Today’s cuppa: Irish breakfast tea

I have mixed feelings about entertainment-industry types — writers, producers, actors, musicians — making public pronouncements about their political views. They’re citizens (and, on the whole, are probably no more or less informed than any other group of citizens that doesn’t work in public policy) and have the right to express their opinions, but by nature of their jobs and the eagerness of the
celebrity press to capture their words, they have an exponentially larger platform than many other equally worthy folks.

And many insist on expressing those opinions in venues not meant for that, such as awards shows. While, again, it’s their First Amendment right to do so, it seems like a shaky business choice, since you’re likely to irritate about half the viewing audience no matter what you say — and the next day, you’ll still need a lot of those viewers to keep your ratings and box-office figures up.

For that matter, if an entertainment-industry type expresses a political
view at a political rally, it may be more appropriate to the setting,
but it runs the same risk with the audience that sees it repeated on
television or on the Internet.

After all, a celebrity may have the First Amendment right to speak out, but listeners also have the First Amendment right to disagree, sometimes loudly, or, and this is may be even worse in a commercial sense, they may shrug their shoulders and quietly decide their time and money are better spent elsewhere than patronizing that celebrity’s work.

So, what do you Cuppers think? Do you support entertainment-industry types making political pronouncements, or do you not? Do you think it hurts them professionally with the audience (and if it does, should they publicly complain about it)? Or does it not matter to you at all?

Happy to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Posted by:Kate O'Hare