Administration says Mikie Sherrill welcome to visit after election
By Brett Friedensohn
Less than 24 hours before her scheduled appearance in professor Mark Washburne’s history class, New Jersey 11th congressional district Democratic Candidate Mikie Sherrill was disinvited by County College of Morris administration. As for why, the reasons vary depending on who is giving them.
Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of academic affairs, sent an email to Washburne, the Democratic candidate for mayor of Mendham Borough, and Interim Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. James Hart Oct. 15 to notify them that the visit was postponed. On that email, sent to the Youngtown Edition, she copied History Department Chair Dr. Michael Parrella and Communication Department Chair Dr. Matthew Jones.
The email chain started Saturday, Oct. 6, when Washburne notified Simmons, Hart, and Parrella that he had heard from the Sherrill campaign that the candidate was available to visit Oct. 16.
Washburne said that he sent a text message to Sherrill after she beat him in the Tuesday, June 5 Democratic primary for the 11th district seat, congratulating her on her victory and invited her to speak in his classroom. He said that after not hearing a response on the matter, he met her again at a September Democratic fundraiser and again extended his invitation, and sent the email within minutes of hearing from Sherrill’s staff.
Parrella emailed Washburne back Oct. 6 saying that he had spoken with Hart and was unsure of the college’s policy on inviting candidates to speak in classes and that Hart will speak to Simmons when she returns Tuesday, Oct. 9. Simmons later said to the Youngtown that she was on vacation during this time.
She replied to Washburne Oct. 9, saying that he needs to reach out to Webber to invite him, and she advised him to wait until after the election to host Sherrill. Later that day, she sent another email saying that he may host Sherrill even if Webber declines the invitation, but Washburne will need to invite him nonetheless.
“It would be most appropriate – and in keeping with college expectations – that you reach out to Mr. Webber’s office and invite him to participate as well,” Simmons said in the email. “If he declines, you would still be able to host Ms. Sherrill as the offer had been extended to her opponent.”
Washburne replied that day saying that he had reached out to Webber’s office. He later told the Youngtown that he would have been happy to host the Republican state assemblyman but had emailed and called the office multiple times but heard no response.
“The time to bring her in is before the election, and if they want to be fair, let’s bring in whoever wants to come in as well,” Washburne said.” Jay Webber hasn’t responded, but he could have come in. Nobody was saying he couldn’t come in.”
Youngtown staff had been in contact with Sherrill’s staff over the week leading up to the scheduled visit to organize an exclusive interview with Sherrill before she spoke to the students. Since the cancellation, Sherrill and Webber’s campaigns have not responded to requests for comment.
Washburne has in the past hosted in-class visits by 11th district incumbent Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, and in October 2016, organized a debate between representatives for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Simmons said Wednesday, Oct. 17 that it was Washburne’s responsibility to notify the department of public safety as well as the office of marketing and public relations about the scheduled event. The next day, the professor said that none of his supervisors told him this was his responsibility but that would have alerted these departments had he been instructed to. This matter never was mentioned in the email chain.
“That never even came up in conversations at all, so I find it odd that it’s coming up now in conversations,” he said. “I don’t know where it’s coming from. There wasn’t any part of our conversation at all that I didn’t notify any of these people. I was trying to figure out whether we could even do the program, so we never got to that stage.”
Simmons said that Washburne needed to notify public safety about the matter because Sherrill is running for federal office, and therefore, the college would be at a higher risk level if she is on campus.
“She may have been bringing her own security staff, but that still means that we have to do some things, making sure the facility was the proper facility to host her,” Simmons said. “So all of those housekeeping items needed to be taken care of, and unfortunately, they were not taken care of. And then the other part of the issue is again, because she is running for a political office, we need to make sure that the college had extended an offer to the other candidates that were running for that position, that they were given an equal opportunity to have access to our students and our employees, and that had not been done either. And so, to do all of that in the very short period of time from the moment I found out that the event had been scheduled, we just felt that wouldn’t be County College of Morris at our best, so we asked to have it postponed.”
Kathleen Burnet Eagan, CCM’s public relations director, said that if Washburne had notified her office of the event, she would have reached out to the candidates’ staff to find out what they need the college to do to help and if they need publicity assistance.
“It’s just part of the logistics, and this is when it went from solely a classroom event to a larger event,” Burnet Eagan said. “There’s a lot of pieces to take care of, and you need some time.”
