Superstars and Stripes: Politics in Hollywood

Posted by @hollywoodlife on Instagram

Despite her turbulent career marked by controversy and the development of one of Hollywood’s biggest “reputations,” Taylor Swift strayed from divisive political debates in her 11 years in the limelight; that is, until this past week.

On Monday, Oct. 7, Swift took to Instagram to relay her political message to fans, calling for young people to register to vote in the midterm elections and presenting her personal views. She continued on to explain how she would be voting in the state of Tennessee and discouraged others from casting their vote for incumbent Marsha Blackburn. Swift asserted her beliefs in equality for all and provided examples as to how Blackburn does not match her values.

This political message marks a stark contrast to Swift’s rather quiet political past, as she clearly stated that she will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives and encouraged others, especially young people, to follow suit.

Within 24 hours of Swift’s bold post on Instagram, the state of Tennessee had a striking 65,000 voter increase in registration. While correlation does not imply causation, we can’t help but think Swift played a major role in this trend.

Swift continued this newfound political rhetoric at the American Music Awards Tuesday night upon being named artist of the year, stating “You know what else is voted for by the people? The midterm elections on Nov. 6. Get out and vote!”

Taylor is far from the only Hollywood star mobilizing fans ahead of the midterm elections. Celebrities across industries have been taking to social media to emphasize the importance of voting this year.

Some have gone even further with their activism, like Amy Schumer who attended anti-Kavanaugh demonstrations in Washington D.C., Tracee Ellis Ross who donned an “I am a Voter” t-shirt while hosting the AMAs, and Kanye West who met with Donald Trump in order to discuss his political agenda.

Many are quick to express their opinions on the matter of celebrities entangling themselves in politics. While some say that stars should stick to their industry, others believe that our favorite actors and singers should take advantage of their platform and spread meaningful messages.

Social media has provided the general public with more connection than ever to Hollywood. Their opinions have become increasingly salient and young people are beginning to notice.

Will celebrities like Taylor Swift vocalizing their political beliefs make a true impact this election cycle? Only time will tell if, after the midterms, “everything has changed.”


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