politainment: should entertainers get involved in politics?

I like actors and singers who have the smarts, who know what’s happening in the world and not just existing in their own little bubble. I want to watch them on talk shows not just talking about their clothes or make-up but about relevant issues that may affect them, and be able to answer questions on culture and history without coming out as stupid (hello, Rainie Yang).

“I promise to study Chinese history…”

For sure, I don’t want them clueless. But do I want them to be political? Do I want them to get involved in politics actively and take an aggressive stand on issues?

I come from a country where there is a fine line that separates politics and showbiz. Sometimes it’s very hard to tell if I’m watching a TV drama or an intelligent debate about, say, the South China Sea. So I’m kind of wary about entertainers dipping their toes or poking their noses in politics.

Am I contradicting myself with my initial statement? Not really. While I want them to be aware of what’s happening in the world, especially where it involves their history, culture and current affairs, I don’t like them going with the flow to please a market, an audience, a government, or the communist party, because that is obviously for business decisions and not because they are concerned over what’s happening. I’d rather have them step back and not be used in the name of politics.

I’m talking about the news on entertainers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan making a public statement on Diaoyu in support, but of course, to China. Chinese artists, I don’t have a problem with because it can be taken as protecting personal national interests. But how about those who are from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and most specifically, those who have benefited from the Japanese market, Japan being the other party in this dispute?

Would manners dictate that these entertainers stay away? Jay Chou played Takumi in Initial D, a Japanese manga; he has also performed in Japan several times; Lin Chiling’s pathetic acting career was in fact given recognition and renewed life in Japan (she appeared in a Kimura Takuya drama and a stage play. Yes, they let her act in a STAGE PLAY); Vic Chou did a Japanese movie and enjoyed fame there as part of F4; at least the rest of F4 wisely stayed out of the issue.

Jay Chou’s management has reportedly said he is not part of the China Radio and Television Association, so therefore, he can’t be part of it. Can’t really blame him. He has to protect his China market; as it is, being a Taiwanese artist in China is already treading on treacherous waters.

Jay Chou looking like a Diaoyu/Senkaku protester on his way to war.

There’s been some noise on why Jackie Chan is apparently quiet. Well, at least he is not politically pretentious.

There’s nothing wrong knowing which side of your bread is buttered. But what if the other side has been buttered by the other party too?

It’s one thing to be politically aware but another thing to be politically scheming. But for sure, they’re not as worse as politicians whose loyalty is only to self, and not to country, who serves personal interests more than national interests. But wait, is there really a difference?

I’d rather that they entertain me, than take on a political role for their entertainment career’s sake.

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