Washburne said that Simmons had changed her mind on the rules regarding the steps he needs to take to host Sherrill.
“Dr. Simmons changed her mind on Thursday and said we had to hear from Jay Webber. And so, we never heard back from Jay Webber, so and I don’t know, I haven’t been in touch with the administration since Thursday on the matter, but I got an email on Monday saying that they were cancelling Mikie Sherrill coming to the class,” he said. “To me that would be great, if we were to invite Jay Webber. I said, ‘What if we invite Jay Webber?’ She said, ‘Sure.’ And that’s what I did.”
Simmons said that the college made its instructions to Washburne clear and consistent.
“I can’t respond on how he interpreted the message that I gave,” she said. “Knowing that there were other people that were a part of that conversation, I would say that it was really clear with what the college expected of him.”
While he is a Democratic politician, Washburne said that his purpose of bringing Sherrill to campus was not to promote his agenda but rather to educate his students and engage them in their elections.
“I love controversial topics to bring in. I want to engage my students, so for me, it’s not a big deal to bring in a candidate, or a few candidates,” he said. “I want to get them excited about the election, so that’s really the reason why I invited her and I have invited other people in the past, just to get students excited about it. They wanted, the administration wanted her to come in after the election. So I said, ‘This can’t wait. My students won’t be able to ask their questions about her positions.’”
Mike Velasquez, a fine arts major, does not agree with the schools decision to cancel Sherrill’s visit.
“We have these signs out in the student center that tell us to vote, but when we have a candidate coming to talk to us they just turn her away, that’s not right,” Velasquez said.
Alexa Cacchila, a nursing major, said that with Sherrill being unable to show up students lost a valuable opportunity to be encouraged to vote.
Robert Osewalt, a liberal arts/criminology major, was disappointed in the action that the school took.
“She should’ve been able to come, isn’t the school supposed to teach their students about the world?” Osewalt said.
Sophie Connell and Lianna Del Corpo contributed to this story.
Students unwind with relaxing activities
By Anthony Ingham
County College of Morris’ Active Minds club wrote chalk messages on the pavement path outside of the Student Community Center Tuesday, Oct. 9 to encourage students to reach out for help and become aware of mental health issues.
“No one shames a diabetic for taking insulin when they need it,” said Lisa Volante, a CCM counselor. “Unfortunately, it’s the exact opposite when people with mental health issues whenever someone tries to talk to someone else about it. People tell you to just ‘be happy.’”
Active Minds is a group made with the intent of helping those with mental health issues, and trying to champion the fact that people who live with with these problems are the same as anyone else, and can be just as successful. Volante said there is no fundamental difference between someone with a mental health problem and someone without one, except for the way they’re treated.
According to a study done by Chadron State College’s Behavior Intervention Team, college counseling centers have observed an increase in the prevalence and severity of mental health issues experienced by students. The study also finds the number one reason students refuse to get the help they need is because they feel there’s a stigma around both asking for help and mental health.
Due to a large amount of media consumed by students portraying people with mental health issues as ‘deranged’, or ‘crazy’, and the way that parents view the problem, many students have a negative opinion of them, Volante said-. She also says that this fact is made worse by students refusing to get the help they need due to feeling like their struggle is normal, or that they will get over them eventually.
Sthefani Camacho, president of CCM’s Active Minds said that students aren’t even willing to admit that they have these issues.
“In my experience, only a small minority know how to handle their own mental health issues,” she said. “In fact, most either don’t know that they have an issue or deny them outright.”
Camacho says that most students are incredibly unwilling to talk about their mental health because they feel like people will see or treat them differently, like they’re someone they’re not, or in worse cases discriminated against. According to the Mental Health Foundation’s “Stigma and discrimination” article, many people don’t even understand the struggles their fellow students may be going through due to a plethora of misinformation. But there are people willing to help, and Active Minds is living, breathing proof of that.
The Counseling Center’s De-Stress Fest Week starts Monday, Oct. 22, and has activities such as yoga and meditation until Thursday. For more information on the events, email email@example.com or look around campus for flyers with descriptions of the weekly activities being offered.
By Adam Gentile
The CCM writers club ran its first book drive Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Student Center in an effort to encourage literacy for underprivileged children.
