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Should celebrities publicly air their opinions on certain issues?

DeadlyDuo

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This is NOT a politics discussion thread.

It's a simple question, should celebrities publicly air their opinions on certain issues which could risk alienating some of their fanbase who don't share the same opinion, or should they keep their opinions to themselves? Such opinions can vary on things such as political parties/causes, climate change, coronavirus etc.
 

Myheadsgonenumb

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Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has a right to voice it. If they're happy to run the risk of alienating their fanbase then that's a decision that is entirely up to them.
Some people believe silence is complicity - so not to voice your opinion, if you believe something is wrong, is to be complicit with it. There's no reason celebrities should be forced into silence and not allowed to speak out just in case not everyone out there agrees with them.
 

Oromous

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Sineya
They're people. People are allowed to voice their opinions. It's a free country.

We may not always agree with their opinions, but I think they have as much right as anyone to express their opinion.

I don't really believe that they should have a responsibility towards their fans either. It's your fault if you idealize a celebrity and place him on a pedestal.
 

The Bronze

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Yes if they want to. They take the same risks as the rest of us when sticking their neck out. Some people might like you more or less. They're generally in a position to affect change more than most and so can have really positive outcomes galvanising others.
 

Spanky

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Of course they can publically state their views. It's not their fault that the general public treat them as some sort of messianic figure and believes the actually know what they are talking about.

I don't really believe that they should have a responsibility towards their fans either. It's your fault if you idealize a celebrity and place him on a pedestal.
Exactly.

The only caveat is it's unfair they have a larger soapbox from which to speak than the average person, when 9 times out of 10 they are no more informed on things than the average person.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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From a practical standpoint, there are obvious risks and benefits to speaking out.

The Dixie Chicks were famously blacklisted by thousands of country stations after they criticised the Iraq war. It obviously wasn't good for their career. So what's worth more? Money or the freedom to speak your mind?

But on the flipside, celebrities who speak freely often gain more loyal and invested fans.
 
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Priceless
They're now called The Chicks, they dropped Dixie

DeadlyDuo

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I'm kind of divided on this topic. I do think celebrities should be allowed to have their opinion absolutely, and if they get asked a direct question for their opinion, they should be allowed to answer honestly without fear of reprisal from fans or the industry. However, @The Bronze brings up a good point of celebrities having influence. Shouldn't that influence come with some form of responsibility where public neutrality is a more diplomatic response, particularly in regards to controversial topics, regardless of what they think in private?

Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has a right to voice it. If they're happy to run the risk of alienating their fanbase then that's a decision that is entirely up to them.
Some people believe silence is complicity - so not to voice your opinion, if you believe something is wrong, is to be complicit with it. There's no reason celebrities should be forced into silence and not allowed to speak out just in case not everyone out there agrees with them.
Do you think this should apply in both directions or is one opinion more "right" than the other depending on the subject? Who gets to judge on what is a right or wrong opinion to have?
 

Myheadsgonenumb

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Do you think this should apply in both directions or is one opinion more "right" than the other depending on the subject? Who gets to judge on what is a right or wrong opinion to have?
Of course it applies in both directions. Depending on the opinion you may alienate more or less people depending on the view in question and how mainstream it is. As long as it's an opinion then every individual can judge whether it's right or wrong or not according to their own ideals. I'm no fan of cancel culture and I don't believe people should be cancelled for what they believe, but if they believe something you are diametrically opposed to then you are within your right to view them a bit differently after they've said it and within your rights to decide you no longer wish to support their career if you want to take it that far - as that affects no one but you (generic you).

In this day and age of alternative facts, of course, it can be hard for some people to recognise whether what is being said is opinion or fact - and some people think their own opinions somehow carry the same weight as actual facts and statistics and won't ever change their minds no matter how much proof they are given. In the case where a fact is being discussed, then it is either correct or incorrect and feelings don't come into it and then it isn't a moral or ethical quandry as to who has the right to decide if the celebrity is right or wrong, it's just a case of provable, material reality. You can still refuse to accept the fact - that is your prerogative, but it doesn't stop you being wrong - a bit like flat earthers can refuse to accept the earth is round but that doesn't change anything.

So if the celebrity in question is stating an opinion, it's entirely up to the fans whether they think they are right and wrong and up to them about how they feel about it as an individual. If they are stating a fact - well, it's a fact isn't it? And disagreeing with facts makes you wrong.
 

Oromous

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I think this "influence" is an artificial and self-constructed influence. It's not as if celebrities are running for presidents (unless you count Reagan and maybe Arnold). They are responsible for acting, playing music and overall entertaining us, no more. What we take from their words and so-called "influence" is our responsibility as people with common sense.
 

