Cynthia Nixon and 10 other celebrities who entered politics

eng   Yanditswe na: 25 March 2018

Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon announced on Monday she will run for governor of New York, challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination.

It follows the announcement last month that Clueless actress Stacey Dash is running for congress in California on a Republican ticket.

Plenty of famous faces have campaigned for candidates in the past - but why do so many celebrities decide to enter politics themselves?

"The facts show that people like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump have had great success in politics," says Dr Sharon Coen, senior lecturer in media psychology at the University of Salford.

"If they are already in the public eye, they are already present on people’s radar - we feel like we’re friends with them, or a version of them.

"This increases the feelings of likeability, familiarity and trust - which are all key factors that are determinant in the success of a political candidate."

In addition, Dr Coen says the backgrounds of many actors and celebrities in performance make them particularly suited to the political sphere.

"These individuals are trained to communicate effectively with audiences. And research shows non-verbal skills are just as important, when it comes to voters, as what people actually say."

Another key factor is already being in the limelight. "Politicians frequently say they feel like they are under siege by the media," Dr Coen explains.

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"This means normal people who may have the calling to go into politics, who actually care about society, and who want to make a change are discouraged by this.

"What stops them is the toll that they - and the people close to them - would have to pay. Celebrities already know how to deal with this and have developed strategies to help them cope. I sincerely believe politicians should have training in this area too."

Many celebrities who don’t necessarily become politicians themselves are often keen to make their political beliefs known, sometimes by actively campaigning for a particular candidate.

Katy Perry and Beyonce were among those to openly back Hillary Clinton during the US presidential election of 2016.

But Matteo Bergamini, from the political advocacy Shout Out UK, argues that relying on celebrities to make politics more "attractive" to young people is a "tired trope".

Writing for the Huffington Post, he claims it "perpetuates the myth that young people are simply not interested enough in their own futures to get involved unless someone wraps it up in a shiny bow. Surely our young people deserve more credit than that?"

So, is it a good idea for celebrities to dabble in politics, and how many have managed to make the transition?

Here are just some of the celebrities who have turned their hand to politics - some more successfully than others..


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