Juan Miguel Severo urges celebs supporting Black Lives Matter to speak up on PH issues too
Actor and poet Juan Miguel Severo called on celebrities to use their voices for issues that the country is currently facing.
“CELEBRITIES AND INFLUENCERS, USE YOUR PLATFORMS AND SPEAK UP,” he wrote on Facebook today, June 3.
His statement comes after a number of local celebrities joined Black Out Tuesday on Instagram, where they posted black squares and condemned racism following the violent deaths of African-Americans.
“Yesterday on Instagram was #/BlackOutTuesday in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and I saw that a lot of you celebrities participated. That’s nice. That’s well-intentioned. We all are members of the human race and it’s the humane thing to do, supporting our black brothers and sisters, yes,” he said.
“But how painful, to see you use your platform for them but not for your countrymen. How painful, to see you try to sprinkle water to a wildfire thousands of miles away while you casually ignore what’s burning right in front of your house!”
TL;DR: CELEBRITIES AND INFLUENCERS, USE YOUR PLATFORMS AND SPEAK UP.A lot of the behind-the-camera film workers I know…
“Because guess what’s being burned right in front of your house, right here, in the country of your employment, in what you call your home: Being burned here is the democracy that is the very backbone of your career and your craft. Being burned here is the well-being of the masses, the audience to whom you owe the success that bought you the privilege to thrive despite your willful ignorance, silence, or apathy.”
Severo noted that actors tend to be silent compared with others in the industry such as crew members and directors who have less privilege.
“A lot of the behind-the-camera film workers I know are loud in their dissent. A lot of the actors I know are mum about current events, a few of them are even hands-down enablers of the fascist state,” he said.
“Now I know I am too small a figure in the industry for this to bear enough weight, but as an artist who has every intention of staying in this industry and—f*ck it—who actually has the talent to do so, I just want to manifest and let it be known that we see you,” he wrote.
“Those who use their platforms to join us in this fight and those who choose to look away and only mind the next freebie to post on their socials—we see you and we remember your names.”
“And yes, I’m sure you’ll still have work after this, despite your silence. I’m more certain you’ll have work if you speak up, though. (After all, a celebrity’s shelf life is almost always longer than a president’s.),” he said.
“No one’s bullying you to speak up here,” he clarified. “But I am definitely urging you to do so.”
He said he could vouch for actors being kind, but wanted to see them do more for the country.
“Pero hindi na sapat ang maging mabait lang sa pinakikisamahan natin sa trabaho. Subukan naman natin sanang maging makabuluhan sa bayan,” he stressed.
(It is not enough anymore to be kind when we’re together at work. Let us try to be more meaningful for the country.)
“It’s not too late to join us. Make us remember you better,” he concluded.
Severo has been vocal on issues such as the current administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the ABS-CBN shutdown and the anti-terrorism bill, which is viewed by critics as a measure to silence any form of dissent. /ra
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