We often hear celebrities say that they have a responsibility to use their platform for good. The trend of celebrities taking on an activist role can be traced back to the 80’s when Princess Diana would visit impoverished countries and work with the local people. Through her work in foreign aid, she made the royal family tangible to Britain and the world. George Clooney is known for his aid in Sudan and Angelina Jolie is a representative for the United Nations. These people jump started the culture of activism in Hollywood and showed that celebrities have a platform to influence not only the public but also major government policy.
During award season, every personality that graces the red carpet participates in trending campaigns. When they speak up on behalf of a campaign they are promoting that movement and themselves simultaneously. Often times public relations reps force campaigns on their clients in order to make them more like-able.
With the SAG awards, Golden Globes, and Grammy’s behind us and the Oscars ahead, we find ourselves on the tail end of awards season. This year, the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns have spilled themselves onto the red carpet, demanding viewership and prime camera time. Kendrick Lamar utilized his Grammy performance to speak out against oppression of black culture and Joy villa wore a dress that promotes her support for the pro-life movement.
As we move forward through award season and observe movement we may see more counter arguments popping up. A woman recently spoke out against Aziz Ansari and accused him of ignoring her nonverbal cues. Instead of rallying around her, people seem to be speaking up for Aziz arguing that nonverbal signals are not grounds for accusations. Those in support of Aziz argue that she lumped him in with a group of people who abused the professional power they had over their subordinates.
It will be interesting to see which celebs will keep pushing these campaigns and who will drop them and fall back into the shadows once award season subsides.