THE OSCARS: FREEDOM TO GET POLITICAL DOESN’T MEAN NOT BEING CRITICIZED

The Oscars reportedly generated the lowest ratings they have ever done Sunday night and I am not surprised one bit.

As much as the artists involved in the Oscars want to believe that their opinions on political matters mean anything to the vast majority of viewers at home, the truth is, they do not.

This does not mean these artists do not have the right to express their opinions if they so choose. Of course they do.

And they are entitled to any opinions they want. That’s what’s great about being an American.

However, that doesn’t mean their opinions deserve any kind of special attention.

If we are being honest, when it comes to politics, celebrities are just like everybody else in that some are smart and well-informed, but many are not. The only difference between celebrities and your crazy next- door neighbor is that celebrities get a platform to espouse their opinions.

But that doesn’t mean their opinions are any more important or well-researched than that crazy next- door neighbor’s.

Social media has made this an even bigger issue. In the past, there were plenty of politically active celebrities, but it was not necessarily thrown in our faces all the time. But now every actor, singer, athlete, etc….. seems to espouse political opinions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, often doing what many of our friends and family members do: not reading actual articles, just looking at headlines, and then tweeting or posting on Facebook about the outrage of the day.

Except when your friend does it, his 100 Twitter followers see it. When Alyssa Milano does it, millions see it.

And that’ perfectly fine. These celebrities have the right to express their opinions and use their forums however they see fit.

Nobody should ever say they need to shut up.

However, that doesn’t mean the public has to like or agree with their opinions. And it doesn’t insulate these celebrities from being challenged or criticized.

Along with being free to express one’s opinion and being able to do so to millions of people is that you are going to upset some of those millions. And when you are wrong or just annoying — looking at you, Chelsea Handler — many more people are going to come at you.

That’s just the way it is and if a celebrity can’t handle that, then they probably shouldn’t be engaging in a public forum.

And part of the pushback can be people tuning you out entirely and refusing to listen to you at all.

It seems that’s what happened at the Oscars Sunday.

Some of these stars appear to be even more insistent on loudly voicing political opinions in the aftermath.

Nothing wrong with that.

But if it results in even lower ratings next time, then that’s a consequence they will just have to deal with.

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