Half say celebrities don't aid causes they promote: poll

Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:02pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifty-one percent of Americans say celebrities make little or no positive difference to the issues they promote while 45 percent say they have a large or some positive influence, according to a new survey.

Oprah Winfrey was seen as the best champion of causes with 49 percent of those surveyed in the Harris Poll saying she was very effective at raising awareness. The others in the top five were Bono (32 percent), Angelina Jolie (31 percent), Brad Pitt (23 percent) and George Clooney (22 percent).

Harris surveyed 2,513 U.S. adults online between March 11 and 18.

Younger people were more likely than older people to believe celebrities make a positive difference, and Democrats (55 percent) more likely than Republicans (36 percent) to feel the same, Harris said in a statement.

Fifteen percent of those surveyed said they have supported a cause because of what they heard an actor, singer or other celebrity say or do.

Forty-seven percent said it was bad for celebrities to endorse political candidates.


<p>Talk show host Oprah Winfrey speaks during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, February 3, 2008. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>