There is a saying that goes “there is a time and a place for everything.” Sometimes this is easy to figure out while other times you may have to learn the hard way. When it comes to a person who is a public figure, such as someone in the entertainment business, this saying is equally, if not more important than your average person issuing an endorsement.
Usually, an entertainer would voice their endorsement for a political candidate during a one-on-one interview or on a talk show. That way, your message gets delivered without those who disapprove causing a scene and doing something that might take away from what is being said.
During a public concert is risky in that if a large amount of people do not agree, they can cause enough of a distraction to take away from what started out to be something with good intentions. If Madonna didn’t know this, she learned her lesson the hard way while performing at a concert in New Orleans. Her supposed intention of telling her fans to vote during the presidential election got lost as she added that they vote for Obama, in which fans not only booed her but started to walk out of the concert. This does make one wonder if this was the right setting to publicly endorse a candidate or even if someone like her should endorse someone publicly at all.
Before addressing whether or not a public figure should endorse publicly a candidate for office, it is important to look at what prompted this question. On Saturday, Madonna performed in a concert that was held in New Orleans. During the concert, she asked fans who was registered to vote. If the message was supposed to be about the importance of registering to vote, she most likely would have been okay despite those who many have heckled the singer for bringing up the topic.
What obviously got her in trouble was when she singled out a candidate by following up her question by saying, “I don’t care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama.” This prompted fans to start booing and some to walk out of the concert. In an attempt to try and recover, she said,” Seriously, I don’t care who you vote for…Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote.”
With that said, should Madonna have voiced out her choice for a candidate during a concert? Those who would argue that she had no idea there would be some sort of backlash would be wrong. This isn’t the first time the entertainer has drawn some type of backlash during a tour.
During a performance recently in Paris, she was booed when she left the stage after performing for only 45 minutes. On a number of occasions, she has repeatedly flashed her breasts during a performance and a conservative French political party has threatened to sue her for a video she has shown of leader Marine Le Pen having a swastika on her forehead while performing in a concert in Paris.
Another factor is to know your audience and that means if the arena you are performing in may have a dim view of the person you’re endorsing, response would be negative. One would think that it would not be a good idea to tell fans during a concert who to vote for because there are too many variables to consider.
In this case, response to Madonna’s declaration will cause the singer problems down the road and took away from the message about the importance of registering to vote. Let’s keep in mind that she does have the freedom to say who she supports and whether she does it during a one-on-one interview, a talk show or during a concert is her choice; however, she must deal with the ramifications of her choice.
The other question of whether or not a public figure should declare their support for a candidate publicly at all depends on the individual. Freedom of Speech grants anyone the right to voice out loud their approval or disapproval of a political candidate for office. The issue is by showing that support publicly it can deter support from you and depending on what your career is, could prove harmful to that individual’s livelihood.
When I refer to someone being a public figure, I am talking about someone in the entertainment business or someone in political office. I am referring to those whose income is based on others coming to see them perform or voting to keep them in office. In Madonna’s case, her action could cost her future fans from coming to see her perform or buy anything that has to do with her. This, in turn, would affect her livelihood as well as public perception about her.
Anyone who is considered a public figure should look at what happened to Madonna and make sure they understand the possible ramifications of what they say. Should a time and place be considered for someone who is a public figure before endorsing publicly a candidate? Should a public figure endorse a candidate publicly at all? What do you think?
Madona Endorses Obama, Gets Booed At Concert
Madona Booed At Concert – Tried To Tell Fans To Vote For Obama
Madona Was Shock & Tried To Recover.