Friday, April 27, 2007

The Dignity of Celebrities and other Public Figures

When I first heard about Imus referring to a ladies college basketball team as "nappy-headed hoes," the people doing the objecting often differentiated between inflammatory remarks about hard-working student athletes versus celebrities and other public figures.

I don't see why celebrities are deserving of being stripped of their dignity, privacy, or good names.

I recognize that many celebrities and public figures share a rather "special" relationship with the media, but that's not excuse to invalidate their rights (human, if not civil).

Being an actor or an activist doesn't mean that offenses like Imus' lose all their sting.

What am I missing here?


Michael May said...

I don't think there's any ethical defense for insulting anyone, regardless of public status. There is a sense in which public figures should come to expect that kind of thing, but that doesn't make it okay.

Liz said...

It seems like our culture usually says that the less celebrity and money you have, the more open you are to insults, so this is some script flippin' stuff to me.

And, I'll keep it real, there's some folks I know personally that I really think ARE bitches and/or hoes. All of them are college educated/advanced degree holders. It's not just folks in the hood that qualify for those titles. Not just black folks...but can I still call it like it is and say, you know what, such and such is a real bitch. (And I'm sure they think I'm a bitch as well). Hmm.

Keith said...

I agree with Liz 100%...

The reality is that public figures leave themselves open for scrutiny/verbal attack. Whether it be us blogging about Angelina Jolie adopting too many kids, or a radio personality calling Lil' Kim a [bad word here] because the thumb-sized rapper forgot to put on her underwear, they wouldn't be targets if they weren't famous. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm also not going to lose sleep over tabloid magazines making Tom Cruise's $600 million life a living hell.

West said...

I didn't get the same impression from Liz's comment, but maybe I misunderstood her.

As far as I'm concerned, Hell is Hell, regardless of how much is in your pockets.