9 Times Celebrities Used Their Fame As Platforms For Change In 2017

They're speaking up for important issues this year and beyond.

With great fame comes great responsibility, and the celebrities here gladly accepted that mantle. These high-profile figures — of whom some are Hollywood stars, some are famed humanitarians, and many are both — all spoke up for important issues this year. We at A Plus are proud to support their activism.


Here are those compassionate celebs and their causes célèbre

1. Jimmy Kimmel Pleads for Health Care Coverage for Kids

After his son Billy underwent his second heart surgery, this late-night comedian turned serious and asked viewers to call their senators about the Children's Health Insurance Program. Congress let the funding for the program expire in September, meaning millions of children could soon lose affordable health care.

"CHIP has become a bargaining chip, it's on the back burner while they work out their new tax plans, which means parents of children with cancer and diabetes and heart problems are about to get letters saying their coverage could be cut off next month," he warned on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month.

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda "Gets the Job Done" for Immigrants

This Hamilton mastermind supported immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers — doing so through his Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition. 

In June, Miranda even got famous friends such as Lea Michele, Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria, and Kelly Clarkson to take the #Ham4All challenge and sing Hamilton songs on social media — all in order to raise money for and awareness of the coalition.

3. Lady Gaga Defends Transgender Military Members

Amid President Trump's attempted military ban on transgender individuals, this pop star countered his arguments with cold, hard statistics.

"The message you have just sent has endangered the lives of people all over the United States and overseas bravely serving our nation @POTUS," she tweeted in July.

"Many of these young people are transgender & suffer daily from the exact types of social isolation & targeting ur message encourages @POTUS … Sincerely, did you know of the group you singled out today, 45% of them ages (18 to 24) have attempted suicide already?"

4. Bambadjan Bamba Comes Out As Undocumented To Support DACA

In November, this breakout actor from The Good Place revealed to the Los Angeles Times he's undocumented — all because he wants to accelerate immigration reform amid the current administration's efforts to reverse the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

"I look at my daughter and I'm like, 'If I don't do it, and DACA gets canceled, I could be separated [from her],' " he said. "We just don't know what's going to happen, and I'd rather go out fighting."

5. Chrissy Teigen Opens Up About Postpartum Depression

Nearly a year after welcoming daughter Luna, this model and TV host bravely revealed her experience with postpartum depression, a condition that affects an estimated 1 in 7 mothers.

"I'm speaking up now because I want people to know it can happen to anybody and I don't want people who have it to feel embarrassed or to feel alone," she wrote in a Glamour essay. "I also don't want to pretend like I know everything about postpartum depression, because it can be different for everybody. But one thing I do know is that — for me — just merely being open about it helps."

6. Taylor Swift Stands In Solidarity With Sexual Assault Survivors

The pop star was featured along with other "Silence Breakers" in Time's 2017 Person of the Year issue this month after she accused now-fired radio DJ David Mueller of groping her. And she sent a message to her fellow silence breakers.

"My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you," she said. "You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you."

7. Ellen DeGeneres Asks Us to #BeKindToElephants

In November, when this talk show host found out President Trump reversed an Obama-era ban on the import of elephant trophies — even as the Savanna elephant population ban fell 30 percent over a recent seven-year span — she spoke out on Twitter and promoted the #BeKindToElephants hashtag.

"Compassion, social intelligence, decisiveness, patience, wisdom," she wrote. "These are all qualities found in elephants and not found in the people allowing them to be killed for trophies."

8. Jennifer Aniston Corrects Ageist Misconceptions

She's not one of the twentysomething Friends anymore, but Jennifer Aniston imagines life after 50 will be "more exciting," as she told Glamour in an interview published August.

"For some reason, we don't honor or pay respect to aging," the 48-year-old said. "It's something that we look at as a negative, and yet every single person on this planet does it. I don't understand why it's not something that's celebrated, why there's some sort of an expiration date on who you are as a person worth watching and a story being told about you. It makes absolutely no sense."

9. Emma Stone Breaks Down the Stigma Around Anxiety

For Mental Health Month this May, A Plus brought you the stories of 12 high-profile individuals who are raising awareness to mental health — including Emma Stone, who discussed her experience with anxiety.

"To be a sensitive person that cares a lot, that takes things in, in a deep way, is actually part of what makes you amazing," she said in a Child Mind Institute video.


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