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The burden of politics on celebrities

By Lauren Wilson October 13, 2022


A celebrity’s political views often trigger strong reactions from fans. Although she did not share or promote any political opinions, fans left many hate comments and accused actress Sydney Sweeney of racism after she posted photos of her family members wearing pro-Republican clothing.


Sweeney, who starred in “Euphoria,” a popular teen drama series, posted pictures on her Instagram of her family celebrating her mother’s 60th birthday, which included guests wearing “Blue Lives Matter” T-shirts as well as a handful of “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hats. Many people did not take this lightly, as the “Blue Lives Matter” phrase was coined to contrast the Black Lives Matter movement. However, in pictures of the event posted by Sweeney’s brother, some guests were revealed to be wearing “Make Sixty Great Again” rather than MAGA hats. Even so, fans made hate posts—mainly on Twitter—calling the Sweeney family racist and joked about how Sweeney’s parents were probably angered by her on- screen relationship with a Black man in “Euphoria.” In response to this, Sweeney tweeted on Aug. 27 that the backlash she received was “absurd” and claimed people were making baseless assumptions. She did not deny or confirm whether she and the rest of her family supported Donald Trump or “Blue Lives Matter.” Several responses to her tweet consisted of attacks, stating it was wrong of her to say that “people are making assumptions,’’ as the guests were very clearly wearing MAGA and Blue Lives Matter merchandise. Fans believe these choices were an outright expression of racism, and that there is no other conclusion that can be made.


Others were defending Sweeney, saying that even though her family may be supporting racist concepts, that does not mean she agrees with them. They state that Sweeney must look past her family’s views, even if she disagrees with them to maintain their relationship. Some argue that it does not matter to others what political opinions Sweeney or her family members support as it is their personal life.


“Sweeney does not deserve backlash for her political beliefs. Everyone deserves a right to their own opinion, as long as it does not harm anybody else. Additionally, there is no proof that she holds the same opinions as her family, so I do not understand why she is being targeted,” Sophomore Adrian Tomaszewski said.

Sweeney is one of the many celebrities that have received backlash due to political controversy. Roseanne Barr, a former comedian and actress for ABC Sitcom, was fired in 2018 after coming out as a Trump supporter and allegedly using racist language in her Tweets. Since then, she has not been rehired and lost her platform and supporters.

However, celebrities’ political opinions do not always result in massive amounts of backlash. According to Nashville-based newspaper The Tennessean, a poll conducted by Emerson College showed that after pop star Taylor Swift voiced support for Tennessee’s Democratic candidate for Senate Phil Bredesen, 11.7% of voters reported being more likely to vote for him. Kayla choi


These incidents suggest that hate and backlash are most intense when someone supports more right wing or conservative ideals. Due to the polarizing nature of political matters on social media sites, celebrities like Sweeney may be burdened by their controversial political ideas online.


 

About the Contributors


Lauren Wilson

Staff Writer

Lauren Wilson attends Leland High School as a sophomore. She is a staff writer for journalism. Activities she enjoys doing consist of walking her dogs, painting, taking naps, and cheerleading





Kayla Choi

Artist

Kayla choi is a junior at Leland and an artist for journalism. While constantly listening to music, she enjoys drawing and sleeping

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