Thursday, September 29, 2016

People taking a stance on issues they know nothing about

One of my pet peeves is when people express a strong opinion on something they are uninformed about. This can be anything from politics or a protest to celebrity and pop culture. With social media being so prevalent these days, people are quick to voice their opinion on anything they hear or read about. These comments can influence people and have consequences all around which is why it is important to know the facts and be well informed before making statements on controversial issues.

A recent example of this happened around one of my favorite comedians, Melissa Villasenor, who I have been following since her debut on America's Got Talent in 2011. For the past 5 years I have enjoyed her videos, stand up, podcasts, and social media so I was very excited and proud to hear she was named to the new cast of Saturday Night Live!

You would think it would be all good news, but almost immediately there was a backlash of people trying to bring her down. Individuals started digging into her history on social media looking for anything that could be portrayed as being remotely offensive. They then started promoting these comments trying to make the case that Melissa should be shamed and should not be given the opportunity to be on the show.

As someone who has followed Melissa closely for 5 years, she is one of the sweetest people in the business and is certainly not how these individuals are trying to make her out to be. She may have made a few comments in the past that were not the nicest, but if you dig into anyone's past, we have all said things at one time or another that we probably shouldn't have. This does not call for a reason to try to sabotage someone's career.

So why would these individuals do this? The main reason would be jealousy. Someone in a similar line of work may be jealous that she has been given this opportunity and they feel like they deserve it more or that she does not deserve it so they may look for reasons to try to discredit her character.

Whatever the reason, these false allegations got enough traction to get into news articles and social media. Then because she is now in the spotlight of being a new cast member on SNL, more people are discovering her for the first time. These people are not familiar with her work and maybe only saw a headline or watched a quick Youtube clip and are now making judgments.

I have seen people making comments like “she should not be given the opportunity to spread her message of hate” and “this is all it takes to be on SNL?”. These are the kind of comments that bug me because they are strong statements made by people who are incredibly uninformed about this issue. Melissa has no message of hate and she has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is at. She has earned her place on the show and I just hope all the negative comments don't get her down or have a negative effect on her career.

Overall this post focused on one example, but the overall message is to be careful what you say and make sure you are well informed and know all the facts before taking a strong stance on something or commenting on a controversial issue.

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