Countless celebrities, primarily in the entertainment world, have time and again ventured off into humanitarian projects they are passionate about. The entertainment world is often fictitious and fleeting – it’s not as rewarding as it’s first portrayed to be. More often than not, those celebrities seek out tangible and humanitarian work to fill the void created by the entertainment world, since a career as an actor, musician, or athlete is not entirely fulfilling. When the UN announced Leonardo DiCaprio as the United Nations Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, it was not because of his extensive experience or knowledge on climate change, but because of the platform he has. DiCaprio established a big enough audience to allow him to present humanitarian problems that are important to him. Once a celebrity has established themselves and created a big enough audience, it becomes clear that they should then use that platform to create positive change.
Leonardo DiCaprio has found much success in his acting career. So much success that it has given him the opportunity to use his platform to showcase issues that are important to him — the biggest being climate change. Celebrities or entertainers have a profound ability to capture the attention of millions world wide. After DiCaprio’s success with the film “Titanic”, he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation – a non profit organization made to promote environmental awareness. From the the start of that non-profit, DiCaprio stayed committed to programs that promoted environmental awareness and action. DiCaprio’s documentary “Before the Flood” was created to help inform audiences that do not know much about climate change, and to create awareness for climate change. It follows DiCaprio who states that: “the more I learn about climate change the more I realize how little I know about it”. What makes DiCaprio a great ambassador for climate change is his apparent lack of information on the topic at the start of the film as well as the audience he has access to. What makes his lack of extensive knowledge and experience great is that the audience can watch and learn from his journey. What the film did was illustrate the impacts of climate change by showcasing how DiCaprio learned about it. Similarly, his status in his acting career has given him a following that a climate change specialist would not have.
After winning his first Academy Award, DiCaprio used time in his speech to speak about climate change. His access to millions of viewers world wide and the platform he has makes it vital for him, and others like him, to use their voice to speak on important issues. More often than not, people will listen and react to celebrities and people with great influence who speak about world issues. They are given a stage to entertain, and can use that stage to make philanthropic change. While they do not have the extensive knowledge that experts in the field have – they do have the platform and following to bring those issues to light.
Author: Idil Dahir
Idil Dahir is a freelance writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto in which she completed a specialist program in English. Idil enjoys everything from Films, TV Shows, Sports, Novels, and Comic Books. She is currently working on launching her blog in which she will react, review, and discuss the above mentioned topics. If you would like to contact Idil you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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