In defense of stardom: tabloid blowup

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A single mistake, especially what could have been a split-second lapse of judgement, should not result in a loss of friends. We are more compassionate than that. When we, normal people, make an insensitive comment, we acknowledge what went wrong and apologize for our actions. Most of the time, people accept your apology, and life continues. But when a celebrity does so, we forget to be civil. We urge celebrities to stop appearing in shows. We doggedly poke at them until they issue a “genuine” apology. `We ruin their careers, and shift our perception to forever crucify and brand them, all because of a single mistake.

Contrary to what the opposition may say, I am not saying that their jobs serve as leeway to not know as much about the world today. If anything, a good deal of celebrities probably know more about the dirty work. Whether it’s the “popular” clique led by Taylor Swift, or the “emo” outcasts fronted by Lorde, the tabloids paint a picture of a bigger, richer high school, filled with exaggerated relationships, love stories, and plenty of drama. But even Hollywood is an industry of its own, made of brands who market themselves as cute, sexy, mature, or smart without revealing every word, expression, and action already programmed. After all, a single Dispatch article is all it takes to destroy your career.

It is well known that the ideas and thoughts of celebrities influence a wide range of people. All celebrities know of their public status, and how important it is to their jobs. However, once entertainment reaches a point where its contents are directly political or offensive, most of its audience is mature enough take the ideas with a pinch of salt. No matter how much I watch Star Trek, Zachary Quinto supporting Hilary Clinton will not make me automatically support her as well. My thinking process is different from his, and I can form my own opinions based on my individual thoughts.

Of course, this is not the case for some issues, especially when it pertains to younger audiences. It is no revelation that perhaps the younger generations of the world wield more power in the depths of Twitter. The idea proves itself multiple times, including but not limited to the instances when One Direction fans lead a crusade on Twitter to fire a particularly “disrespectful” journalist or battle haughty K-Pop fans who like to butt in. But if a star makes a mistake, and the audience unknowingly pick it up from their idols, is it entirely the star’s lack of common sense, or a complex issue that not only involves the celebrity’s misgivings but also a lack of personal judgment, and in most cases lack of parental supervision?

Celebrities lead lives that are vastly different from ours. That being said, there’s no justifying the common knowledge or plain civility a celebrity may lack. But that shouldn’t alienate them from the majority, and force them to go through repercussions far worse than the standard norm. It is time to go beyond our star-struck blindness, and get rid of the filters that make these people seem more heroic or perfect than they are. Celebrities are prone to mistakes, just like anyone else. It is our responsibility to treat them as equals, not an involuntary tribute to the metaphorical Hunger Games of the tabloids.

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Dawn Kim

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