Celebrities and Social Media

19 Nov

By: Sunnie Elliot

Fig. 1[1]

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about Hollywood and social media. Has social media produced more headaches for studios and publicist than ever before? Before social media, studios and publicist had control over how a talent’s image appeared in the media and in business negotiations etc… In a recent article How Hollywood Embraced Social Media by Timon Singh.[2] An insider states; “getting an ill-advised word out to the wider public required a TV camera or a gossip columnist; social media eliminates the middleman and enables an actor to broadcast to millions in an instant.”

Today an actor can be more involved in shaping their image than ever before….  This has to be attractive to any artist who wants to play a more active role in their career. It has taken studios and publicists awhile to catch up and figure out a way to get more control over the talent and social media. It appears today, studios have written into contracts that actors are not to super-cede studio press releases by way of social media.

Could the reason for studios trying to gag the talent, be due to their anxiety over a multi billion-dollar film riding on one actor? There is no doubt this could be the majority of the concern. Actors are up front and have a direct relationship with the consumer than a director, studio or publicist.  The ability for an actor to change public perception by way of their middle finger is huge. A studio producing a film marketed to teens and pre-teens may want to create the impression the talent/actor is rated PG13 in real life. The Twilight franchise is a perfect example of a studio trying to overshadow the lead actress’s public indiscretions and bad press with good. The attempt at times has resembled an intense media blitz.

Although, Hollywood has had a long history of controlling what an actor can say in the media. The invention of social media seems to give actors more freedom and ways to get around the gag order written into contracts. Is it possible for studios to keep actors from using social media? Is this a loosing battle for Hollywood when the ideas for social media are still growing and changing?

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3 Responses to “Celebrities and Social Media”

  1. kneon65 November 20, 2010 at 8:32 PM #

    I think social media can be benefital but also problems for the studio and the talent. If handled correctly you can get a lot of free publicity out there for both. I do think there will be more clauses in contracts telling the talent (actors, actresses, directors, etc) what they can do and not do within the social media, or what they can and can’t say. This should be interesting to watch or even be a part of.

    • Open Book November 20, 2010 at 9:59 PM #

      Hi Kneon65,

      I completely agree things will only get more finite and actors will find it difficult to get around clauses in contracts. I think studios are late to catch up with the new technology so it’s allowed actors to move around easily.

      Do u think social media is beneficial for actors who are trying to protect their image from gossip and rumors?

      • kneon65 November 21, 2010 at 8:09 PM #

        Yes, because if you are getting the info from the entertainer themselves you know its true. So if that person (the entertainer) is online with his/her twitter, facebook, or other social media telling his/her side of a story, opposed to reading it from a gossip columnist or blogger, the fan knows the truth over what is being protrayed as the truth.

        So yeah the actor can protect their image and protray themselves to their fans the way they want to, not the way a pr company or studio wants to protray it.

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