In the United States childhood illiteracy in 4th grade is around 35 percent; however, for lower income families the illiteracy rate is at 82 percent according to the Reading Partners, an organization dedicated to stopping childhood illiteracy. Illiteracy also follows the child later on in life as the U.S Department of Education reported that 60 percent of inmates are illiterate and 85 percent of juvenile delinquents are illiterate.
Marcos Mirlas, president of the Writers Club, organized the event and was in the student center running the book drive.
“The goal was to get books appropriate for children for ages 3-17, and we were trying to give them to children in need,” Mirlas said.
The writers’ club did not work with any established charity or children’s organization, however, Mirlas plans on donating them to a social service office inside his town that will ensure that they go to children in need.
This was the first charity event that Mirlas organized and did not know what to expect from the outcome.
“I overestimated and I had 15 boxes to hold the books, but I only ended up needing five boxes which is still a lot of books, so it’s a good bounty either way,” Mirlas said.
Assuming the average dimensions of a packing box and that of children’s books the writers club most likely collected more than 200 books on their Oct. 9 book drive.
Along with organizing book drives the writers club also has an end of semester event known as the writers’ block.
“It’s like a poetry, but it doesn’t have to be poetry, like the club anything that is your own written word that you present to everybody,” Mirlas said. “There are judges and prizes and it’s a lot of fun for everybody.”
At the moment the club is not going to put on another book drive this semester, but organizations such as International Literacy Association, Reach Out and Read, Literacy for Incarcerated Teens,. all make it their mission to end illiteracy.
The writers’ club focuses on presentation and peer review, that encourages people to show up with any written work whether its a poem, song, short story, or any other form of literature. The meetings take place once a week between 12:30-1:45 on Thursdays.
By Lianna Del Corpo
Does the thought of fear intrigue you? Do you enjoy being absolutely petrified? Do you like being chased by masked men carry axes, chain saws, knives, and much more? Are you ready to scream? Here are thirteen freaky things you can do this Halloween weekend!
1. 13th Hour Haunted House and Escape Room
This frightfest has won multiple awards throughout New Jersey for their scare tactics. With the use of movie props, interactive special effects, and gory lifelike scenes, this adrenaline-inducing halloween attraction will leave you shaking with fear for your life!
Where: 105 Dewey Avenue Wharton, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Friday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 31
- Bane Haunted House
This place is 40,000 square feet of pure terror and is completely interactive with no animatrons needed because they use more than 100 live actors to freak out anyone who dares to enter. Be prepared though you may have to crawl, jump, climb or spin to make your way out of this haunted house!
Where: 630 West Mount Pleasant Avenue Livingston, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Friday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 3.
- Trap Door Escape Room
This “Witch Hunt” is a Halloween-themed physical adventure game where you will be locked in a room with other players. You must solve multiple puzzles and find clues to escape the room within the set time or else. Taking place in a movie-like set design with such incredible story telling skills, players often lose touch with reality and feel like they are in another world.
Where: 34a Speedwell Avenue Morristown, New Jersey
When: Mondays through Thursdays 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fridays 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Scare Farm
With three horrifying attractions to choose from (Creepy Hollows, Paranoia, and Slay Ride), you may dare to walk the corn fields at night which lay upon a sacred burial ground or take a hayride into the darkness and terror. Either way, everyone is out to get you, and your nightmares will come to life.
Where: 116 South Branch Road Hillsborough, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28
- Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nites
Stroll down this creepy “Pumpkin Path” to explore the intricately carved pumpkins and jack o’lantern displays. Then try to travel through the “Barn of Fear” past frightening zombies, ghouls, and witches. If you still have an appetite, enjoy a hot cup of cocoa and the local food trucks!
Where: 197 Mountain Avenue Warren Township, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Brighton Asylum
This legendary haunted asylum closed in 1952 due to hundreds of people disappearing but has since re-opened and is accepting new patients! To escape this nightmare, you must use critical thinking and teamwork; without guts you will experience what it’s really like to be stuck in a horror film like Saw or Scream.
Where: 2 Brighton Avenue Passaic, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Wednesday, Oct. 31, Friday, Nov. 2 to Saturday, Nov. 3.
- Haunted Orchards
Be transported deep into the orchards on a spooky hayride to visit a forgotten, unkempt graveyard. Then through a bone-chilling series of eerie houses filled with live actors, all kinds of scary creatures, ghouls and ghosts.
