Celebrities Shouldn’t Give Political Speeches

It’s award season and with that comes political speeches. However when celebrities give speeches it takes the focus away from the issues and puts it on themselves.


by Sydney Waldron, Snapchat and Facebook Editor

As I sat down on my couch to watch the 2020 Golden Globes, I was not ready for Ricky Gervias speech calling out celebrities for their annoying political speeches. I sincerely hoped that they would listen to him, but from Donald Trump to the Climate Crisis the speeches at the Golden Globes were filled with politics. 

     Some people believe that since celebrities have such a big platform, they have a duty to promote political justice and inspire political action. The idea of this would be great except celebrities are speaking out about social changes that need to happen without making big lifestyle changes themselves. 

    I believe there are many hypocrites that give political speeches, but  one of the biggest hypocrites is Leonardo DiCaprio. In his famous 2017 Oscar award acceptance speech he said that “Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.” 

     I agree with his statement on the climate crisis, but it’s hard to take him seriously when his own carbon footprint out ways the good he has done 

     According to Arbian Business he rented the world’s fifth largest yacht, owned by UAE oil tycoon to watch the World Cup in Brazil back in 2014. More recently, according to News Week he has been seen getting on and off of his private plane. To be fair, CNBC reported that he has pledged to donate over five million dollars to help reduce fires in the Amazon Rain forests and has used his platform to spread the message of the climate crisis. But to me, it takes more than that to be an activist. 

   When DiCaprio asked in his 2017 Oscar speech for people to “support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters,” he seemed to forget that he is one of those big polluters. Therefore I believe that he can not be considered an activist because being an activist than just making a couple of  speeches, donating some money or making a pledge.  Being an activist means making sacrifices and giving up comforts because you truly believe it is going to make the world a better place. I believe that many celebrities like DiCaprio are torn between basking in the profits of their Hollywood days, and truly changing their lifestyles. That is why I don’t like when celebrities lecture people who most likely have less means than them to change their lifestyles. 

     Award shows aren’t the only way celebrities use their platforms to spread their political viewpoints, they are also using social media.

     One of the most famous examples of this is Kylie Jenner. She recently posted on her Instagram story how it “breaks her heart to see all these animals die,” referring to the animals dying in the Australian wildfires. Yet in her next post on her story showed her in $1,480 Louis Vuitton slippers made out of real mink  with the caption “baby pink toes.”

      Not only is the post full of hypocrisy, since she is wearing an animal, but also takes away seriousness and importance of the issue.

     These take away from real activists who know that it takes more than putting something on your Instagram story to make a change, that solving the Climate Crisis is going to take big lifestyle changes no matter how uncomfortable they make you.

     An example of a person who really commits herself to the climate crisis issue is Great Thunberg. The most impressive thing about her is her commitment and her willingness to change her lifestyle for her cause. At 15 Thunberg began striking outside her school almost two years ago. Now she organises school strikes around the global known as, “Fridays For Futures.” She has given lots of speeches and was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” 

    Along with being vegan, Thunberg has given up traveling by airplanes to reduce her Carbon emissions. Despite it being less convenient Thunberg travels by boat and train.

    I believe that if celebrities truly believe what they are saying they should be more like Thunberg and be willing to give up the comforts of their life to help their cause. 

     Activists like Thunberg have inspired me to start making lifestyle changes of my own, some big and some small.

     One of the biggest ones is going to rallies and local public forums to show support and learn more about the Climate Crisis. A smaller way is being most of my clothes second hand whether from online places like Depop or local thrift stores. I continue to use public transportation whenever I can. Also, I have begun to use reusable pads to cut down on plastic.

     While my small sacrifices of giving up a Friday night or not getting a new shirt may not compare to what Thunberg is doing, I believe that every small sacrifice counts, causes, and makes them seem like a fad or a trend.