The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

What controversy can we expect this year?
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The Oscars are almost guaranteed to attract some controversy each year. Usually, there's some disagreement over which film deserved best picture, or what movie is overrated. Given the current political climate, this year will likely prove more divisive than most.

Of course, politics have never been completely separate from entertainment and award shows. Most notably, there was Marlon Brando's boycott of the 1973 Oscars. Brando sent activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to deny his Best Actor Award, as protest for the film industry's treatment of Native Americans. More recently, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of the last two years has inspired boycotts in reaction to the lack of diversity in the nominees. Whether this year's more diverse slate of nominees puts an end to the controversy remains to be seen, but the Academy must be hoping so.

If the Golden Globes are any indication, this year's Oscars are more likely to be primarily dominated by political, rather than racial, controversy (though the two can never be entirely separated). There's nothing new in artists and entertainers criticizing politicians, but few political figures have managed to unite the entertainment industry in opposition as Donald Trump has. After the Golden Globes, reactions were largely split into two camps: praising entertainers for taking a bold public stance, or arguing that celebrities should stay out of politics. This raises the question, can they really stay out of politics? Even if they can, should they?

We're living in a world in which an American Idol runner-up has been nominated for Congress by North Carolina Democrats. A world in which Michigan Republicans have suggested Kid Rock for Senate, and Ted Nugent has indicated he may run in the same state. A world in which the star of the Celebrity Apprentice is now the President of the United States. Surely, actors delivering politically-charged speeches at award shows pale in comparison.

For all their wealth and privilege, artists and entertainers are still people, not public property. They are not obligated to tailor their political views to those of their fans. They have every right to express their views, just as the public has the right to respond. Boycotting or criticizing people after they speak is a far better response than seeking to prevent them from speaking in the first place. That should go without saying, but this is apparently the present state of political discourse in America.

You may not want to tune into the Oscars just to hear four hours of political speeches (the alternative, however, is listening to celebrities thanking half the people they've ever met). Perhaps it's best to remember that they have the right to free speech, just as we all have the right to turn the channel. Besides, in the time it'll take to watch the Oscars, you could catch up on half a season of your favorite show.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air this Sunday, February 26th.

Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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