After watching the VMA's this last weekend, there were the usual bad jokes to try to entertain the audience in between performances and award presentations, and there were a lot of celebrities who made political statements about everything from the current state of the nation to mental health. There were many people who complained about the fact that celebrities shouldn't speak out about what's wrong with the nation and only be a source of entertainment for the general public. However, nowadays it's very important for celebrities to speak up for the things that they believe in.
One of the things that people often forget about celebrities is that they're not just famous people, they're also citizens who are affected by the events happening across the nation as well. Award shows give them a different platform to present their support for certain issues because instead of just speaking to their fan base, they can reach the millions of people who watch the awards shows and make a point to talk about things bigger than their art.
At the VMA's this past weekend, the statements ranged from mental health to condemning the events in Charlottesville. Some of the presenters made sure to open with their political statements, like Paris Jackson, to spread awareness of the situation, and many people who accepted awards made sure to mention events that were happening to show their support for those fighting for the lives and freedoms of others. Logic centered his whole performance around mental health and making sure that people struggling with similar issues knew that they weren't alone. Even Pink's speech about her daughter was moving; it reminded people that women can be strong, and there's no need to change yourself for anyone else. This consistent use of an award show to send a message is an important use of the available platform to improve society.
This year the VMA's had two special speakers to bring light to the events in Charlottesville, which shows how those putting together the awards show recognize that they have an amount of privilege that can be used to promote the greater good.
While many political statements have been made this year by both award winners and presenters, this is by no means the first time that celebrities have focused on something other than just accepting an award. The practice of taking a political stance during an award show dates back to the 70's and isn't going away anytime soon. Award shows are one of the biggest platforms to get a message across the nation, and it allows celebrities to use their influence to promote issues that they're passionate about. Award shows are always going to be influenced by politics, and for those of you looking for entertainment, I'm sorry because these people are much more than just that.