Fame as a political platform

April 28, 2016


Editor-in-chief | ram049@latech.edu





Beyoncé dropped her new visual album, “Lemonade” Saturday. In line with much of her recent work, the album included allusions to topics such as police brutality and feminism. Piers Morgan criticized the star for using her platform to promote political issues, accusing Beyoncé and other stars of using these movements to sell records and garner fame.



Morgan brings up an interesting debate: should celebrities be using their fame to promote different causes, and can we as consumers of media trust that what we are receiving is sincere, or are stars using social movements to fuel their brand?



I do believe that much of what we get out of Hollywood is manufactured for publicity stunts. Though we can never know for sure, I don’t think this is necessarily always the case for political stances, especially those taken within the art celebrities produce. I think that there is at least a shred of honesty in the work these artists produce, if nothing else.



Morgan even brings up the fact that in previous interviews, a younger Beyoncé was sure to stay away from controversial comments, and even said that race was not a factor and that much progress had been made in the way of race relations. Morgan makes the assumption that Beyoncé is now taking a political stance to garner more fame and sell more albums. While there is something to be said for the selling power of controversy, I think it is more likely that a younger Beyoncé was not willing to say anything to polarize her audience and lose her fans. Beyoncé today is past the point where she has to earn or keep her fame. She could burp into a microphone and people would still buy her album. I think this shift in views has more to do with her difference in platform; she can stand for whatever she wants to stand for without fear of losing her fame or fortune. She has a million followers to say whatever she thinks is important to, it makes sense that when that fan base became unshakably secure she would use that voice to support causes she believes in. Whether or not you agree with her beliefs, I don’t think her stances are manufactured to sell, and celebrity status is a completely valid platform for a person to express their beliefs.


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