Shia LaBeouf and the Pitfalls of Celebrity Activism

Being regular high school teenager, I am not a famous or a rich person. I cannot speak for other people in different positions as mine. Celebrities have it hard today. They are higher on the social scale. They have the name bolster their reputation. They have the power and attention to say things that sway public opinion. However, any screw up can ruin their lives.

Here comes Shia LaBeouf who installed a piece of artwork in an art museum that was targeted against Trump. It was a simple phrase “He will not divide us.” It was obvious that it was anti-trump and a symbol of hate or solidarity depending who on interprets it. LaBeouf, as a result, was arrested and charged misdemeanor. The art museum later took the piece of work down. Artists were upset because it was against their freedom of speech and was just an action of censorship.

The question I have is: Why instigate more hate and risk your reputation due to your political views? Well, it’s a difficult choice for celebrities like LaBeouf. People like him have the voice to change, but changes like these can hurt more than it helps. If I were celebrity, there something in the world that was bugging me, than it’s justifiable to bring it up. However, the idea of politics comes is very questionable. It’s very gutsy to talk about something like that considering that it is in same conversational realm like religion in my opinion.

Meryl Streep happened to do the same action as LaBeouf with an implicit anti trump speech, talking about women’s issues in front of a nationally-televised Golden Globes. While there are a couple people like LaBeouf and Streep, that speak out on politics, the question of whenever it’s good or bad comes different each person based on their views. It’s simply just complicated.

Photo by sophie angold (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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