Where: 244 Wierimus Road Hillsdale, New Jersey
When: Thursday, Oct. 25 to Saturday Oct. 27, Tuesday, Oct. 30 to Wednesday, Oct. 31, Saturday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 3.
- Nightmare on River Road
Allow a sinister clown to guide you through a creative corn maze, abandoned hospital, and a disturbing cemetery. You’ll find it hard to sleep after this thrill-filled 20-room maze down extremely narrow hallways. When the past comes back to haunt you, will you have to courage to make it all the way?
Where: 854 River Road New Milford, New Jersey
Friday, October 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28.
- Redrum Haunted Play
This historic 16th Century manor home comes alive to present a Stephen King-inspired play featuring four of King’s most famous novels IT, Carrie, Misery, and The Shining. The John Fell house estate is completely transformed with cobwebs, spooky lighting, and creepy decor and eerie sounds.
Where: Archer Hall 37 East Allendale Avenue Allendale, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Saturday, Oct. 27 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Red Mill Haunted Village
These 10 acres of fright takes place at a historic wool mill from 1810 and has been themed this year as “Run for Your Life” which is totally accurate. Start off down the tight dimly light corridors before exiting out to a hayride wagon, running through the dark streets encountering zombies and ghouls at every turn, maze, and vortex of horror.
Where: The Red Mill 56 Main Street Clinton, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Saturday, Oct. 26 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
This freaky hayride follows the Legend of Cyrus Grain, a ghost who haunts his former family farm. Guest must try to find Cyrus lurking in the woods, buildings, or back roads all while trying to fend for their lives from zombies and creatures to make it back to civilization.
Where: 53 Craig Road Montvale, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Wednesday, Oct. 31
- C. Casola Farms Haunted Attractions
This event has plenty of options to choose from including a 3D Haunted Barn, the Living Maze, Marlboro Zombie Breakout, Hayride of Terror, or the Haunted Wooded Trail. Whether you’re shooting zombies chasing after you or escaping deadly twists and turns, you’ll want to make it out of there alive.
Where: 131 South Main Street Marlboro Township, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Wednesday, Oct. 31
13. Farm of Horrors
This event begins taking a hair-raising walk through the Trail of Terrors, Graveyards, and Mass-Acre Maize, then try to navigate your way through the Carnival of Chaos. This high scare experience include strobe lights, blood, gore, foul language, uneven trails, mud, synthetic fog, and is designed to awaken your senses!
Where: Schaefers Farms 1051 Route 523 Flemington, New Jersey
When: Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, Wednesday, Oct. 31, Friday, Nov. 2 to Saturday, Nov. 3
By Alexa Wyszkowski
Halloween should be a fun holiday for all. Pick out a costume. Purchase some candy. Give out the candy to kids or be the kids to go get the candy. Or even indulge and eat some candy. It’s a Happy Halloween indeed, unless one can’t eat the candy.
The point of trick or treating is to gather with family and friends, dress up and go around collecting candy. Halloween may seem like the best day of the year to most kids, unless you are a kid who has life threatening food allergies, food intolerances, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), celiac disease, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), feeding tubes, or is on a special diet. Kids with various conditions like these may not be able to have candy and may feel left out while trick-or-treating.
Halloween can also cause stress for the parents of these children, especially those with food allergies, as Halloween candy does not always have ingredient labels, the miniature versions of the candies may contain different ingredients and with all the handling of candy there are more chances of cross-contact. With all the risk involved there is a lot of uncertainty if the candy is safe or not for the child to handle or eat. If a child were to eat a candy that contained their allergen, they could have an allergic reaction, which could potentially lead to death.
In 2014 Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) created the Teal Pumpkin Project, a program designed for the kids who may not be able to have candy, but should still be able to feel safe and included while trick or treating. Households can participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project and show their support of food allergy awareness by providing non-candy treats and displaying a pumpkin painted teal or a free printable teal pumpkin sign from FARE’s website. By having a teal pumpkin displayed it tells families that there are safe non-food treats available. Non-food treats could include items such as stickers, pencils, glow sticks, or small toys. Candy can still be given out, as that is tradition, but keep the candy in a separate bowl from the non-food treats. Be sure to give all kids the choice of either candy or non-food treats.
Families can also add their home to FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project map online, so other families can plan to visit the houses that will definitely have safe non-food treats. By participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project you are creating a safer and happier Halloween for all. For more resources and information, visit foodallergy.org.
