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Lakshmi Narayan

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Celebrity Activism: Who ultimately benefits, the celebrity or the cause?

I am doing a dissertation on this topic and would like people to give an opinion on what they think of the question. I study PR so anything that relates back to media, how the publics attitude is swayed and what happens if the celebrity and the cause don't align, and does the cause push the celeb profile or the other way around. Case studies that I've looked at are- Bob Geldof-Live Aid, Joanna Lumley-Gurkhas , Sean Penn-Haiti and Angelina Jolie- any campaign she has been affiliated with.


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  • Apr 19 2013: Attaching a celebrity to a cause is a great way to gain exposure, obviously, the trendier the better.

    I recently discovered the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media:
    I think this cause has found a good balance between 'utilizing' the celebrity and making a strong point without the use of a famous name.

    Your question also made me think of the story of Marylin Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald. Marylin led a cause on her own, by her own initiative, which was dependent on her celerity status. It seems a small price to pay for a great cause.
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      Apr 19 2013: Thanks for your comment and the links Lizanne. I think the above examples are celebrities who are doing something for a cause because they are passionate. There are a lot of celebrities that use a cause to enhance their image to elevate their credibility like the Kim K's and Lindsay Lohan's of the world.
      • Apr 19 2013: I tend to see the silver lining in just about everything... which isn't always a good thing.
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          Apr 19 2013: That's better than being a cynic, like me. I've been tainted by working and studying in media and public relations.

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