29
May
08

Should celebrities get involved in global politics?

American film actress Sharon Stone has put her foot in it with these comments on China. Essentially saying the Chinese earthquake might be punishment for the country’s policies on Tibet. Are celebrities better off keeping their mouths shut when it comes to geo-politics? Or do they bring much needed attention and publicity to political campaigns? George Clooney has tried it with Darfur. Sean Penn with the Iraq war. Do we care what they think?


32 Responses to “Should celebrities get involved in global politics?”


  1. 1 steve
    May 28, 2008 at 15:28

    Like politicians, celebrities can be idiots too. A comment like Sharon Stone’s is as stupid as when some evangelist, I think falwell, said that 9/11 was punishment for gay rights in the US. I don’t think people should be silenced, but just realize that they’re idiots.

  2. 2 Tino
    May 28, 2008 at 16:41

    They can say what they want, but I do wish they would shut up – in this case anyway. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, but what the hell was she talking about. To suggest the Chinese somehow deserved that horrible disaster is ridiculous. So many people died, I do not think it is asking to much to show some compassion. She is clearly an idiot.

  3. 3 Dennis :)
    May 28, 2008 at 16:53

    Sometimes, like everyone else–celebrities do make STUPID things! To celebrities get involved in politics, yes!

    In the United States, there have been many celebrities that have turned to politics,
    as a second [or third] career…

    Look @ Arnold in California…

    Dennis

  4. 4 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    May 28, 2008 at 17:01

    A warm ‘hello’ from Colombia! 😛

    “Do we care what they think?” Nop. For me that’s rubbish. They do not live the same reality than the people in other countries, and few of them try to get involved in it. I can believe Angelina Jolie saying those funny things since she’s been there with people in Africa (gaining her quarter-of-hour fame) and has not only given lots of money to save her soul. Other celebrities, in fact, have also seen – if not lived – that reality themselves. I do not think their should be indifferent, but if their are going to open their mouths they should say something more intelligent, not only critisizing but taking advantage of their influence – because they have it – to help somehow.

    Stone’s comment was really stupid! :O She does not respect the victims and the efforts of the people trying to rescue survivors!

  5. 5 Tom
    May 29, 2008 at 03:39

    Celebrities with strong political opinions should be encouraged to become politicians. Their fame and influence would help realise their cause.

    Stone’s comments, however, only served to highlight her irrationality and ignorance, rather than the plights of the earthquake victims, many of whom are Tibetans, or the past wrongdoings of the Chinese government.

    I could sense that many Chinese will greet her comment first with disbelief, followed by laughters.

  6. May 29, 2008 at 04:57

    It seems most people think of actors and actresses when they think of political activism. Musicians and their music have moved whole generations. Sometimes encouraging them to support a cause, sometimes to encourage them to rise up against on. Their thoughts and art can be the glue that sticks a revolution of ideals together.

    Lets not forget a few celebrities have went on to be influential in politics. Way too many of them from the movie “Predator”. Didn’t one actor even go on to be President. He was the catalyst to start this whole “Bush” empire.

  7. 7 Rick
    May 29, 2008 at 07:10

    Celebrities are no wiser than any of the rest of us, its just that they have a megaphone. If I agree with thier cause then yes they should. Otherwise they should shut the heck up.

  8. 8 Gynlee
    May 29, 2008 at 11:21

    Celebrities has the same rights as a non-celebrity to make his/her comments except whatever comments a celebrity make is always amplified ten-fold. While Stone’s comment on karma is not wrong, she had not done sufficient in-depth research to justify her claims. Will endorsements return if Stone made a public apology? I think not. A common saying: “what’s said cannot be retracted” – Sharon, brace yourself for the ride ahead.

  9. May 29, 2008 at 11:32

    Celebrities do have the power to attract a younger audience. Some of my friends at university know more about britney spears latest saga (apparently she might be getting married again) than the latest information on the American Election, or what is happening in iraq.

    I dont think they should be written off to the extent that everyone appears to have done on this blog. As Rick said they have a microphone, and with that comes a responsibility to bring important issues to the public attention. For example Anglelina Jolie has worked for many years for the UN as has Nicole Kidman. We only know what conflicts/ part of the world they are discussing thanks to the media attention as a result of a celebrity being invovled.

    In some cases world politicans have shown they are happier to meet celebrities (George Clooney being an example) than heads of state. This opens up a diplomatic opportunity for communication on politically sensitive issues which might not occure if the two heads of state were to meet face to face. Think of the American Bands who played in China and Russia during the Cold War and how this removed some of the iron curtain.