By Francis Valanzola
Acting Entertainment Editor
What makes a good horror movie? Demons? Suspense? Or an ancient book that causes the main character to get a goddamn chainsaw hand! That’s right. What’s up, Youngtown readers? It’s Halloween season, and you know what anniversary it commemorates? Well, for those of you in the realm of pop culture, you’d know it’s the anniversary of the premiere of the pilot of Ash vs. Evil Dead. So, to commemorate this, your pop culturist has taken it upon himself to review the first movie to include the iconic use of word “Deadites,” “Army of Darkness.” Created by Sam Raimi in 1993, this end to the three movie arc in the Evil Dead franchise starring Bruce Campbell, that would later be rebooted, as a movie, and a television series, actually had a budget of 11 million, and surpassed it at 25.5 million USD. The gist of the movie is after summoning demons from the Necronomicon Ex Mortis or Book of the Dead, and lopping his hand, which was possessed, off at the wrist, Ashley “Ash” J. Williams is sent to medieval times, is mistaken for a Red Army soldier, and is kidnapped by Lord Arthur. When he finally proves his true self as the warrior from the prophecy, his mission is to get the book that started the whole mess, state the phrase from the 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still, klaatu barada nikto, face off against an army of Deadites, including an evil doppelganger of himself, and get back to his own time. This movie is amazing. The use of practical effects is, I’ll admit, a bit dated, but it gets better with age. I actually recommend this to any newcomers to the Evil Dead franchise, since it gives you a recap of the events in the beginning, and gives you a clear name for the possessed form of the humans: “Deadites”. Overall, I give this a 8.5 out of 10. It’s okay, but not perfect.
SAPB invites students to show talents in student center
By Christine Abraham
The Student Activities Planning Board hosted their annual Open Mic in the Student Community Center Tuesday, Oct. 2, granting students a platform to perform a variety of different acts, including comedy skits, music performances and poem recitations.
Don Phelps, director of Campus Life said he looks forward to the event because it gives students a platform to showcase their talent in front of their peers.
“Open mic gives students an opportunity to share their talents with other students in a really low-risk environment and the audience tends to be super supportive ,’’ Phelps said. “I expect to see singers, and occasionally a comedian or poet..I’m always blown away by the talent of our students …We’ve had a couple of artists that have performed and gone on to tour. Some of our students have gone on to do great things.”
Jessica Fraser, the SAPB vice president, said there is extensive preparation that goes into this event.
“This event took a lot of planning such as creating flyers, planning when and where the event will take place, advertising and recruiting volunteers,” Fraser said.
Amy Albin, a liberal arts major performed an original acapella song titled “Life to the Power of Song.”
“The song has been about two years in the making, on and off,” Albin said. “It came to me at this pre-summer college program where I was really sad and overwhelmed … I just kept building on it and I finished it this past August.”
Albin said singing is a passion of hers and plans on attending the next Open Mic.
“Singing is something that I love to do and I haven’t had the opportunity to perform since high school,” Albin said. “I wanted to show CCM the musical side of me. I’ve been singing ever since I could talk. After I sang, I had people coming up to me, telling me I did a good job. I definitely plan to perform in the next open mic.”
Besides Albin, there were several other musical performances. Alexa Metro, a broadcasting major performed a duet song with Emmanuel Fotinis, a music and liberal arts major singing “All I Ask of You” from the musical Phantom of the Opera.
“Alexa and I put something together at the last second,” Fotinis said. “I hoped the audience liked it. I sang all the time in high school. I was in the choir program at Roxbury High School, and I finally learned to sing a lot better with my voice teacher here at CCM. If I’m available for future Open Mics, I’ll definitely give it a shot.”
Following Fotinis and Metro’s duet performance, Andreas Mathikolonis, a game development major, performed a comedy skit. His act received a lot of laughs, beginning with his first joke, that he had never been in a relationship but always seemed like he was going through the worst breakup. He satirized his film class, saying the class was an excuse for his professor to make his class watch his rejected resume.
The last performance of the event was Tay Mathews, reciting a poem that she wrote herself, titled “What Depression Means.”
As the crowd dispersed, Fraser said she was pleased with the number of students who attended the event.
“The event had a really good turnout,” Fraser said. “There were lots of people with lots of talents. I loved Amy’s song, Emmanuel and Alexa’s duet performance, Joilenni’s song and Andreas Mathikolonis’ comedy skit. This event brings a lot of the students together and they’re able to connect more. I really enjoyed this as my first Open Mic and hope to see lots of people at the next event.”
