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As George Floyd Protests Rage, Celebs from Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift Are Finally (Sort of) Getting It Right

As George Floyd Protests Rage, Celebs from Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift Are Finally (Sort of) Getting It Right

It’s ridiculous writing about celebrities right now. It’s ridiculous being a celebrity right now. 

The nation is alight with people demanding justice, dignity, equality, and life for black people in our country. The attention, for once, is not on the rich and famous. Nor should it be. 

But the fact remains that these are people with platforms, whether they deserve them or not and whether we want them to have them or not. For once, they seem to be using those platforms correctly. 

It’s always complicated when it comes to these things. And the praise isn’t uniform. CNN anchor Don Lemon is among those who have called out A-listers, particularly high-profile black celebrities, for not doing as much as others to take action in the wake of George Floyd’s death and nationwide protests, mentioning Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Tyler Perry specifically in a broadcast. 

“Get on television or do something and help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. And have some moral courage and stop worrying about your reputation and your brand,” he said.

Ice-T echoed Lemon’s sentiment, tweeting on Sunday, “Alotta your so called favorite celebrities wont say a Fn word right now… They never have.. And they never will.. Pay Attention.”

It’s true that there are some voices that are noticeably silent. But what’s remarkable, at least in terms of what we’ve come to expect from celebrity culture, is how many people are speaking out, and saying the right things.

What these people are doing and saying right now is not going to change the system. They are not the foot soldiers and, whatever actions or messages they’re taking and sending with their social media accounts, they will never be the foot soldiers. 

But when we log onto our Twitters, our Instagrams, and our Facebooks, because of how we’ve been trained to consume information on these platforms, theirs are the posts we see. Whether or not it is our intent, theirs are the first words we read.

Finally, they’re not mincing them. They are foregoing the both-sidesism and controversy-free words so thoroughly vetted by teams and agents and publicists that they’re entirely void of actual meaning. (Well, most are.) 

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