Controversy and Confusion
When entertainers inserted themselves into the world of politics, they risked alienating their fans. Bob Hope’s position on the Vietnam War put his comedy at risk. Newsweek reported that during Hope’s 1969 Christmas tour in Vietnam, soldiers booed when he relayed Nixon’s promise of “a solid plan for ending the war.” In later years, Hope wrote, “I realized they weren’t booing me or the jokes, but they knew the show was going to be seen at home and it was the only way they had of trying to let the country and the President know how they felt.” Hope’s status as a celebrity allowed him to serve as a conduit for soldiers in the field to send a message home to their leaders through press coverage of the event. When entertainers took on such politically influential roles, their actions invited controversy and, in many cases, confusion.
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