Hillary Clinton and the Ethics of Unpaid Political Internships


  • Apoorva Verghese


In 2016, Hillary Clinton’s second campaign for president became the face ofcontroversy as news broke that her internship program was unpaid.Internships have long replaced the idea of entry level work in the United States. In the political world, prestigious, highly sought-after internships are frequently unpaid. Though the practice of unpaid internships is common in politics, across party lines and political organizations, Clinton faced intense backlash for her decision to not pay her interns. This paper investigates Hillary Clinton’s unpaid internship program and advances that Clinton faced more scrutiny due to her position as a high-powered female politician. Was the intense media backlash brought on by Clinton’s unpaid internship program justified or was it the result of an industry biased against women? Though there is an established pattern of misogyny in the media industry, Clinton’s decision to host an unpaid internship program despite her advocacy for equality raised significant questions about the morals of her campaign and unpaid internships at large.


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