Pitfalls of Celebrity Activism

Photo of Kevin To, a strong advocate of conservative views. 

In Genia Bellafante’s article about Shia Lebeouf and the artistic exhibit “He Will Not Divide Us,” he illustrates the relationship between politics and celebrities. In general, these celebrities have been placed on high pedestals and seem to not have much regard for other people. As LeBeouf participated in this “performance artwork” in an area of public space, he failed to acknowledge the complaints of the community or safety issues. Instead of respecting the area he was in, he prioritized sharing his “message” to the crowds. In addition, he got into an altercation with someone at the site while defending his point of view, while ignoring theirs. 

Pictured, Kevin To, if present, would be one of the people who had filed a noise complaint to the police or fought LeBeouf. Although he is not irrational, he stands up for his beliefs. Much like Shia LeBeouf, he spends his time parading his beliefs in a public space such as social media. Although people receive and react to his opinions, there will generally be no real change. 

As stated by the author, “the real work of combating bigotry is handled not by groovy arrest theatrics but by the hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who march and protest and call their legislators.”


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