The Tropes of Celebrity Environmentalism

Crystal Abidin, Dan Brockington*, Michael K. Goodman, Mary Mostafanezhad, Lisa Ann Richey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Celebrity advocacy for environmental causes has grown dramatically in recent decades. An examination of this expansion and the rise of causes such as climate change reveals the shifting politics and organization of advocacy. We address these changes to the construction and interpretation of celebrity advocacy and detail how they have produced a rich variety of environmental celebrity advocates. We also account for differences between legacy (e.g., radio, TV, newspapers) and online celebrities and their practices (e.g., hashtag publics, brandjacking, online communities). Environmental celebrity advocates’ performances can be divided into nine tropes, each characterized in part by the particular varieties of environmentalism that they promote. We present the tropes and discuss their five cross-cutting themes. We conclude with a set of questions for future research on celebrity environmentalism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and the Resources
Pages (from-to)387-410
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Published online April 22, 2020.


  • Trope
  • Celebrity
  • Environmentalism
  • Inequality
  • Social media
  • Legacy media
  • Politics
  • Consumer

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