Influencers aren’t the news – and they don’t owe us opinions

It’s ridiculous how we have normalized harassment and bullying from thousands online towards influencers who refuse to make a statement. | Ariana Rodriguez, PantherNOW via Canva

Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer

As brand ambassadors and influencers become mainstream, it’s alarming how their opinions spread like wildfire. Many TikTokers turned podcasters share their thoughts and opinions on current situations.

However, it’s vital to form our own opinions.

There are endless controversies when influencers have a hot take on a current event, notably with TikTok star and media personality Brittany Broski.

Brittany Broski is a podcast host and comedian with a staggering 7.4 million-plus followers on just her main TikTok account. Her fans recently attacked her for a leaked video via Instagram of her saying it’s not her place to comment on the war going on between Israel and Palestine. 

Which, although said a bit brutally, I agree with the sentiment. Despite her having a strong activist voice, it’s in relation to problems she isn’t acutely aware of or within her home country. It’s understandably difficult to make a statement about a war going on across the world versus in your homeland. 

Once leaked, the clip went viral on TikTok with hundreds of videos of people ripping her apart, calling her a performative activist, insulting her character and overall bringing negative attention towards her.

Quickly and promptly, Broski apologized for her lack of judgment when making the private post. I do think apologizing was the best move for her career – but why did she have to in the first place? 

 Society fails to realize that influencers are not the news but entertainment.

Cancel culture” makes it easier for us to hate, unfollow and go onto the next without a second thought about the creator. In many people’s eyes, Broski is done for and canceled. 

But that’s not how we should treat people in real life or online. People deserve respect and empathy just like everyone else. Broski makes it clear that her furthest intention was to offend anyone, which can be impossible to do these days. 

Far from making excuses for Broski, the message of this story shows how the internet has a warped sense of priorities. Why does Broski, a podcaster and comedian, owe thoughts and opinions on a crisis that doesn’t involve her? 

Broski has no place to speak on the issue other than to raise awareness, which she has done by utilizing her podcast. 

Also, a major factor in her not speaking was fear of spreading misinformation. What is alarming is that we expect all influencers to speak out on all the different issues in the world. 

It’s ridiculous how we have normalized harassment and bullying from thousands online towards influencers who refuse to make a statement. 

There is no doubt that misogyny and sexism have a role to play in the influencer struggle. We demand and cry out for women influencers to make a statement, but we wouldn’t dare demand that Cody Ko or Kurtis Connor make a statement despite them also being silent.

Broski along with many other female creators have come forward discussing the mistreatment of being a woman in that creative space. She explains that women have to work twice as hard for half the praise and audience since they’re put on a high pedestal they aren’t allowed to fall off of. 

In an appearance on the Zach Sang Show, Broski entails the difficulties of being a female content creator citing how in every project she embarks on she fears cancellation, and isn’t often appreciated for her wit and cleverness unlike men in her field.

We shouldn’t hold influencers to such a high standard. It’s dangerous to seek such strong validation from people who you’ve never met. 

Influencers may feed off this parasocial relationship, but the key is to remind yourself that just because you support this person doesn’t mean you’re friends.

It’s vital for us to form our own opinions on issues such as the Israel and Palestine conflict, and for us to not rely so heavily to get our news from the same people we get our entertainment from.

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