Awards Shows Should Not Be A Political Platform

Jennifer Love, Writer

Award shows are some of the few times in a year people are able to get away from the drama of life and celebrate great actors, actresses, directors and more. A topic that seems to become weaved in everything more frequently is politics, it is now making itself known in award shows such as The Grammys, The Oscars, Golden Globes and The American Music Awards. The political jabs made by many celebrities throughout these ceremonies should not be there, the audiences do not watch these shows for politics.

In the past year as the political talk increased, the watch ratings drastically dropped. After the 2018 award show season, The Grammys ratings decreased by 24%, The Oscars dropped by 16%, Golden Globes sank by 5% and American Music Awards slipped down by 28%. The politics now brought into acceptance speeches, introductions, and presentations have damaged the entertainment and joy people received from the awards. When they turn on the TV to watch an award show, they do not turn it on looking forward to hearing about the current president or immigration, they watch it to see if their favorite movie or singer won an award. With all the irrelevant talk added in the shows by celebrity choice, people’s opinions and care for them are tainted.   

Celebrities, with their status, can influence the world’s people in all aspects. They use this to their advantage during popular award shows meant to celebrate a variety of achievements to publicly and inappropriately express their fiery pro or anti attitude for a certain topic or person. When their opinions are out in the open for the world to know and talk about, they expect for people to convert themselves to their opinion. In reality, very few people change their opinion on politics because of a celebrity, but it causes people to question their respect and admiration for that person. During the final stages of the 2016 presidential election, many celebrities went out of their way to advocate for Hillary Clinton expecting to sway future votes in her favor. Celebrities, such as, Beyonce, former President Barack Obama, Elizabeth Banks and Meryl Streep all went out to support Clinton at rallies, on Twitter and during award shows. When the votes for president were announced in favor of, now, President Donald Trump celebrities were revolted and took to a variety of platforms, like award shows, to disrespectfully express their anti-Trump opinions. Well-known celebrities like Kevin Hart and Meryl Streep took to award shows like the American Music Awards and Golden Globes to make obvious jabs at President Trump. When the celebrities say these things it effects themselves and the show they speak on more than the people or topics they are talking about.

Though most award show celebrities go out of their way to make political statements or  insults, some attendees make more subtle political statements with the help of their red carpet outfits. Words are written on themselves, pins are worn and symbolic colors are all presented on red carpets before an award show to subtly make a statement of a certain celebrity opinion. Sarah Sophie Flicker, at the 2018 Emmys wrote her political statement on her arm to go with her outfit, “Stop Kavanaugh 202-224-3121.” Even though at the time there was the major Kavanaugh issue, the red carpet was not the time to make such a public and transparent statement.

People will point out that there is a right to free speech, which is true, but with the rating drops of various popular award shows, political talk is not reflecting well on them. Talk of controversial political topics should not be in these shows. The watchers and audience of these shows do not watch to hear about the latest news on abortion laws or the most recent hate crime, while they are important topics to discuss, they are not the topics to discuss on awards shows where the focus is cinematic or musical awards.