-ordered that camera the second the email landed in my inbox. Why do I mention this? The very basis of my impulse to go buy a camera just because Taylor Swift likes it equates to her new power in the political world. So many Tennessee fans, without a doubt, probably will vote for the two candidates Swift endorsed, even though she urges her fans to become educated. Unlike the camera (and minus the fact that I am not a Tennessee citizen), I would not vote for someone my favorite celebrity endorsed unless that candidate respected my values too. But the fact is, the majority of voters do not know the candidates as well as they should to begin with. A lot of voters rely on media outlets and political parties to sway their votes, rather than doing the dirty work of research. Celebrities are not helping voters in any way.

Their influence spans too much. Their power to make an invisible candidate visual has gone too far. Their control over votes and opinions should not be allowed. Let the people vote themselves without the influence of Hollywood.

It should be the best man or woman wins, not the one who got the most celebrity endorsements. Although, with the last presidential election, Clinton did not win even with the majority of celebrity endorsements she received in comparison to Trump. Nevertheless, she had Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Meryl Streep, and more. Trump, most noticeably (but not solely), had Kanye West. All of these big-name people influenced their fans by creating social media posts, going to rallies and wearing merchandise.

Now I am not saying celebrities shouldn’t be political, I am just saying they shouldn’t outwardly show their vote. No one should. It is a private matter. Let people educate themselves, not be told who to choose. They don’t need to be on the front lines of a political campaign, they are actors and actresses, musicians and influencers. Their job isn’t politics, it’s Hollywood. It should stay that way.

1 Comment

  1. Annika

    Why can’t we trust voting adults to make their own decisions? I think we should trust Americans to hear opinions. Voting is supposed to be private in that you don’t have to tell people who you voted for, but the whole point of campaigning is to tell people who to vote for and hope that you can persuade them.