    Politicians need to engage with the media to maintain a public profile and one method of doing so is through being a celebrity. Most 18 years olds in the uk would name Boris Johnson and Lembit Optick (marrying a cheeky girl) before leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

  10. 10 Loay Abdelkarim
    May 29, 2008 at 14:46

    Before American criticize China for its treatment of Tibet maybe should review their at their own behavior of Hawaii which as been almost identical. Ms Stone should start her karma observation on Maui

  11. 11 Jeff Minter
    May 29, 2008 at 17:33

    Of course it’s karma, much like the thousands of dead American troops for invading a country, the hundreds of Tibetans living in said earthquake zone, the millions of Americans suffering from outsourcing of jobs to China, and the countless number of Tibetans tortured and abused in their own country.

    THEY ALL DESERVED IT.

    wink wink.

  12. 12 Tom
    May 30, 2008 at 07:15

    Karma… that may explain why we are all born into this evil world.

  13. 13 Virginia Davis
    May 30, 2008 at 09:15

    See BBConline re Dior dropping Sharon Stone from China advertising.

    That is direct “cause and effect.” Useful for learning to put brain in gear before engaging mouth.

    Virginia in Portland, OR

  14. May 30, 2008 at 13:29

    Like politicians, celebrities can be idiots too. A comment like Sharon Stone’s is as stupid as when some evangelist, I think falwell, said that 9/11 was punishment for gay rights in the US. I don’t think people should be silenced, but just realize that they’re idiots.

    Steve,
    Your right, it was that bigot, falwell who spewed those ignorant remarks, among many others.

    I agree with Steve in that celebs, politicians, and normal people alike can be idiots. Being a celeb shouldn’t remove someones ability to speak their mind simply because they have a larger platform to speak it from.

  15. 15 selena
    May 30, 2008 at 14:21

    Now why on earth would anyone think that memorizing a few lines and saying them in a movie indicates anything other than that a person can follow a script and orders?

    Wasn’t Sharon Stone’s claim to fame appearing in a movie without her underwear? 😉

    Poor Sharon, I bet, by now she doesn’t have a clue what hit her?

    Let’s all smile benevolently at the poor woman? Perhaps she will finally realize that Karma is simply another word, coined to impress.

  16. 16 John in Germany
    May 30, 2008 at 15:07

    Many celebrities have quietly taken up a cause, and have supported many charities, without any fuss what so ever. The trouble is those that make so much noise when they do something, that the cause is drowned in self profilation.

    Some are just dumb, and would help everybody if they just keep quiet. and then there’s the other that could by example do a lot, they do a lot alright and show our youth how to become drug addicts, and drunkards.

    Thank heavens for the many that are really concerned about the cause in which they decide to operate, and set very good examples to everyone. They are far between but stick out like a mile, to the good of us all. A lot have passed away, or were put away by Mc Carthy Sadly………

    Let us praise the good, and not be to hard on the not so good it could be the fault of their managers. Could i be right?.

    In Biology we learnt you don’t need to be brainy to be beautyfull, and that beauty is only skin deep.

    Thanks to all of those that help, and try a bit harder those that dont.

    John in Germany.

  17. 17 steve
    May 30, 2008 at 17:23

    Here’s the latest celebrity idiocy. Susan Sarandon vows to move to Italy or Canada if Mccain wins. How immature can you be? Do celebrities wear diapers as well?

  18. 18 Scott Millar
    May 30, 2008 at 19:19

    + All people have a (Reverand) Wright to be involved in politics. Why not? In some cases it is even admirable to put your image on the line for a cause you believe in. Getting involved publicly can be modern and authentic.

    – Portland, Oregon

  19. 19 Emile Barre
    May 31, 2008 at 14:46

    Celebrities are the creatures of the Media and nobody else. The Media should talk to itself and answer accordingly. Anybody should have their say on anything.

  20. June 2, 2008 at 17:21

    No they should not comment on politcal issues. They should stick to their profession which make them popular to their viewing public. However in this particular instance Sharon Stone would find herself unpopular with the chinese government who in turn may ban her films to the deslike of the producers in the event any film she worked in was offered for showing in China.
    In the past there have been other instances when a film celebritie aired his or her comments on a political issue, I and perhaps many others did not like what was said, consequently I avoid watching a film they appear in as I strongly disagreed with their comments.
    Another example is that not too long ago a well known film actor produced and directed a religious film and without historical proof, sent a message of antisemetism to the viewing public. He made a lot of money from the film, he still appears in TV in the past films he worked in as an actor, I just switch to another channel I am quite sure many others do the same. Not surprisingly, he seldom appears in films since he made the religious film.

  21. 21 Donna
    September 10, 2008 at 19:30

    Actors and Actresses should stick to their professions and do what they do best entertain us. This great country has given them the right to their opinion, as do I, but many use their celebrity to shove their predominately liberal views down the public’s throat.
    Sometimes they seem to speak without thinking as most of us have done at one time or another, the difference being that my comments do not end up as national news. I agree with a previous post that they do not have real life experiences or have a clue what normal American families go through on a daily basis. I think their view is severely slanted and I personally put no stock in it, whether I share it or not. Whether it’s global issues or local politics, I find it appalling that they feel that the normal American is unable to decide without their public influences, which view to support. That’s why we vote. I don’t need commentators interpreting speeches or debates for me, I am quite able to make up my own mind, and voice it quietly each time I enter the voting booth. As for celebrities supporting good causes and bringing positive attention to issues that affect us all, that’s great!

