John Salangsang, Invision
Taylor Swift performing at the DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert in Houston, Texas Feb. 2017. Swift has been quiet about her political leanings, leading some in the medial to speculate about how she voted in the 2016 presidential election.
Keeping in mind that while the “players gonna play,” and — yes — the “haters gonna hate,” America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift has come under fire since the 2016 presidential election because she doesn’t talk about her politics.
Swift has avoided talking about politics entirely, except for a neutral Election Day message on social last year encouraging her fans to vote. But that wasn’t enough for many, and speculation begin to fly that she must have voted for President Donald Trump.
Swift’s tight-lipped approach to politics seems to be an anomaly in today’s entertainment industry. With celebrities taking to social media daily to pontificate about their political leanings and widespread groupthink in the entertainment industry, I’m of the opinion that Hollywood has become entirely too political.
The temptation for celebrities to talk about politics is perhaps greater for musicians than actors or writers, since musicians perform live on stage and have hours at their disposal to say whatever they want. The only platform other creators have is award shows.
One of them is coming up this Sunday: the Emmys. While the only thing I really care about for the 2017 Emmys is how many awards “Stranger Things” will grab, politics and awards shows have become seemingly — and disappointingly — inseparable.
Hollywood and others in the entertainment industry need to put a lid on it about politics. Celebrities live inside a bubble of privilege most us can’t understand, and their insipid tirades are delusional at best and hypocritical at worst.
Millionaires in Hollywood lecture working-class Americans about environmental issues, despite the fact that many of them fly in private jets, one of the worst polluters on Earth, even to conferences on climate change.
Hollywood has criticized Trump for his sexual behavior, while turning a blind eye their institution’s own systematic pedophilia, with victims including Judy Garland, Corey Haim and many more. Elijah Wood recently described the abuse as “organized,” while Corey Feldman said in a 2012 interview with ABC, “The number one problem in Hollywood was and always will be pedophilia.”
Then there’s the subject of race. You remember that whole #OscarsSoWhite business? Danny Devito decried not just TV but the entire nation as “racist,” with no self-awareness that his show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” — in more than a decade — featured no actors of color in lead roles.
Not that it would make sense to have nonwhite actors for a show set in Philadelphia. I mean Philly is only 55 percent non-white.
There was an episode in January where the lead ensemble turned into black people for a short time, a move the AV Club said “(raised) questions about the state of race relations and (used) each character’s biases and in Frank’s case old-fashioned racism to demonstrate the various ways white Americans deny that racism actually exists.” Depending on your outlook, the move could be seen as hypocritical considering the shows generally all-white lead actors.
This mountain of unaware hypocrisy in Hollywood could be the reason that hardly anyone watches award shows anymore. If entertainers can’t keep quiet for our sakes, they should at least do it for their own.
Swift is setting a political standard that other entertainers should follow. In the “blank space” on her ballot, she’ll write whatever name she wants, and for anyone who criticizes her for not sharing that name, she’ll just shake it off.