4 Reasons Why Artists Shouldn't be Shamed for Speaking about Political Matters
Maan de Vera
It’s only natural for people to have discussions over the questionable government policies recently. For sure, there will be opposing sides, countless arguments, and hilariously accurate (yet depressing) memes. But what’s definitely not okay is when artists are getting so much hate from some whenever they express their stand on these things. What’s even sadder is that they’re often told to just keep quiet and stick to what they’re known to do be it acting, singing, dancing, modeling, etc.
Honestly, this stigma needs to stop. Here are 4 reasons why artists shouldn’t be shamed for speaking about political matters:
1. They’re not only artists.
No one is ever limited to just their profession. Aside from what you choose to do for a living, we all have various roles we play in life and one of those is being a responsible Filipino. So saying that these people should just stay silent about Philippine concerns and do their job instead means that you’re invalidating their right to express themselves. When in fact, artists are also entitled to freedom of speech, just like you are.
2. Art is never about just entertainment.
To say that artists are there only to be a source of amusement is simply wrong. For example, Rizal’s novels (which is an undeniable artist’s work) have been an important part of our revolution against the Spanish. These pieces aren’t meant to merely give us something to pass time with, no. Rather, it has always been a reflection of the era when it was created, the society that inspired it, and the audience it’s created for.
3. Everyone has the right to use their influence for their advocacies.
Fan bases and followings are powerful. When a significant number of persons choose to work on a common goal, almost nothing is impossible. So, artists should be able to wield the influence that they have in order to push for the things that they truly believe is right and would be for the benefit of many. In case you missed it, there is more to fame than getting millions of likes on social media.
4. You don’t need to be an expert in order to have an opinion.
To claim that artists shouldn’t be talking about something that they’re not specialists in is just simply unfair and irrational. Contrary to what you read online, expertise isn’t required in order to be part of the discourse. Don’t get us wrong here, you need to be informed with factual information, yes. It’s only right for all of us to be educated before claiming something and encouraging others to follow suit. But you don’t always need a degree or certifications before you speak up.
Frankly, it's okay to stop supporting these personalities for whatever reason you want. But no, it’s not cool to shame those who are only trying to voice out their point of view. Before you shame anyone to into silence, stop. Because you simply shouldn't.