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Students respond to the way celebrities use their positions to make social and political statements

In+today%E2%80%99s+society%2C+celebrities+have+a+significant+influence+over+the+opinions+of+the+general+public.+Social+media+platforms+such+as+Twitter+and+Instagram+make+it+possible+for+celebrities+to+share+their+opinions%2C+and+they+also+allow+fans+a+space+to+react.+These+opinions+can+escalate+and+reach+every+corner+of+the+globe.%0A
In today’s society, celebrities have a significant influence over the opinions of the general public. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram make it possible for celebrities to share their opinions, and they also allow fans a space to react. These opinions can escalate and reach every corner of the globe.

In today’s society, celebrities have a significant influence over the opinions of the general public. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram make it possible for celebrities to share their opinions, and they also allow fans a space to react. These opinions can escalate and reach every corner of the globe.

Nick Miller

Nick Miller

In today’s society, celebrities have a significant influence over the opinions of the general public. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram make it possible for celebrities to share their opinions, and they also allow fans a space to react. These opinions can escalate and reach every corner of the globe.

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If you bought tickets to your favorite artist and he canceled his performance in your state as a protest, would you be angry or supportive?

That is the question residents of North Carolina faced when both Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam cancelled their shows in the state after the passing of the controversial HB2 Bill that discriminates against members of the LGBT community.

While Springsteen has received criticism from his fans, he believes that using his position to take a stand is more important. “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” Springsteen said in a post on his website

Springsteen’s message has reached students at JC. “I think it is a very effective way to show the government of their wrongdoings. Music is a very powerful weapon. It moves people. Music is the intangible thing that can change the outlook on people’s opinions,” senior musician Avery van der Steur said.

Other students feel that canceling the shows was unfair. “I feel it was unfair to those who had already had tickets. I don’t think that not agreeing with certain laws is a truly valid reason to cancel a show,” junior Sydney Shupe said.

However, other celebrities decided to use their fame in a different way. The band Mumford and Sons decided to hold their concert in North Carolina as a symbol of support for the LGBT community, and instead of boycotting, donated proceeds to an LGBT charity, according to Rolling Stone.

Celebrities have a significant influence over the opinions of the general public. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram make it possible for celebrities to share their opinions, and they also allow fans a space to react.

Sometimes, celebrities can take stands that are fairly controversial and influential. Award-winning artist Beyonce’s halftime show at Super Bowl 50, a show watched by almost 120 million people, created a lot of conversation about Black Power and police brutality and led to police refusing to work at some of her concerts. However, her opinions gained popularity.

“I feel like because I enjoy her music, I listen to her views more,” junior Emily Schiavone said. Some celebrities who choose to make political statements do not gain the support of all.

“I think celebrities often misuse their influence for their own political agenda,” senior Julia Dukes said.

Celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio have gone as far as to use their award-acceptance speeches to speak out about specific issues. This year at the Oscars, Dicaprio used the majority of his speech to talk about the severity of climate change. Neil Young also used his newest album “Storytone” to talk about pollution and saving the earth.

“I think [Neil Young] is really concerned and passionate about [the environment], which really brings his message across,” van der Stuer said. “Throughout my whole life he has been my biggest influence, not just in music, but in the way one should live purely.”

“I think that it’s important for [celebrities] to use their positions to make statements if it can help make a positive difference. These statements reach a multitude of people and a positive statement could make a difference for the better,” Shupe said.

Claire Grunewald is the Print Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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