DeadlyDuo

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So if the celebrity in question is stating an opinion, it's entirely up to the fans whether they think they are right and wrong and up to them about how they feel about it as an individual. If they are stating a fact - well, it's a fact isn't it? And disagreeing with facts makes you wrong.
But some things blur the line between fact and opinion. For example, if a celebrity said that pre-op transgender "women" are just men in dresses because they still have their male genitalia and are therefore still biologically men and should be treated as such eg not allowed in women's bathrooms/changing rooms, is that celebrity stating a fact or an opinion?

I think this "influence" is an artificial and self-constructed influence. It's not as if celebrities are running for presidents (unless you count Reagan and maybe Arnold).
Or Trump :p

They are responsible for acting, playing music and overall entertaining us, no more. What we take from their words and so-called "influence" is our responsibility as people with common sense.
That is very true.
 
The Bronze
The Bronze
It's not worth taking about on here. Mike Sivier libel is the case.
Priceless
Priceless
80-90% of Tims never get 'bottom surgery', they keep their penis.

The Bronze

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This falls down on a practically stand point of course. Who's going to be the arbitrator of fame levels and acceptable speech at each level?

There's certain celebrities I wish had never opened their mouths or tweets. To the point I've chipped in for someone having to defend himself from their lawfare. Some stuff I don't watch because I can't stand the site of certain people. It is what it is though.
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
Which celebrities are you talking about?

thrasherpix

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Doesn't bother me. But then I don't have to clean up their messes or do damage control.

But then my mind finds it hard to understand how their voice makes a difference under normal circumstances. I don't go looking for their political opinions, and quickly forget about it in most circumstances (even if I strongly agree or disagree with it) should I stumble across it. If anything, I get annoyed that celebrities are used (even when they're not political) to distract from actual news worthy items that leave most people in the dark. Heck, plenty of people can name over a score of celebrities who are gay (or suspected to be) but not who their state representatives are (let alone their voting record and public statements).

If I ever get interested in cosmetic surgery, how to evade (or at least mitigate) a sexual assault while preserving one's career (plenty of people outside of Hollywood could use such tips), stalker evasion, divorce strategies, or how to turn a personal scandal into an opportunity or handle complications from the latest opioid cocktail, THEN I'd be interested in what they have to say on those topics. Until then, all I'm interested in is whatever entertainment I'm currently into, like when the next season of Stranger Things start and clues to what it's going to be like (and if the drama on set is such that the project is threatened).


I think it's worth pointing out that even those whose input I'd value and can be expected to have a nuanced view (say police officers on gun control, teachers on school administrations and free lunches, economists on a proposed tariff, soldiers fighting in a war--and contrary to popular belief it's possible to support soldiers while opposing a war, scientists and doctors on a pandemic, etc--I figure these examples are safe and neutral enough as I resist getting far more specific) are almost always deeply divided with a wide variety of opinions. If even they find themselves struggling with an issue and arguing with each other, then how can a celebrity know what they're talking about? Especially the ones that confuse the movies/series they play in for real life?


Oh!



It occurs to me, since scientists and the like typically don't actually write the college textbooks that have their names put on them for yet another shady markup in price, why not just put the names of celebrities (jocks and otherwise) on them? I bet it would work!
 
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Myheadsgonenumb

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But some things blur the line between fact and opinion. For example, if a celebrity said that pre-op transgender "women" are just men in dresses because they still have their male genitalia and are therefore still biologically men and should be treated as such eg not allowed in women's bathrooms/changing rooms, is that celebrity stating a fact or an opinion?
Well they're stating two things there. One is a fact and one is an opinion. It isn't the line that is being blurred, it is two statements being put together as one.

The fact is that transgender women are in fact men. They are (they wouldn't be transgender women if they weren't, they would just be 'women' - even post op they are still men, a woman is not a man with its penis missing, a woman is an entirely separate biological category). Biology doesn't change, it doesn't lie and it isn't about feelings. It's about material reality. Anyone who disagrees is free to do so, but they are like a flat earther - screaming wrong science at people and changing reality not one jot. (even if they manage to change the law - they don't actually change biological categories, the fact that we are a sexually dimorphic species and the fact you cannot change from being a person who impregnates to a person who gets pregnant. Much like when Galileo was put under house arrest for daring to state that the earth went around the sun, it didn't change the fact that he was right and yes it does.)

Whether or not trans women should have access to female spaces is an opinion. I would agree with that opinion because women have a right to female only spaces and these spaces are determined on our bodies not our feelings, but I respect other people's right to disagree. I empathise with the hardship trans people must face and understand why it is important to them that they feel accepted in places of the right 'gender' - it's just I also empathise with vulnerable women and rape victims and religious women and just run of the mill women who are unable to or uncomfortable with sharing spaces with someone who is biologically male - and I think expecting the women to be the ones to get over their discomfort in order to accommodate a trans person's comfort is not progression, it's misogyny.

