During the Oscars Feb. 9, the discussion and discourse was not about the nominees or which actors or directors took home statues, but rather the political comments.
When Brad Pitt delivered his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” he said. “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week” He was referring to the Senate’s vote against allowing witnesses during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin (Tarantino) does a movie about it. In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
Award shows give artists an audience larger than their fan bases.
“I think it’s great,” said Elle Brickles, MSU sophomore studying microbiology. “I mean, it makes them more transparent and makes them more of a person, and it’s also spreading a message — hopefully they’re good messages.”
Brickles said speaking about causes they’re interested in humanizes celebrities and encourages transparency.
“They’re using their platform to share what they believe in, or what they endorse, or whatever they may be talking about,” Brickles said. “So I like it. I support it.”
With elections approaching, some celebrities are endorsing policies, candidates or life changes. During recent award shows, including the Golden Globes and Oscars, Joaquin Phoenix delivered speeches advocating plant-based diets to help combat climate change.
MSU computer science major Funakoshi Silva said, “I think they’re more effective than me. “Nobody knows me that well, so if I say something people will probably just ignore me, but if you’re someone who sings and has accumulated fans, it’s more likely that you’ll be listened to.”
Silva, from Angola, said that as long as the United States has freedom of speech, people should stand up for causes they believe in.
“I think it’s OK to use those platforms to express your thoughts and political views,” he said. “I think it’s good to be able to express your ideas regardless of how people might see them. I think it’s good because we have that freedom of speech.”
Prince Hill, 24, of Los Angeles, says celebrities should speak out about different causes because they have more influence than the everyday person does.
“I think it’s good,” Hill said. “I feel like if you’re in a position of power, you should definitely use that to shine light on situations where people may not have the chance to speak up for themselves.”