Editorial: Judge Someone on Character, Not Political Stance

Where Meryl Streep presented her speech
Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons

All of us are just people. And I hate how some don’t realize that.

Many people in Hollywood have spoken out against Donald Trump’s presidency, whether it was during his campaign or currently. With it has come backlash from people who support Trump. However, both supporters and non-supporters have the right to say what is on their mind and how they feel. Everyone does according to the First Amendment.

So why is it such an issue when celebrities choose to speak about an issue to possibly inspire or give hope to those who are afraid of changes that could potentially hurt them?
Why is it such big deal to call them out? Because they are celebrities and not “experts” on social issues?

As I try to understand the motive, I guess I can see the point. The people calling the celebrities out, or telling them to keep their “liberal thoughts” to themselves, have probably experienced some kind of harassment toward their own views. Think about it. Regardless of what view someone has, hearing someone else say that their views are “wrong,” or that they should be ashamed, hurts. So, since they have been criticized, they feel the need to criticize others, which is understandable and honestly can just be related to human instinct.

However, there was one comment I saw once that really bothered me. It said something along the lines of, “As a celebrity, you’re not real. I watch you in a box for entertainment when I feel like it, not to hear your political agenda. So stay in that box or get out.” This was in response to Meryl Streep’s recent speech at The Golden Globes. I could never, and probably will never, relate to what it is like being a celebrity. But as a fan of pop culture and entertainment, I found this offensive. I can only imagine how any celebrity who saw it would feel.

Celebrities are people. While they definitely have more opportunities than the average person, they are still people. They’re not robots (or, well, not that we know of anyway). To the person who left this comment, I just wanted to ask how he thinks celebrities provide entertainment for him without involving human emotion? If they are in a so-called “box,” how are they able to reach out and inspire so many people?

I think the point I’m trying to make here is don’t be narrow-minded. Consider every person’s side and not just yours. It sucks that you may have been criticized for your opinion, but don’t fight fire with fire. Back up your opinion with facts or try to relate them to the person with the opposing view. Try to get them to see your perspective instead of just flat out denying theirs. Maybe then, a civil agreement will be reached and we won’t continue to have this separation in society.

As Streep mentioned in her speech, “What is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places… if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts.”

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