[By Anna Taylor]

With the rise of social media, more celebrities and organizations are jumping on bandwagons. Whether they are political, cultural or environmental, “celebrity causes” have never been more “in.” But do celebrities really care about the causes they support? Does it matter if they do, as long as the support is beneficial to both parties?

Consider the following cases in which individuals or organizations have benefited from supporting causes:

A Common Goal
One historically marginalized group supporting another is a story that practically writes itself. For example, it makes sense for the Black Lives Matter movement to support the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. They are united in a common goal: as one article states, “activists on both sides see these movements as urgent battles for survival.” But skeptics might suggest that they’re only doing it for the positive publicity that comes with it.

Environmental Activism
Those who bill themselves as activists lose credibility when they’re caught being hypocrites. Leonardo DiCaprio has spent more than 15 years bringing attention to climate change with his personal foundation. However, DiCaprio fails to practice what he preaches, jet-setting all over the world in high-polluting airplanes and yachts.

Bettering Oneself
Many celebrities eat organic or natural foods because they truly believe in their benefits. The problem is that food producers are capitalising on the craze by offering expensive options that may or may not actually be organic. Celebrities endorsing organic food are inadvertently increasing the profits of big corporations they may not even associate with. In this regard, they may find themselves unwitting corporate puppets.

A 2012 Forbes article explored the topic of celebrity activism. While this strategy has its pitfalls, savvy agents should be encouraging their clients to support positive causes on the right side of history. As long as their clients are smart enough to demonstrate sincerity, who is to say that their motives aren’t pure? And does it really matter what bandwagon they’re jumping on, as long as it does not cause harm and brings attention to important causes?

With so many hot-button issues in 2016, expect to hear much more about this type of publicity.

(Photo by Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay)

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