Have you ever sat down casually to watch the Oscars, a time for celebration of the finest cinematic achievements of the year, then feel disappointed when the host breaks out into political grandstanding? Many are tired of this narrative, including myself.
Politics have slowly but surely infested our everyday lives, especially following the, to put it mildly, controversial 2016 presidential election where many people felt America would either end up with the trash… or the trash. Ever since that fateful Tuesday in November of 2016, millions of people have been more overt than ever about their political stances, including big name celebrities, and this has deteriorated our society.
The first problem with this culture is that misinformation is spread on national television. Last year’s Academy Awards were hosted by Jimmy “Guess What’s In My Pants” Kimmel, the host of ABC’s rendition of a late night talk show. Around that time, the Hollywood sex scandals were running rampant with names dropping left and right, most infamously Harvey Weinstein, co-executive producer of the greatest movie ever. Kimmel was unable to properly address that the problem was more of a higher power culture issue and less of a people issue. Considering the segment he used to run that warrants his aforementioned nickname, as well as his questionable antics on The Man Show, it is pretty concerning that he, whether it was intentionally or not, spun the issue into a “men” problem without clarifying it was a “powerful men” deal. Saying such heavily opinionated statements like that to a national audience when the majority of men are actually decent human beings is incredibly dangerous and is tearing our society apart just as much as The Donald is right now.
Some people just want to watch something for what it actually is, not a political platform. There are people who could not care any less for a celebrity’s political views and just want to hear them perform or give a speech thanking everyone for helping the singer get to where he or she is. Many people would rather just be angry about their favorite movie not winning than be annoyed by the political messages being jammed down their windpipes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having any political beliefs so long as you are not overly obnoxious about it.
Politics influencing our lives is also just flat out not beneficial to our society because celebrities speaking out and giving people a platform does not necessarily mean it will even help the candidate they are endorsing to win. When Taylor Swift endorsed democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen back in late 2018, not only did that create massive controversy among her very motley fanbase, that election did not even pan out how she hoped it would, as the incumbent, Marsha Blackburn, defended her title and lying down Bredesen for the three count. Rihanna also endorsed a democratic candidate in 2018, Andrew Gillum, to no avail. Stacey Abrams, a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, had endorsements from Common, Will Ferrell, Tiffany Haddish, and even former president Barack Obama, and still ended up losing the race to Brian Kemp, a man that voluntarily went to a Trump rally instead of debating Abrams in the weeks leading up to the election. Making endorsements this grand spectacle does nothing but divide society even further and really means next to nothing in the long run.
To clear things up: it is absolutely important that you are informed about what is going on in the world of politics and government and other major current events. It is absolutely blasphemous that books like “To Kill A Mockingbird” are still being banned over making some students uncomfortable. That is the exact point of the book: to step outside of your bubble and imagine how you would feel if other people did something to you that you did not like. The actions legislators and leaders take have long lasting impacts on their country and the planet, and it is important we know how their actions make such impacts on our lives, our children’s lives, our grandchildren’s lives, and so on.
With that said, however, it is a dreadful idea to put political metaphors into things as simple as late night television programming when all we want to do is sit down and watch some charismatic middle aged man interview celebrities trying to advertise their new book, movie, or whatever they are selling. That warrants much more wholesome content than playing both lanes. All society wants is to enjoy creators’ works, and in tandem with the ever-toxic celebrity culture in the United States, our society has become more unbearable. Hopefully we all can shake it off some time soon.