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Should Celebrities Talk Politics?

Updated on August 23, 2017

Have Your Say on Celebrity Politics!

Do celebrities and politics mix? Should famous people actively voice their political opinions, or keep them to themselves? Have your say with this interactive page asking should celebrities talk politics?

With more and more global issues coming to our attention, and the explosion of social media such as Twitter and Facebook, politics is something that is inevitably being discussed more by actors, musicians, writers and other famous faces. Many are now referred to as "celebrity activists" as they become involved in political debate, humanitarian work and issues such as climate change.

Is this a good thing, with the potential to ignite more interest in politics from the general public, or is it best left to the politicians themselves? Read on to have your say and find out more.

Photo Credit: George Bush shakes hands with Bono in 2006, calling him a "good citizen of the world".

Image in the public domain

Celebrities say the darnedest things.

— Bridgette Wilson

President Barack Obama meets with Paul David "Bono" Hewson, lead singer of U2 and anti-poverty activist, to discuss development policy in the Oval Office, April 30, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Image in the public domain

A while ago I posted a film link on Facebook, commenting that I was excited about seeing a particular actor in a particular role. A friend commented that she had long been a fan of the actor in question since she was a teenager, but "since he became 1000000% political in everything he talks about, I've lost interest..."

This was fascinating to me, because, on the contrary, I was enjoying reading his political views on Twitter at the time, and to me it made him even more of an interesting person to follow, not just on Twitter, but in general. And this is coming from someone who, until recently, struggled to stay interested in my own country's politics, let alone that of another!

Because, regardless of what I may or may not think of this actor's viewpoint (I happen to agree with him, but that's beside the point), the positive thing is that it got me interested in finding out more. I knew next to nothing about American politics, being from England myself, but having read some of the articles he posted on Twitter, I started learning more, and actually became extremely interested in the subject. Which is a good thing, right? We should be taking an active interest in the people and governments who run not just our own country, but all the others, too.

Sean Penn amongst the crowd at the United for Peace March, January 27, 2007.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

So, I did a little research online, and found plenty of people who felt that celebrities really ought to "shut up" when it comes to sharing their political views. I guess it probably depends on what their political viewpoint is... if you agree, then you'd be quite happy to let them spread the word, but if not...

However, people have the right to voice their opinion, be they celebrity or everyday person. Unless they are spewing hateful comments, deliberately manipulating the public or inciting the likes of violence, then surely famous people are entitled to their opinion and their passion as much as you or I?

So what do you think? Do celebrity politics have the potential to inspire others into taking an active interest in the world? Or do you see that as a bad thing, where celebrities can influence unsure voters into supporting a party they might not otherwise have chosen? Or, is it simply a case of making the celebrity in question, well, just a little bit boring?

Let battle commence! Have your say below, watch celebs talking politics, find out more info, and decide which celebrities talk the best politics!

HERE'S WHAT I THINK

I think, overall, that it is a good thing that celebrities talk politics, if only to inspire an interest in the people who are interested in them. Right now, western politics is decided as much by voter apathy as it is voter power, because so many people are either disillusioned or simply not interested.

I agree with Matt Damon's statement that most people are set in their ways with politics, so having an opinion does not necessarily herald change, but providing the celebrity is speaking out in the spirit of change, rather than for their own ego, that is a good thing.

I think getting people thinking and talking about political issues is important. Any celebrities who are willing to speak out about humanitarian causes, environmental issues or other significant topics are bringing these key issues to a wider audience.

Of course, you will always get celebrities spouting rubbish about things they know nothing about. That is no different from the general public. And just because they are famous, it doesn't mean they know any better than we do. But many can press for significant changes - for example, would the Gurkhas in the UK have got the justice they deserved, had the much-loved and respected actress Joanna Lumley not spoken out and supported them so passionately?

YOUR TURN!

Should Celebrities Talk Politics?

Celebrities Who Talk Politics

Matt Damon on Politics

"I'm not an activist per se, but I have strong feelings about things. People can jump on celebrities for being ill-informed or naive, but I've got a right to say what I believe."

- Ed Harris

John Cusack on Politics

John Cusack for President on CafePress

John Cusack for President on CafePress
John Cusack for President on CafePress

Sean Penn on Politics

"I have always hated celebrities lecturing people on politics. So forgive me. But I am passionate about this country. I am equally passionate about the potential of the people who live here."

