5 May · All Letters · Column · Month

Dear Creative Media,

13 Creative Media
Image by A Letter Per Person.

Dear Creative Media,

Do better. Do better and do it now. We’re at a time when as a society, we are becoming more aware and informed about the current status of the world and what we can do to better it. As a member of society, you are part of this time and you need to keep up. And as a person in the creative media industry, you need to step up and lead.

You have the power to reach millions and you need to use that to help the bettering movement. You can’t afford to be blind to what’s happening and deaf to what people are saying. You’ve seen what happened with Pepsi. That was a catastrophic incident that was 100% preventable had those involved listened to what’s happening around them outside of their pearly white bubbles. Whether you were the director of the commercial or Kendal Jenner herself, you failed to live up to the power and privilege of reaching millions. As a creative, the job description includes consuming media of all kinds and keeping up with news and latest trends. What happened? And as a celebrity, whether model or singer or actress, if you take part in these creative platforms, you need to know what sort of message you’re sending. It doesn’t matter whether you weren’t part of the creative process because you are part of the creative production. You aren’t just a model being told what to do. Your job isn’t just to “show up and look good”; you are someone a lot of people, often young, look up to. Honour that responsibility and step up. What you do in front of the camera matters. Your reputation doesn’t negate your responsibility. Scratch away the fame and you are still a member of society and you have a social responsibility, an obligation to be aware of what’s happening. If you’re going to stand in front of a camera, take the opportunity to stand for something other than yourself.

And sometimes, standing up for something means standing aside. If you’re a Caucasian actor and you’re asked to play an Asian character, say no! If you’re an African American performer cast to play a Hispanic role, say no! It doesn’t matter how big of a celebrity you are. Think about whether there are people better suited for the role, and if you’re damaging or helping the kids who need better representation in the media. Filmmakers need their actors but if you say no and explain why, you can change the way they cast and the way they think.

Whether you’re a YouTuber, small filmmaker, Hollywood director, writer, celebrity, behind-the-scene star, or absolutely anyone else in the creative industry, you need to step up. Think about why the current President of the United States is so against the media. It’s because you have the reach that no world leader could ever have. You have the voice that echoes over any social group. You have the power to inform, shape minds, and even change opinions. Use it for something worthy. Use it to help those who are silenced. Use it to better the world. You need to do better and you need to do it now.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

4 April · All Letters · Column · Month

Dear Beneficiaries of Nepotism

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Image from ImageCrow.

Dear Beneficiaries of Nepotism,

This letter may or may not be for you. It can take a while to realise whether you’re someone who benefits from nepotism. It’s a complex topic with many different approaches but there’s one lasting trait through it all: it always involves a person with power.

Nepotism

Now, nepotism isn’t always a bad thing and it can be but is not always corruption. The bad side of nepotism comes when people don’t acknowledge they benefit from it. The best thing you can do as someone who benefits from nepotism is to recognise your privilege and do some good with it. Your privilege is that you know someone powerful enough who likes you and can get what favours you. Not everyone knows someone like that, can get help like that, and is favoured like that.

The second best thing you can do is to recognise the stakes. What does it mean that you, simply by your privilege of knowing and being liked by someone of power, get this particular thing? Should you take it? Should you refuse? If you take it, is it really just nepotism or is it corruption too? Is there someone else more appropriate to get it? How can you use this opportunity to help someone else who might not otherwise never get help like this? If you pass this opportunity and give it to someone else, will you ever get this sort of opportunity again?

Eric Trump’s comments on nepotism earlier this month is exactly why it’s important to assess whether you benefit from it. Nepotism isn’t a “factor of life”. It might be for him and his family but it isn’t for everyone and saying so is ignorant. And this part is just speculation but I doubt his father would “encourage them to go on their own way” if they weren’t competent; just look at the qualifications of the people he put in the White House. If anyone appointed by him recognised their privilege and just how high the stakes are, they should’ve declined.

It’s imperative to recognise the privilege you have, whether that privilege comes from having business-owning parents, your race, or being liked by the right people. But recognising you benefit from nepotism is not enough, you need to use it to help others. If you benefit from nepotism, it is likely you can access it whenever, but there are people out there who don’t have that sort of privilege. So help them out, do some good.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

1 January · All Letters · Column · Month

Dear Trump Supporters

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Image taken from Twitter @hankgreen.

Dear Trump Supporters,

He’s coming for you. You are next.

You are not safe if your neighbours, teachers, friends, colleagues aren’t safe. You are not safe if everyone is not safe.

Right now he is going after Muslims. You might be okay with that.

He will go after immigrants and refugees. You might be okay with that.

He will go after Native Americans. You might be okay with that.

He will go after African Americans. You might be okay with that.

He will go after women. You might be okay with that.

He will go after LGBTQ+ community. You might be okay with that.

He will go after all these people and more. You might be okay with that.

But then he will go after you. You won’t be okay with that.

He may come for your job and income, you health insurance, your human rights, your everything and anything. He will come for you.

If you think you are safe because you support him and you don’t* identify with any of the groups I’ve mentioned earlier, you are severely mistaken.

If you think you are safe because you support him as a white American republican with Christian values in the upper class, you are severely mistaken.

You are not safe just because you voted for him. He doesn’t know that and frankly, even if he did it wouldn’t matter because you don’t matter to him. The only person that matters to him is himself. The only person that isn’t on his target list is himself.

He will come for you. You need to stand up for those being targeted right now. If not for them, then for yourself because you are next. If you don’t stand up for others now, there will be no one to stand up when you are the target. And let me warn you, nobody will be there not because they didn’t want to be but because they couldn’t, because they’ve been stripped of their rights and freedom to do so by the very person you supported.

Your privilege is not a safeguard from him. Your privilege is time, a delay before he turns to you. And with that privilege, you can make sure you and everyone else become and stay safe.

He will come for you.

Stand up now.

Love,

A Letter Per Person

*And let me clarify, even if you support him and identify with these groups you are not safe from his selfish abuse of power:

If you think because you support him as a Muslim you and your loved ones will be able to come and go as you please into/out of America, you are severely mistaken.

If you think because you support him as an immigrant and/or refugee you will have priority in beginning a new life in America, you are severely mistaken.

If you think because you support him as an African American you are safe from hate crimes and racism, you are severely mistaken.

If you think because you support him as a woman you will have total control of your body and have access to legal and safe abortion, you are severely mistaken.

If you think because you support him as a member of the LGBTQ+ community you can legally marry whoever you desire, you are severely mistaken.

 Nobody is safe in “his America”.