Monday, June 06, 2005

Celebrities and their Causes

Star power can bring atttention to a cause, there's no doubt about that. In this article the discussion was, does a celebrity hurt or help? Strangely enough, I'm all for celebrities who promote the causes I like, but when they go out and stump for a presidential candidate I don't agree with, it makes me mad... hmmm.

Why would anyone object to these efforts? Two big reasons: Suspicion of the celebrities' motives and a sense that the celebrities don't really understand the problems about which they speak.

Case in point: The lead singer for rock group Coldplay, Chris Martin, has visited Ghana in his campaign against Western trade practices that he says undermine farmers in the West African country. Get rid of unfair tariffs imposed on Ghana, and those farmers would thrive, he believes.

Martin, who's married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, may be well-intentioned, but he's ignoring structural problems in Ghana that have far more impact than outside tariffs, says Franklin Cudjoe, a development director in Ghana's capital, Accra. Cudjoe derides what he calls rock-star economics -- the practice of musician-activists and others to focus predominantly on the West's perceived responsibility for Africa's economic woes.

No comments:

Post a Comment