A Celebrity Call To Arms

Hi Digital Diary Followers

“The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest” (NOH8 Campaign, 2009).

This campaign, created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska, is a silent protest via photography where subjects duct tape their mouths and write “NOH8” on their cheek to symbolise how people voices are being silenced by same sex marriage legislation. The images will eventually be compiled and be used in a large-scale media campaign (NOH8 Campaign, 2009). The group also offer social media such as Twitter and Facebook as a way to spread their message and gain support. This example however serves as a way to show how social media and activism can exist in two separate realms.  Although the campaign moves towards a good cause it doesn’t ask its participants to commit to any material risk. It deems it as another example of what I’ve identified in previous posts as “Slacktivism”.

Organisations such as NOH8, for me, also raise questions about using celebrities to promote campaigns related to political concerns, particularly in relation to youth. There is a concern about entertainment intruding into politics and the hijacking the Hollywood publicity machine for political ends (Jenkins, 2012). The NOH8 campaign is associated with celebrities such as Josh Hutcherson, Avan Jogia, Corey Monteith, Jane, Lynch, Pete Wenz, Kim Kardashian and Megan McCain to name a few. By using the power of celebrity status it allows for the message to be potentially spread to youth who perhaps do not associate with conventional political rhetoric (Jenkins, 2012). However, although celebrities offer the ability to spread the message to a larger audience it doesn’t guarantee the ability to get youth to drill deep into the political issue (Jenkins, 2012). Jenkins describes it as a “more sociable style of civic participation”.

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