How Can People Get Trapped in the Fame Spotlight?

26 Jun

Last article in the Starsucker documentary series. 

Have you wondered why the media builds up celebrities than knocks them down? You’ve seen it, a celebrity built up so high they look invincible. Case in point, Tom Cruise who goes on Oprah, jumps on the couch and well the rest is history. The most recent celebrity knocked off her thrown Food Network celebrity chef Paula Deen, who was recently fired from the Food Network for derogatory comments made about African Americans.  We will come back to her later. However, in the Starsucker documentary (click here to view) they believe (in this reality television consumer age) the media has to invoke positive and negative overexposure to create the illusion fame is attainable by the consumer.  This article will explore how reality television has contributed to the fame obsessed culture today, plus how some celebrities get trapped in their own media downfall.

Fame Obsessed & Reality Television Culture:

Today “real people” or the “guy or girl next door” can get rich and fame quickly through reality television. At least that’s what the media wants you to believe. This genre encourages us to think less and buy more.  No longer is America known for advancing in education, science and technology but reality television has set women back 40 years. Here’s a great book I recently came across in researching this article. The title is called, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV by Jennifer L. Pozner she states,

According to reality television, women in general are golddiggers, bimbos, and bitches, and women of color are violent, “low class” whores. Straight, single gals are pathetic losers and, we’re led to believe, it’s hilarious when they get mocked, dumped, or punched in the face. And even during the worst financial crisis since the Depression, it’s “important” to blow a year’s salary on bridal gowns, couture clothes, and luxury vacations. Throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, our most popular form of media has erased all signs that the women’s rights, civil rights movement, and gay and lesbian rights movements ever occurred.”[1]

How the Media Builds Negative Celebrity Press?

Reality television has created a generation of consumers hungry for negative celebrity press. The most colorful celebrity story, raise eyebrows and add to the pop-culture drama around us. Often those who are seen as celebrity and entertainers find themselves victims of the press. A frenzy of hungry photographers who often follow them, spy on their private lives and wait for them to trip, and then sell their PICS to less reputable newspapers. The public who is often hungry for the distraction from their own troubles, relishes reading about and seeing the “stars” fall from their pedestals.

How Celebrities Contribute to Their Own Media Downfall?

Not all celebrities are victims some generate negative press to compete with all the other negative celebrity press out there. Today for some celebrities the goal is to have press regardless if it’s good or bad. The only problem with that strategy negative press can overshadow their real talent making them into tabloid fodder. For example Paula Deen who’s been all over the news for a negative comment she made about African Americans. Instead of allowing the negative press to fade Paula Deen continues to generate negative press due to her unwillingness to stay out of the news. Here was an apology she gave after she was fired.

Can you think of any celebrities recently who’ve contributed and gotten trapped in their media downfall?

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43 Responses to “How Can People Get Trapped in the Fame Spotlight?”

  1. parisienne June 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM #

    The person that comes straight to my mind: Kristen Stewart. I don’t think I need to say more on why she’s her downfall.

    Here are some others:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/NATL-Paula-Deen-Racist-Racial-Slur-Awkward-Apology-Anti-Semitic-212567581.html

    Grant it, Paula used the slur in her own home but at least she told the truth. In all honesty, who hasn’t said a racial slur at some point in their life? If using a racial slur is going to get people fired from their jobs then I think unemployment just jumped to 100%.

      • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM #

        Well! Hmm! I don’t know what to make out of this? The problem with photos they can easily be taken out of context. However, her behavior does look questionable but to go a step further these reality tv celebs don’t have any ideas or talent and resort to lowbrow tabloid stunts because that’s what they are use to. To me that’s what this looks like. Another desperate attempt for attention and relevancy.

    • Com1c Relief June 27, 2013 at 1:01 AM #

      OB,

      I like the way you are able to place yourself in a celebrities shoes, and see them as vulnerable and fully cable of making ridiculous mistakes (regardless of how thoughtless) many of them actually are. Contrary to the show “Entourage” it’s amazing how keeping some people around who discourage you from constructively changing, can destroy a career. You’ve frequently said to me that being a celebrity is like being an elected public servant. It seems like those who don’t take this to heart, frequently suffer the most.

      • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM #

        Thanks CR!

        “You’ve frequently said to me that being a celebrity is like being an elected public servant. It seems like those who don’t take this to heart, frequently suffer the most.”

        True! I still believe that.

      • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM #

        CR!

