Do Celebrities Deserve Second Chances?

Jillian Currier, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Celebrities in Hollywood often end up being forgiven for any wrongdoings because of their influence over the general public. Should this change? Should we hold influencers to a higher standard?

I feel like every time I open my phone in the morning, I see another article or post about some famous person doing something wrong and getting exposed for it.

Which is all fine and dandy until you open the comments and see people siding with them for their wrongdoing. This applies with A-list celebrities, famous actors, internet celebrities, even YouTubers. Why is it that so many people side with famous personalities when they do something wrong?

I think the problem starts with the fact that we don’t really know these celebrities. When you think about it, you really only know what they post about online. You could be someone’s biggest fan and have been obsessed with them since being a child, but you still don’t really know the person at all.

You don’t know their likes and dislikes, their favorite hobby, their favorite food – literally anything that you would know of your closest friends is completely unknown of a celebrity. And yet fans treat them like friends and support them when they mess up, and I don’t get it.

The big problem is that social media allows people to share a glimpse into their lives, and people take that and run with it when it comes to celebrities.
Kim Kardashian could post a picture modeling SKIMS, and people will automatically zoom in and analyze the photo to see if it’s photoshopped or not to criticize her. Realistically, who cares if it is? People who aren’t celebrities edit their photos all the time and no one comments on it, but because someone has a platform you have to critique their choices? The power imbalance and parasocial relationships between celebrities and fans is weird, and it needs to change.

With that being said, when it comes to celebrities making mistakes, in some cases it can be warranted to critique them. For example, famous YouTubers come under fire for past videos and old jokes all the time. And what do they do when this happens? They sit down in front of their camera, with tears in their eyes, and film a one-take video apologizing for “all the people they’ve hurt”, while taking accountability and promising to be better in the future. It’s the same thing every time, no matter what the scenario is.

I’ve seen this type of video from someone who was under fire for sexual assault, someone who was accused of bestiality, someone who knowingly approved poor quality makeup, and even someone who very severely injured their friend. The range from very problematic to not problematic at all with YouTubers is huge, yet the same video is reused for every scenario, and people will still be sending their love and support.

I think people need to realize that these famous people that they only see on their screens are not their friends, they’ll never be their friends, and there was never a shot that you would ever be friends.

It might sound harsh, but social media is allowing this to happen more and more every day, and it’s ruining the way people act and react to serious things. If someone you knew in real life were to face any accusations a famous person has, you wouldn’t be in their comment section sending love and support, you’d be holding them accountable. This needs to start happening through social media before it gets more out of hand than it already is.

So, circling back to the title, my answer is no. When you’re in the public eye, you know of your exposure to the world and to the many, many people you can influence. At the end of the day, you are still a real person with emotions and feelings and responsibilities just like the rest of us, so why not take a page from our books and hold yourself accountable. Don’t rely on the strangers in your comment section to fight your way out of it for you.