When the United States grows divided, the argument of the nation plays out at every level.
Advancing from the dining room table all the way to the big screen, popular movies and TV shows such as the 2017 film The Purge: Election Year and last year’s American Horror Story: Cult are starting to focus their central themes to a more politically-induced one.
Showcasing the influence that American politics have on pop culture in the 21st century, even some of our favorite stars are starting to speak up about politics. Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are beginning to see the benefits of choosing a political stance as it can influence a new generation to follow in their footsteps.
With the increasing polarization of politics, celebrities are now having to craft their political image very carefully as it can influence their following in a blink of an eye. Famous rapper Kanye West is familiar with this territory, losing an estimated 800,000 followers in April after posting a picture wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat followed by a rant about his love for President Donald J. Trump.
With West kicking off his career very vocal about issues such as police brutality, discrimination, and racism, fans were left wondering why he would support someone like Trump. While West not only disappointed long-time fans, peers in the music industry such as Lana Del Rey and Snoop Dogg let the rapper know how they felt, by leaving comments on his Instagram picture condemning his support for the president.
Although choosing a political stance can be very threatening to a career, if crafted carefully, it can have many benefits ranging from exposure all the way to your reputation.
Ironically, the most successful example of this is Kim Kardashian West, who has worked extensively since the 2016 election to increase her political activism, helping herself part ways from her husband’s political stances.
When it comes to politics, Kim Kardashian West tries to keep an open mind.
Although she doesn’t agree with Kanye’s views, she has defended him publicly, using Twitter to comment on her husband’s antics. In her recent endeavors, the 38-year-old advocated for the prison release of Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who was sentenced to life after being convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering in 1993.
Johnson said that she never sold nor made drug deals, only letting other people involved in the trafficking use her cellphone. After Kim Kardashian West got wind of her story, she vowed to do whatever she could to get her out.
After meeting with Trump in the White House on May 30, Johnson was officially given clemency by Trump and released just a few days later on June 6.
Kim Kardashian West, who can now be considered an advocate for prison reform, hasn’t let that case be the end of her crusade, constantly commenting on political issues and having an open dialogue with the White House.
With Americans politics influencing so much of the entertainment industry in the 21st century, it’s more crucial now than ever for celebrities to choose a stance and advocate for what is right, as it can influence the younger generation to do the same.