For many years, It’s been a large part of American culture to praise our celebrities. In recent years, celebrities have risen in stature due to the development of reality shows and social media sites. The lifestyles and activities of celebrities have become more apparent to the public eye. With the ideas of democracy and freedom in mind, the ways in which Americans choose to shape their lives is largely based on the influence of celebrities. Being in such a position of power, celebrities have a huge responsibility to Americans today and the Americans of tomorrow.
In a New York Times article entitled “Is Our Art Equal To The Challenges Of Our Time?”, A. O. Scott poses a question equivalent to the article’s title. In the past, we’ve been able to confidently look to artists to be genuine when no one else could be. We can look to authors and entertainers to tell the stories of despair and inequality of our time. In the article, Scott writes “Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, I’ve been waiting for ‘The Grapes Of Wrath.’ Or maybe ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ or ‘Death of a Salesman,’ a Zola Novel or a Woody Guthrie ballad -- something that would sum up the injustices and worries of the times, and put a human face on the impersonal movements of history.” When it comes to art in America, it seems to have a role in the democratic system. “What is the function of art within disaster capitalism?” the So, what has art become today?
In an interview with a second generation immigrant girl from Asia, she says “American movies make it look so great and inviting.” American art paints a vivid picture of affluent people of America, and ignores the hardships and adversities opposing the majority of people living in our time. Most art today runs away from modern social issues. What is this a result of?
Some artists and celebrities believe that Americans don’t look to them for anything more than entertainment. This may be true in most cases, however having such strong influence should demand more of their posessors. In an interview on MSNBC, Russell Brand, a famous comedian and actor, states “For a long time as an entertainer, my opinions, musings, and contemplations on spirituality or social institutions were kind of like a garnish to what I did…” Though most entertainers may feel the same as Brand, this does not give them an excuse to ignore the plight of his or her own community.
Langston Hughes wrote, “An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.” Just as an artists may have a responsibility to their audience to be a voice for the common man, artists also have the right and freedom to create the art that he or she feels best expresses them. Should we fault an artists for not being relatable?
Being a famous celebrity or artists, how can on relate to the destitution plaguing the general population. In A.O. Scott’s research, Scott posed the question “How are artists affected by changes in the distribution of wealth and the definition of work, and how does their work address these changes?”
Entertainers and celebrities alike can arguably be called the most influential people on the planet. With social networks on the rise, they hold exponentially more power than they once did. To quote the great Uncle Ben, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Just as they have a responsibility to themselves to be true and genuine they also have one to their audiences. being in such as high position should evoke an obligation to be a voice for those who are underrepresented.