Editorial: Celebrities use award shows as platforms to speak on important issues

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Award show season is always a glamorous time. There are celebrities dressed in the best designer clothes and being recognized for their hard work in movies, TV shows, music and more. When any celebrity wins an award, they usually get on stage and thank their co-workers and their family. However, some celebrities took it a step further this year and chose to speak out about their opinions on trending issues today.

At the 2017 Golden Globes actress Meryl Streep sent an unforgettable message. During the show, Streep made a speech about President Donald Trump’s actions back in 2015, when he mocked a disabled reporter for revealing some negative information about Trump in one of his articles. Although she never referenced Trump by name, it can be inferred that the speech was about him since Streep called him “the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country.” Another poignant line in Streep’s speech was when she said, “when powerful use definition to bully others, we all lose,” encouraging people to be kind to one another and not to disrespect or bully one another. Although the speech was not taken well by Trump, who let his anger out on Twitter, calling the actress “overrated” amongst other words, the majority of the public agreed and applauded Streep’s decision to speak out.

Another example of celebrities sending messages at award shows was Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio at the 2016 Golden Globes. When accepting his award for best actor in a drama film, DiCaprio spoke out about the importance of environmental conservation, and shared his award to the indigenous people represented in his film. “It’s time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations,” DiCaprio said. Given this country’s treatment of Native Americans in the past, the recognition was well deserved and extremely overdue.

The 2016 Tony awards also had a poignant example of a celebrity sending a message through award shows. Lin Manuel Miranda delivered a tear-jerking speech following the tragedy of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. “Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside,” Miranda said, leaving both himself and the audience in tears. After tragic events, such as those that occurred that night at Pulse, people need a beacon of hope, inspiration and love to turn to, and after his speech Lin Manuel Miranda was more than that.

Lastly, during the 2007 Emmy Award actress Sally Field accepted her award for her role on “Brothers and Sisters”. During her speech, Field spoke negatively about the war in Iraq. “Let’s face it, if mothers ruled the world there would be no war in the first place,” was just one line of the many that Fox censored out after her speech. Although the Emmys may not have been the most appropriate place to discuss the war, Fox should not have censored Field’s words.

Behind all the glamour and celebration that comes with award season, there are still problems going on all around the world. Celebrities that take a stand and speak about the issues at these shows are utilizing their platform to make a change in the world, and inspiring their fellow celebrities to step up and do the same so that the world may be a more educated and informed place.

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