    As for the comment on Susan Sarrandon’s intentions of leaving the country…………. Have a safe trip.

  22. 22 Cindy
    September 12, 2008 at 13:11

    Just like us “normal, working class people” don’t try to act, celebrities should stay out of politics. We don’t try to do their job, they shouldn’t try to do something they know nothing about. That includes you Matt Damon!

  23. 23 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 13:52

    I have no problem with celebrities bringing attention to important issues, like Darfur or alternative energy, but they shouldn’t be telling people who to vote for. Matt Damon’s opinion on politicians is about as relevant as paris Hilton’s opinion.

  24. 24 Angela in Washington
    September 12, 2008 at 14:19

    I don’t have a problem when a celebrity gives their opinion on politics. They have just as much of a right to give an opinion, as I do. The only difference is that people actually listen to their opinion. Additionally, I think it is good for people to state what they don’t like about particular policies. That is one of the benefits of being an American. I am allowed to voice my disagreement. Plus I kind of agree with both Damon and Sarrandon but I cannot just move somewhere like they can.

    I am not fond of Palin but others are and I think it is good that the republicans are finally energized about this race.

  25. 25 Angela in Washington
    September 12, 2008 at 14:22

    I really don’t understand what the big deal is about. Some people may agree with them and vote, while others may disagree with them and vote.

  26. 26 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 14:29

    I think the Russell Brand MTV Video Awards thing was way over the line. He told Americans who they voted for, and implied if you don’t vote for obama, it’s due to racism.

    That’s disgusting and shouldn’t be encouraged.

  27. 27 Angela in Washington
    September 12, 2008 at 14:36

    Russel Brand was just voicing his opinion. I think it hurt Obama more than helped him. By now, most people realize that some people will not vote for him because of racism, but who cares anymore. I mean I am black and people have told me they won’t vote for Obama because he is black. I accept it, it is not an issue. Only time will tell. I hope most people would vote based on policies but if they don’t it doesn’t matter. People can say that Americans are racist and many are but don’t want to admit it. We have always had race issues in this country. I think it is about time we just accept it and work on changing the issues. However now the focus is on the election!

  28. 28 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 14:37

    @ Angela

    But thing is, he was someone who wasn’t America, coming to America, and insisting Americans vote for who he wants to win, and then implying you are racist if you don’t.

    What would happen if an American celiebrity went to the UK or some other country, told people who to vote for in their country, then said if they don’t, they are a racist or some kind of bigot?

  29. 29 Angela in Washington
    September 12, 2008 at 14:46

    @Steve

    The person would be talked about just like Russel is being talked about here. I thought his comments were funny and I was suprised he said it. I was also sad that I did not see it.

    We go to other countries have have opinions about things.

    Additionally, a lot of people who are not racist will not be voting for Obama and it doesn’t make them feel bad. If the person knows they are not racist they won’t care. The people that feel bad will be the people that are racist and won’t vote for Obama. Being black I don’t care either way. The reason someone votes is their own reason, I just care about the end result. So the guy criticized americans, at least he is not a part of the group that wants to kill all americans.

  30. 30 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 14:49

    @ Angela

    I recall the US Ambassador or a high ranking diplomat went on a TV show in the UK, and an audience member said that the US deserved 9/11 and other audience members clapped. Not suggesting Russell Brand is like that, but these people tend to get very bitter when they don’t get their way in telling us what to do.

  31. 31 steve
    September 12, 2008 at 14:59

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1544897.stm

    Here’s the story I brought up. It was just 2 days after 9/11 and audience members told the US Ambassador that the US deserved the attacks. Just TWO days after 9/11. This was before the iraq war, all of that stuff. So bad that the BBC had to apologize for how anti America it was.

  32. 32 Angela in Washington
    September 12, 2008 at 15:12

    @Steve

    I understand what you mean but even with the situation you cited, I know many people who believe exactly what many people stated about America’s foreign policy. I think people want to be able to express what they feel. Russell Brand’s opinion is that if Obama does not get elected it is because he is black. Your opinion is that Obama will not get elected because he is very liberal. Only time will tell. I hope McCain does not elected because of many of his and his running mates views. If I don’t vote for McCain, some people will think it is because he has a woman on the ticket. The only thing that matters is who gets elected.

    As an aside, I partially beleive that our views towards several hostile countries was a reason they targeted us. People don’t just hate Americans because they are Americans, they have several reasons.


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