By Jamie Corter
The flashing lights, glamorous gowns and emotional moments have drawn viewers to televised award ceremonies for years. The anticipation builds and then lingers in the air each time a category is called and a celebrity wins. The speeches that proceed can range from heartwarming, empowering, shocking and sometimes political.
As political acceptance speeches at major award shows become more common, students at County College of Morris have a variety of opinions regarding the appropriateness of the practice.
Brooke Preziosi- Arnott, a digital media major, said that it’s good for people to voice their opinions, but celebrities should do so on their social media platforms. In her opinion, incorporating politics into an award show is uncalled for.
“Instead of pushing their beliefs on someone, celebrities should just voice what they believe in, and they shouldn’t accuse other people of being wrong,” Preziosi- Arnott said.
Marilyn Mayorga, a respiratory therapy major, agreed with Preziosi-Arnott that social media, or even news outlets, are the proper places for celebrities to speak up.
“They can obviously speak their minds, that’s how you get people to open up, but I feel like right now, it’s just a bad time to do so,” she said.
Mayorga said that someone will be angry either way because there’s never one side to politics.
“Celebrities should try to limit that [kind of talk] because it can be controversial,” Mayorga said.
Mayorga related celebrities talking about politics at award shows to athletes expressing their political views on the field. From what she’s witnessed, sports fans don’t want to hear about the players’ political views; they want to know what’s happening with the sport itself. If sport fans want to hear about politics, they’ll watch CNN or some other news outlet, she said.
An award ceremony, Mayorga said, is the perfect event for a celebrity to speak their mind if they wish to stir the pot and get a conversation started.
“If you want to spark controversy, then yes an award show is the place to do so,” Mayorga said. “You’ll definitely get the media talking, but you need to be careful. The media also has their own opinions as well. If you want people to notice that you are talking about politics, you’ll definitely stand out at the Emmys or any award show.”
Unlike Preziosi- Arnott and Mayorga, Michael Tartaglia, a psychology major at CCM, believes celebrities shouldn’t speak their mind about their political views at all.
“I don’t think it’s their place to,” Tartaglia said. “They’re there for entertainment purposes, and they shouldn’t be telling other people how they think or how their audience should think.
“No one cares about how Oprah feels about Trump or Hillary,” Tartaglia said. “She is in her own world, experiencing her own things. People in the working class perceive life so different. Oprah is kind of protected from [the struggles of common society] because she has fame and power.”
Tartaglia said responding to followers’ questions about politics is fine for a celebrity to do on their social media, but to openly speak about their political views without being prompted to is not acceptable.
“They shouldn’t bring [politics] to the forefront of an award show,” Tartaglia said. “It should be about the award and about the entertainment. That’s their job, and they should focus on what the award shows are really about.”
Fashion has become a large canvas for celebrities to express their opinions in without verbally saying them. The 2018 Emmy Awards, which were held Monday, Sept. 17, had numerous celebrities decked out in politically driven attire.
Padma Lakshmi, a famous model and Top Chef host, wore a gown she had previously worn to the Vogue India Women of the Year Awards to highlight the toll fashion has on the environment, and also sported a small blue ribbon to support the American Civil Liberties Union. Black-ish star Jenifer Lewis dawned her Nike attire for the red carpet walk in support of the company’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of their most recent ad campaign.
Fashion is the most tasteful way to express your political opinion, Mayorga thinks.
“[Incorporating your opinion] into fashion is smart,” she said. “Your clothing speaks for you, like, you’re putting yourself out there but in a different way other than just speaking your stance.”
In recent years, the number of award show viewers has plummeted. According to the Los Angeles Times, the 2018 Emmy Awards only drew 10.2 million viewers which was down 10.5 percent from last year’s show. But the Emmys are not the only award ceremony hitting record low viewing numbers.
As stated by Forbes, the Oscars also took a hit in viewers this year by captivating only 26.5 million, marking a 19 percent decrease from the previous year. The New York Times found that this year’s Grammy Awards plunged 24 percent with only 19.8 million viewers. Rolling Stone said that the MTV Video Music Awards drew a mere 5.2 million viewers, which was an all-time low since Nielsen Media started tracking the views in 1994.
PHOTOS BY ALEXA WYSZKOWSKI