        ITA with Ozzie about how actors need to stay grounded and not believe the hype from the media or fans. Especially if u want a long term acting career in Hollywood u need to keep growing and challenging yourself intellectually and culturally. Its important to have a healthy group of old and new friends u surround yourself with, who are inside and outside of the business to avoid becoming a big blotted Jack A**.LOL!

    • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 7:40 PM #

      Hi Paris,

      “The person that comes straight to my mind: Kristen Stewart. I don’t think I need to say more on why she’s her downfall”

      I believe how celebrities contribute to their own downfall comes from believing their own press they are invincible. Then its only a matter of time before they are caught in a Tiger Woods, Tom Cruise, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart and Paula Deen situation. And to make things worst once caught they don’t know how to stay out of the press which makes them look more guilty. My point is because the media has this build up knock em down culture. Celebs can’t get sloppy like Paula by thinking they are above it all otherwise kiss your career goodbye. I hope that makes sense?

      • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 8:35 PM #

        So basically apologise then keep your mouth shut and let it fade away. Don’t keep going on and on because you can dig yourself into a deeper hole. Yes?

        Another important part when you do reemerge appear sincere and humble. You don’t want to apologise then appear arrogant and unremorseful or proud of what you did wrong nor justify it either. It negates the apology.

        • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:46 PM #

          Yes! EXACTLY!

        • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 8:47 PM #

          YES! YES! YES! EXACTLY!!! APPLAUSE!

          Let’s face it celebs are falible just like anyone. The problem here is they can’t believe the media and fan hype and keep it real. They will go to jail if caught driving drunk or whatever.

          • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM #

            Woo hoo! Dispite being in slow mode, the brain seems to be working ok, lol!

            Yes, being put on a pedestal and believing you deserve to be there is the down fall of many people.

            I think one way we can help is to educate kids that even though you love a celebrity, you shouldn’t blindly worship them. That a celebrity is still a normal human being and when they make mistakes, you can support them but not excuse their behaviour. Otherwise celebrities will never grow and continue thinking they can get away with anything. They’ll end up eventually in serious trouble that way. Well unless you’re Lindsey Lohan or Chris Brown. They seem to get away with anything.

            Anyway, my point is this behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged. I know Jimmy is joking around but the justifications the fans come up with is disturbing.

            • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:43 PM #

              WOW! This video is soooooooooo sad. What the hell? Goodness! O.k. IDK! Hmm! Yeah! IDK!

              So we go back to the trappings of fame. The truth is celebs who have fans who are willing to follow them to hell really don’t do them any favors. Its true Oz how do they know what they need to improve if fans are into supporting every, unethical, stupid irresponsible thing they do.

    • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 8:15 PM #

      “Grant it, Paula used the slur in her own home but at least she told the truth. In all honesty, who hasn’t said a racial slur at some point in their life?”

      There’s power in words and Paula chose to use her power to demoralize employees that worked for her. IMO what people say and do in their own homes is not anyone’s business. But from what I’ve read she made derogatory statements to employees who worked in her home. My point is Paula was poor at one time so she should have greater sensitivity to the plight of the working class and not get off on demoralizing them. After all she built an entire empire on cooking “poor folks” cuisine so come on now? To me Paula is demonstrating racial superiority/entitlement behavior.

      • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

        I didn’t know any of that so this information then changes my view.

        • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 8:55 PM #

          Oh! Yeah. It gets even more sadistic. She told her black employees she wanted to do a plantation style reception and have all black male waiters.

          • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:58 PM #

            Gtfo! Seriously? Well then in my book she got what she deserved

            • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM #

              I don’t know much about this woman but the more I hear the more I don’t like her.

              • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:28 PM #

                Well she makes the most fattening, artery clogging food u can imagine. She was actually accused of being in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies because they sponsor her shows. So some people accused her of making her food even more unhealthy to keep pharmaceutical companies in business.

            • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM #

              Seriously!

        • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM #

          Here’s the thing. Paula and her supporters have stated they don’t see the problem calling black people the N-word when black people use that term. The problem with that argument black people still suffer from internalize racism and blacks who use that term are unfortunately exhibiting self hate so Paula and her supporters should not indulge in getting off on how black people choose to come to terms with racism.

          • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 9:14 PM #

            That’s a very good point.

            • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:29 PM #

              Thanks!

            • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM #

              Not to keep beating a dead horse. But the reason I wrote the article was to highlight the negative impact reality TV has had on our culture. The Jimmy Kimmel video above is scary and sad. They are completely being groomed to be followers not critical creative thinkers. Add to that this ridiculous trend to bash women, low income and different ethnic groups to get ratings. The book I mentioned “Reality Bites Back” talks about all this. Do u understand why some people need to feel superior over others?

        • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 5:04 PM #

          Here’s some more info on Paula.

          http://www.deadline.com/2013/06/paula-deen-millions-dollars-licensing-endorsement-today-show/#more-528369

        • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

          Here is the full civil action complaint.

          http://www.atlawblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Jackson-v.-Deen-et-al.-Complaint.pdf

      • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 8:55 PM #

        One would think that if you weren’t racist your vocabulary would adapt with the change. If that person wasn’t racist and family and friends knew it, why didn’t they correct her whenever she said it. They’ll eventually switch to using the correct words. So with all that in mind and also the things they mentioned in the video, I find it hard to buy the reasons Paula gave to justify using that word.

        I will give her some credit for not lying on the stand though. If she commited pergury and evidence came to light that she had said it, the situation would be alot more worse that what it is now. Also telling the truth is not the easiest route to take either. I weaker person would lie. However, I still go back to what the man said on the video. Maybe she was just so blase about using it and it wasn’t a strength of character…

        • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:21 PM #

          ITA Oz! But it was said her family also indulged in using the word. So it was a family affair. TBH I think she thought she was so popular in the media she thought she could survive it. However, her behavior since getting fired shows she thought she was above it all. Come on! She needs to stay out of the media stat! Stop apologizing, crying and whining to her fans it makes her look even worse and like she does not expect to have to suffer the consequences.

        • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM #

          “One would think that if you weren’t racist your vocabulary would adapt with the change. If that person wasn’t racist and family and friends knew it, why didn’t they correct her whenever she said it. They’ll eventually switch to using the correct words.”

          EXACTLY! That’s why its important to have a diverse group of friends. I have more to say but I will come back later.

          • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM #

            Let me add. Friends who are not afraid to speak the truth.

  2. Com1c Relief June 27, 2013 at 1:02 AM #

    I imagine behind the scenes, many would be surprised what some seemingly familiar personalities actually act like.

    Though “Starsuckers” actually talked about celebrity bubbles, other than tabloid headlines few reality stars were actually “unmasked” for the documentary. These evaluations are usually only reserved for people the public already thinks they know.

    A long time ago you wrote an article about the PR nightmares of many celebs and how easy it was for many to end up on the public’s “Hall of Shame.” Despite your feelings regarding the story, thanks for being so relatively gentle you were with Paula. Frantic to stop the bleeding, I’m sure her PR team is manic selling off stock as well as circulating resume’s, while hoping this event would go away.

    • Open Book June 28, 2013 at 4:06 PM #

      CR!

      “Though “Starsuckers” actually talked about celebrity bubbles, other than tabloid headlines few reality stars were actually “unmasked” for the documentary.”

      Thank u! This series was tough but I learned a lot. Yes! U are right reality stars did get let off the hook in the doc. Perhaps they will do a follow up to this one focusing on them specifically.

  3. Open Book June 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

    Hi Everyone,

    Let me read and get caught up!

  4. ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 7:57 PM #

    Hello everyone!

    Sorry I’m late, I convinced it was Wednesday! Off to catch up. 🙂

    • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

      Don’t worry, I thought the same thing!

  5. parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    • Open Book June 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM #

      Hi Ozzie & Paris.

      Sorry! I was eating dinner. Hahaha!

      • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 8:29 PM #

        It’s ok. 🙂

        • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM #

          Hi Paris and OB!

          • parisienne June 27, 2013 at 9:01 PM #

            Ozzie!

  6. parisienne June 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM #

    All,

    I’m off for the night. 🙂

    • ozzie20 June 27, 2013 at 9:16 PM #

      Night Paris!

  7. Open Book June 27, 2013 at 9:45 PM #

    Everyone!

    I have to go for the night. I will be back tomorrow to finish answering Q. Great questions and discussion. Thanks!

    Goodnight!

  8. Shawna Mejia July 6, 2013 at 1:42 PM #

    In my humble opinion, I do believe negative publicity helps a business. Lots of movie stars seems to thrive on negative publicity. Several others have intentionally orchestrated negativity publicity to get into the limelight although many won’t admit it.

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