Political agenda in award shows and its impact on students
The Grammys have always been about music and the arts however, as years progress, the award show continues to become increasingly political.
Many students have mixed beliefs regarding whether celebrities should voice their political views and if it is appropriate to do so. Khue Hoang, a public health major, said that while she thinks celebrities should speak out, but the Grammys is not the place to do it.
“I don’t think they should address it at award shows because it’s supposed to be a happy environment, rather than bringing up topics that might offend other people,” said Hoang.
Jessah Doctor, an exercise science major, also believes celebrities should speak out, but said there should be a line. He said the focus of the show should be the nominees and their awards, but if the topic comes up, they can comment on it.
“It depends what the conversation is on. If it’s not about politics, and you’re going to start arguing whether you like Donald Trump or not, it’s not the time or place,” said Doctor.
Aaron White, a business management major, said bringing up these topics can change the environment at the show because they are often controversial, but that does not mean they cannot speak their opinion.
“I think it kind of changes the environment, but there always has been a little bit of a political message to award shows and, in the Grammys, just because of how many people watch it,” said White.
Justin Gendron, president of the College Democrats, said it is a celebrity’s first amendment right to speak their opinions, and awards shows, and music often carry a political message.
“Music is always about a statement, and that is a statement,” said Gendron. “Music can be so political – everything can be so political, it’s not taking away from anything if they say ‘hey, I don’t like this person,’ or ‘we should be doing this.”
Gendron said celebrities should be able to speak about whatever topic they choose, and they should use their status to advance their platform. He said the only time it becomes a problem is when they use that platform to incite violence.
“I think when people get aggressive on their platforms I feel like that’s when it turns ugly,” said Gendron. “Although I found it hilarious, I don’t think it was appropriate for someone like Cardi B to say, ‘I’ll dog walk you’ to Tomi Lahren.”
Jonah Morring, a sociology major minoring in political science, said celebrities speaking out has become more common in recent years because we have allowed a non-politician to take on a major political role.
“To combat that, there needs to be somebody else that other people look up to that really speaks out and says ‘hey, I agree with this or I don’t.’ I feel like that’s really important,” said Morring.
Celebrities often use their platform to draw attention to big controversial issues, but Morring said it is important to remind to people to do things like vote.
“Voting is the one thing that normal people, like us, have to do to be involved with politics. That’s the first step. At 18, you get registered to vote, [and] that’s your first introduction to politics at a young age,” said Morring.
Voting registration has been promoted recently from celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio.
While the celebrities speaking out may not be political expertise, they have a big influence on their viewers, and they listen.
“Just drawing attention to problems is super influential with what knowing what the outcome is,” said Morring. “Them not knowing exactly what they’re talking about and going into deep detail is just irrelevant. They don’t need to, they just need to draw the attention.”