Again and again entertainers are faced with the call to position themselves socially, be it to Chemnitz and Hanau, the climate crisis or currently regarding racism and the black lives matter movement in the USA and here. I think that reach is a privilege and therefore comes with the responsibility not only to use it for economic or private purposes. But just because I became familiar with such a social positioning outside of YouTube, I don't want to pretend I'm on the moral high ground now .
Because there are also very understandable reasons why some artists do not comment on topics and I would like to show them in this text. And not in order to free these colleagues from their responsibilities, but to create a more constructive environment in which such important positions can take place.
From the outside, you sometimes imagine other professions a bit too simple. If you say to an influencer: "Draw attention to this topic!", It is just as easy as saying to a teacher: "Teach the students this math material!" The complexity lies in the implementation. In both cases "doing more" is not automatically better and vehement demands from outsiders help little in this circumstance. It can even be counterproductive for influencers to ramp up the frequency of social statements. If nobody wants to hear an album anymore because every second song is a political podcast, then more was broadcast politically, but received less politically. When in doubt, the band has permanently reduced their reach and nobody has been able to "talk more about" anything. So the central point is to send in a way that is received permanently by various interest groups. Because when I talk about climate so often that only eco fans listen to me, it feels totally cool activist, but basically has no major impact. You only break open doors with an already convinced group and you don't reach those that really matter.
The other understandable reason for not commenting on an important topic is the fear of doing something wrong. Even if you post a black picture on Instagram to speak out against racism and show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, you have to find out about the background, correct use of hashtags and implications for further content. And when you publish your own statement on a complex social issue, you have to read a lot more to make no mistakes. For example, one has to understand that it is not an abstract definition of "discrimination based on origin / skin color", but rather structural discrimination based on centuries of colonial oppression. Artists are therefore aware of the risk of expressing themselves as insensitive, relativizing or even trivializing due to ignorance. And everyone has seen at least from an observer's perspective that after such mistakes not only comes constructive feedback, but also insults, hate and threats. This is a deterrent because it creates a large drop for public positioning, even if its intent is only meant well.
I, too, have to be careful not to be misunderstood as a fragile white man who cannot stand being called like him: the opposite of good is sometimes meant well. Criticism is absolutely important in such cases, but it is the responsibility of all of us not to directly hold a public shaming orgy if a person makes mistakes. It feels super cool, moral, to ram the clumsy attempt by a privileged influencer to do the right thing into the ground as subliminal racism. It is also understandable in a situation charged with frustration and sadness. But it also sends the clear message to other artists: "It's better to shut up. After all, you get less trouble than saying something wrong."
The expectations of new influencers such as YouTubers or Instagrammer regarding such statements are much higher than those of the old influencers such as magazines or television programs. This certainly has to do with the perceived closeness and eye level, but in the end one can ask the question: If we want a statement against racism from a YouTuber who does auto content, why not from a magazine, Auto Content makes? If we want to see such statements from an Instagrammer who gives beauty and lifestyle tips, then why not from the editor of similar magazines or TV shows? All of these instances influence many people and thereby earn their money - mostly through advertising. So all of these instances are influencers whose reach goes hand in hand with great responsibility. So either one of these candidates does not see an order to address social issues or all of them.
And I would be more for the latter, because no influencer, whether magazine, TV show or Instagrammer, can talk himself into making apolitical content. Finally, the absence of political statements signals at least an acceptance, if not a confirmation of the status quo. In other words, every person who stays out supports the current situation. And if, in return, we all go to the trouble of constructively criticizing errors, both the old and the new influencers should make the effort it means not only to post a trending hashtag, but to deal with the respective topic to make sense of it. I would like to. Peace.