- Simon Cowell

Bono on Politics

Angelina Jolie on Politics

More Politicial Celebrities

Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and George Clooney show their appreciation for U.S. troops during a tour of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Image in the public domain

Of course, the ultimate examples of celebrities getting involved in politics are those who actually went into politics - such as actor-turned-president Ronald Reagan, and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became Governor of California in 2003. But there are plenty of other celebs having their say and getting involved too:

Brad Pitt *** Tim Robbins *** Robert Redford *** Bob Geldof *** Don Cheadle *** Michael J Fox *** Willie Nelson *** Barbra Streisand *** Joanna Lumley *** Michael Moore *** Oprah Winfrey *** Tom Cruise *** Rosie O'Donnell ***

Rob Reiner *** Susan Sarandon *** Alec Bladwin *** Stephen Baldwin ***

Jane Fonda *** Martin Sheen

PAST POLITICAL CELEBRITIES

Elizabeth Taylor *** Audrey Hepburn *** Orson Welles *** Charlton Heston *** Paul Newman *** Frank Sinatra *** John Wayne *** Warren Beatty ***

Harry Belafonte

CELEBRITIES PASSIONATE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE & THE ENVIRONMENT

Leonardo DiCaprio *** Ian Somerhalder

CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE GIVEN SUPPORT TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS

Stephen Fry *** John Cleese *** Honor Blackman *** David Tennant *** The Spice Girls *** Sean Connery *** Daniel Radcliffe *** Michael Caine ***

Brian Eno

Say What?

"I think celebrities have an obligation to the public to not just sing or act."

- Clay Aiken

"I think that celebrities should never underestimate their power. I mean just to draw attention, because then people get involved on a personal level."

- Debbie Gibson

The Best and Worst of Celebrity Politics

Paul McCartney receiving the Gershwin Award from Barack Obama. Image in the public domain

Been inspired by the words of a certain celebrity? Incensed by the ramblings of another? Post your best and worst political celebs here - feel free to post on both sides!

Who do you love and who can't you stand when it comes to political talk?

Political Current Events

"All of us, whether or not we're celebrities, every one ought to spend part of their life making someone else's life better."

- Jerry Springer

Celebrities and Politics - HOT OR NOT?

Angelina Jolie at a news conference with U.S. Senators. Image in the public domain

Did you change your mind about celebrities and politics? Do you think they can inspire interest in the subject, or only cause more grief? Your final conclusions, please!

Celebrities and politics...

See results

I hope this page was suitably thought-provoking and inspired some good-spirited debate! Please leave your comments on this page or the topic in general here.

Should Celebrities Talk Politics? Share your Thoughts! - Please Leave your Comments and Feedback Here

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Should celebrities talk politics? Hey! Everybody talks politics. You should ride a public bus or subway train and listen to some of the heated discussions. Too bad those folks don't have celebrity status. Sometimes they be making serious sense about extremely complicated issues. They deserve a soap box!

    • DeboraR profile image

      DeboraR 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens on a debatable topic.

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I have witness the impact that celebrities can have on social and political discourse since Marlon Brandon stance for the rights of Native Americans through Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolie's humanitarian work and the work of George Clooney's work in Darfur.

      Muhammad Ali is one of most famous celebrity to have "Stood up for Something" !...if a person want stand for something, he will fall for anything'

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Excellent topic for a lens. Blessed!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      very interesting topic, with lots of things to think about. Nice job!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      You did an excellent job on this lens! Good going...

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 6 years ago

      Congrat's to you on the Purple Star....very well deserved. We know the feeling, also recently received one..our 1st :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star, very well deserved !

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      Well-deserved Purple Star. Congratulations.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Very good topic! Congrats on the Purple Star for stirring up some good debate.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on your new Purple Star! A very interesting topic that inspires healthy debate. Well done.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 6 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Lots of content to mull over here. Great lens and congrats on your purple star!

    • simplyoasis profile image

      simplyoasis 6 years ago

      Everyone deserves the right to voice there opinion. If not for some celebrity voices really pushing buttons many criminal injustices would not have been brought to the view of the public.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 6 years ago from California

      This was an interesting debate. I think a case could be made for both sides of the issues. I think celebrities can help us become aware of issues, but it is up to us to do research and to come to our own conclusion. Forming an opinion on something just because a celebrity brought it up isn't a good thing. We have to take the next step and educate ourselves on issues before drawing conclusions.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Great debate!

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      Really interesting debate... and food for thought

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      Yes a great debate! I prefer to do my own research rather than listen to anybody. But political debate is a good thing for all of us.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Very good debate

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      I don't listen any more to a celebrity on political issues than I do anyone else, actually. But I think it's silly to insist anyone make believe they have no opinion when they do. The McCarthy era in the US shows the damage that can be done when people are silenced for having opinions.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Great debate! Thanks! Very thought provoking... I've never thought about this before!

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 6 years ago from Houston

      Don't care if they have opinions but I find they don't handle the responsibility very well and their comments receive way too much weight. Would be happy if I never heard them again. It's all distracting and makes it hard to watch them when I get to know them too much. Breaks that illusion.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      any american if free to speak their mind. at least celebrities do it openly, unlike behind-the-scenes lobbyists and corporations.