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The present study examines 4 cognitive discrepancy management strategies that media users can use in response to a celebrity making a political statement that runs contrary to their beliefs. The experiment (N = 382) replicates the results using 3 celebrities and 2 attitude object contexts. Exposure to a celebrity making political statements that the media user disagrees with resulted in weaker parasocial relationships with the celebrity and attribution of lesser importance to that issue. Viewers who particularly liked the celebrity prior to the study were more likely to decouple the actor from their line of work to continue enjoying the actor’s media content despite their political disagreement. These findings illuminate the potential consequences of celebrity politics for both the media figures’ stardom and the citizens’ political participation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

Impact Statement

Entertainment celebrities often voice their stance on various social issues. The study examines the consequences of this practice, showing that although entertainers can leverage their celebrity status to attenuate public opinion, it might come at the cost of their popularity. These findings can inform efforts to maximize the impact of political advocacy, enhance celebrity management practices, and promote political participation.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Psychology of Popular Media in 2022 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


American Psychological Association



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