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    Celebrities must keep politics out of award shows

    From Vanessa Redgrave and Michael Moore to Sally Field and Russell Brand—all of these celebrities sparked controversy surrounding the politically-driven remarks each said at award shows. 

    During the 1978 Oscars, Redgrave used the podium to show support for the Palestine Liberation Organization and referred to her critics as “Zionist hoodlums.” Moore reprimanded the Iraq War and called Bush a “ficticious president” in his 2003 Oscars acceptance speech.  At last year’s Emmys,  Field preached that “if mothers ruled the (world), there would be no (expletive) wars in the first place.” Earlier this month, MTV Video Music Awards host Brand called Bush in his opening monologue a “retarded cowboy.”

    And this past Sunday’s Emmys were no exception.  Although the political fodder was comparably tamer, celebrities took their stage time as an opportunity to inject their viewpoints. 

    When legendary comedian Tommy Smothers received a writing achievement award for his work on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” he spoke out against war and ignorance, and dedicated his award to those that stand up for their beliefs. 

    As the night progressed, Martin Sheen and the writers and director for the HBO movie, “Recount” encouraged viewers to vote on Nov. 4. 

     Kirk Ellis, who won for writing HBO’s “John Adams”, was cut off mid-speech by commercial after praising politicians who “articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences.”  

    One of the five hosts, Howie Mandel took a jab at Sarah Palin’s “Bridge to Nowhere” and Best Actress in a Comedy Series winner, Tina Fey compared the nation’s economy to that of a ‘turkey burger.’

    While some of these commentaries ring true, were they at all necessary or appropriate? 

    Yes, the rich and famous are entitled to their opinions and deserve to be treated like everybody else. Most importantly, they too have the right to free speech. But Hollywood must realize that award shows are celebrations of movies or albums, an actor’s or a musician’s work—not a rally or convention. 

    Also do we really care about their political views? Maybe, maybe not. Nowadays, celebrity endorsements of a politician receive more media coverage than other global issues. It’s also become inevitable—or even a trend—for a celebrity to support a social or political cause.  Many use their causes to actually do some good, but many also use it to gain publicity.

    Actors, actresses and musicians know they can raise awareness and the influence they have on today’s youth. But I have enough faith in knowing that my generation has enough knowledge and background to base their votes and beliefs on their agendas, not Hollywood’s. 

    So a note to all you “celebs” preparing to accept your award, use your 30 seconds on stage wisely. It isn’t your personal soap box.  Keep it simple: thank your publicist, adoring fans and the fashion designer who slaved over your couture dress.  

    Trust us, it’s much more tolerable to us viewers.

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