Kanye West has never shied away from controversy. The Georgia-born rapper, now called Ye, used his platform as a guest performer on Saturday Night Live this past weekend to share his support for President Trump.
Ye wore a “Make America Great Again” hat throughout the evening; his greatest sign of supp
ort was his address to the crowd after the show had finished airing.
Comedian and actor Chris Rock was in the SNL audience and recorded Ye's pro-Trump rap on his Instagram story. Ye presented some thought-provoking points about America’s current political sphere during his unaired speech.
“I think the universe has balance,” Ye said in one of the clips. “Ninety percent of news are liberal. Ninety percent of TV, L.A., New York, writers, rappers, musicians, so it’s easy to make it seem like it’s so, so, so one-sided.”
Here, the controversial rapper points out the bias of celebrities.
Despite Kanye’s hyperbolic statistics, the influence these biases have on young individuals forming a political ideology is alarming.
The big-name celebrities of Hollywood such as the Kardashians or even John Legend are known for supporting left-leaning candidates and policies. Even actors such as Anne Hathaway and Matt Damon have spoken out about traditionally left-leaning opinions on hot topics in politics.
With this fact in mind, consider the unparalleled amount of time teenagers spend on social media and other forms of technology. An oft-cited study conducted by Common Sense Media illustrates that an average teenager spends up to nine hours a day looking at screens.
Observing these facts in conjunction, the large influence celebrities have on teenagers is evident. Snapchat stories, Instagram feeds and even tweets from A-listers continually flood the minds of impressionable children.
Celebrities use these platforms of media to support political issues such as the #MeToo movement, to rebuke bigotry or misogyny and even to express opinions on political candidates and elections.
To say all celebrities support left-leaning beliefs would be a gross generalization. However, as Ye points out, there is an expectation that celebrities adopt and promote left-of-center political views.
The stereotypical concepts of political parties, such as Republicans being bigots or Democrats being socially inclusive, force celebrities to take a side. Typically for the sake of popularity, celebrities identify as more Democratic, which may lead their fans to form incomplete opinions on politics in order to mimic their favorite actors and musicians.
Political ideology then becomes a product of emotion and popularity rather than a conscious pursuit of how to engage American society. As Ye eloquently spoke, the bias in Hollywood is left-of-center. This bias distorts the political education of young generations who will soon become the leaders of America.