We all know Celebrities have an ample amount of influence and it has shown since the death of George Floyd. However, celebrities should not be the main reason we get societal change.
Celebrities often have very powerful and influential platforms which they can and do use to promote almost everything. They have influenced generations to recycle, try various products, and even made veganism look cool. However, celebrities have also used their platforms to promote deeper issues to bring awareness to various things such as global warming, criminal justice reform, sexual assault, and a plethora of other social issues.
Since the death of George Floyd, several celebrities have spoken out against police brutality and crying for justice. While it is important for celebrities to use their platform and influence to shape the world for the better, it should not be the sole reason a person should want to promote change.
American celebrity activism
Right since the start of the year, there has been a number of high profile cases of fallen victims at the hand of police brutality. Various celebrities have made a public outcry demanding change. A host of NBA players such as LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan have taken to social media and written op-eds to display their feelings.
Other athletes and actors have participated in protest and rallies to speak out against social injustice and donated to charities. Even Queen Bey herself has made public statements about police brutality. Recently, Beyoncé wrote a letter to Kentucky’s Attorney General urging for criminal charges to be brought against the three officers that killed Breonna Taylor.
Celebrities in the UK
While American celebrities have been very vocal about social injustice, other celebrities in the UK had words and action to share. Athlete Marcus Rashford has used his platform to raise money for impoverished families and spoke out against racism. Anthony Joshua has even participated in Black Lives Matter protest in his community of Watford. Joshua calling racism a pandemic and asking for people to do better. Various celebrities are using their platforms to do good.
Talk the talk and walk the walk
The overwhelming support celebrities have had when they use their platform to speak against social injustice has been wonderful to see in this lifetime. It is important that the same people that benefit from societies also stand with people in their time of need. Using one’s platform enlightens crowds that may not have thought about issues before to think about it. However, whilst celebrity involvement is welcome in these movements, it should not be the end and it should not be what we are looking for when it comes to bringing justice in a world that has shown centuries of racism. Yes, there are over 40% of people who believe that celebrities have great impact on promoting change, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason someone should want to do better.
Whilst many of the celebrities are protesting, donating money to numerous organizations, and speaking out on twitter, we should not be so dependent on their support. All the money in the world will not change social injustice if people do not change their views towards it. During the Civil Rights Movement, celebrities such as Harry Belafonte, Jackie Robinson, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr and Aretha Franklin all did their part by attending marches, concerts, and donating to organizations aiding the progression of civil rights.
Nevertheless, this was not the sole reason for the progression of the movement. It took organizing, planning, and coming together of various people to invoke change during that time period. At the end of the day, celebrities are human beings and should not have to carry the burden of changing a world we all live in. Just because LeBron James or Kanye West donates money or tweets, does not eliminate everybody else’s duty to be the change they want to see. If a person wants better, they need to do better.