However I would also think that a celebrity claiming out of the blue that transgender women are just men in dresses was being a bit of a d***. You can state a fact without going out of your way to offend people and 'men in dresses' is a phrase designed to denigrate transgender women. 'Transgender women are biologically male' would suffice as being both respectful of reality and not deliberately setting out to upset trans people (if anybody is upset by that, then it is because they are a reality denier and ... there's not much people can do if you're upset by reality, you just need to learn to cope).

Facts and statistics are not about hate. They are not about attacking anyone, or blaming anyone. They are just reality and people who are upset by it need to get a grip. But it is possible to present a fact in a hateful way, and there is no need to do that. I would think a celebrity calling transgender women 'men in dresses' was stating a fact in a hateful way and would frown on their presentation of it. But the opinion part - that's their opinion, they have a right to it and a right to voice it.
 

ILLYRIAN

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There is another way to look at this question, which member volunteers him or herself as a celebrity
in order to lose his or her commenting privileges.

And please note this is a tee hee moment.
 

Athena

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I feel it's important to state at this point that trans women are women and trans men are men, and please be mindful of other members (who may be trans) when you make sweeping statements on their gender.
 
Priceless
Priceless
Respectfully disagree. If you are not a man, you cannot be a transwoman.
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
Another respectful disagreement here.
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
I don't make sweeping comments on people's gender - I don't believe in gender. I make comments about sex, which are biological truth.

The Bronze

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I feel it's important to state at this point that trans women are women and trans men are men, and please be mindful of other members (who may be trans) when you make sweeping statements on their gender.
Obviously this isn't on the thread topic but I'd appreciate some clarity here or somewhere else if possible please.

Is that a personal opinion, the position of the board moderators, repetition of a legal position from a particular country or assertion of fact?

If it's the latter what's being used as the definition for man and woman? Is it self ID, anyone who says they're one or the other simply is?
 
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Priceless
Yeah, I don't want to offend anyone, so rules on this would be appreciated.

Puppet

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Everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone has a right to voice it. If they're happy to run the risk of alienating their fanbase then that's a decision that is entirely up to them.
Some people believe silence is complicity - so not to voice your opinion, if you believe something is wrong, is to be complicit with it. There's no reason celebrities should be forced into silence and not allowed to speak out just in case not everyone out there agrees with them.
I basically agree with this, but will go a bit further and say that there's a difference between a celebrity speaking openly about their political or another controversial view, and a celebrity who's entire social media presence revolves around their political or another controversial view. It just kind of annoys me if some actor gets a Twitter account and all they can seem to talk about is climate control - but that's why I don't use Twitter :p
 
Spanky
Spanky
Yes. There's a difference between speaking your views and using your celebrity to become the "face" for something.

Buffy Summers

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Obviously this isn't on the thread topic but I'd appreciate some clarity here or somewhere else if possible please.

Is that a personal opinion, the position of the board moderators, repetition of a legal position from a particular country or assertion of fact?

If it's the latter what's being used as the definition for man and woman? Is it self ID, anyone who says they're one or the other simply is?
I don’t think this is the thread for this discussion. I know it was being used as an example but this is getting deeper into it than celebrities’ comments, which is the topic of the thread.

I think for the purposes of the board, we treat other members as they want to be treated and accept them as they describe themselves.
 
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
And if women want to be treated as a separate biological category that cannot be identified into? what then?

Athena

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Obviously this isn't on the thread topic but I'd appreciate some clarity here or somewhere else if possible please.

Is that a personal opinion, the position of the board moderators, repetition of a legal position from a particular country or assertion of fact?

If it's the latter what's being used as the definition for man and woman? Is it self ID, anyone who says they're one or the other simply is?
It's simply a reminder that there may be trans members on this board and please be respectful of their experiences. To you it's just words, to them it's their lives.

And yes, that is my personal opinion. I'm happy to reiterate it anytime you like. But ultimately this is a board with members from all walks of life, and making derogatory comments or sweeping generalisations about anyone, but especially a marginalised member of society like a trans person, is not ok. If anyone chooses not to believe a trans person is who they say they are, then that's up to them.

And back on topic.....
 
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
womanhood is women's lives and their experiences count too. Biology is not bigotry, it's not harmful and we should not be expected to deny science to protect feelings.
Anyanka Bunny Slayer
Anyanka Bunny Slayer
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Buffy Summers

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@Myheadsgonenumb Like I said, this isn't the thread for this discussion.

Feel free to send me a pm if your question about the board itself is not answered.

:)
 
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
That's why I put in a comment rather than a post - because you don't answer comments according to your signature ... that worked well : )
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