NPR logo Does Celebrity Activism Make a Difference?

Does Celebrity Activism Make a Difference?

Recently actor Tom Hanks made a video where he announced he was supporting Sen. Barack Obama.

When the video first starts, the screen reads: Beware: Celebrity Endorsement. In the first minute, Hanks notes, tongue-in-cheek, "As an official celebrity, I know my endorsement has just made up your mind for you."

It's a tip of the hat to the idea that celebrity endorsements — of politicians or of other causes — don't really make that much of a difference.

On today's show, actor Michael Douglas will be joining us to talk about the work he is doing with Project Ploughshares on reducing the arsenal of nuclear weapons. We'll get a chance to ask him about his work, and also to ask if celebrity endorsements really can help make a difference.