Do we have a right to their life?

What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you want to be when you grow up?

You may or may not have seen the new story around Robin Williams death and the Family Guy programme which went out minutes before the news of his suicide broke? If not then a programming coincident saw a Family Guy episode containing Robin Williams and a failed suicide attempt being broadcast only minutes before the news of his suicide broke. As is the medias way when the new first broke it sounded like Family Guy had been poking fun at Robin Williams, however having read a few different articles now and not seeing the episode in question I don’t fully understand if the episode was mocking Robin Williams, or even if it was the Robin Williams character which attempted suicide. Anyway, despite the new story or possibly lack of story it did get me thinking.

Why do we feel we have a right to know the most intimate details of the lives of the rich and famous just because they are a celeb?

Now I know there are some ‘reality stars’ that have made their fortune by splashing every detail of their live across one newspaper and another and yes part of me does feel that in doing so they have given up any rights to complain when an un-approved story is released. But what about the other stars? The ones that have become famous because of their skills, have married into a famous family or just had the dumb luck of being born into one. What right do we have to all of the gory details of their ups and downs, joys or sorrows?

I’m not pointing fingers; I am as guilty as everyone else at looking at headlines. Buying (only very occasionally) a glossy magazine because I’m interested to know the story behind the headlines, especially for some reason if it is Jennifer Anderson based, but is it right?!

I voiced this opinion to a friend today and he said “the famous are open to everything due to their station; it’s the same as their privacy. It may not be right but that’s how things are.” I can’t help but think why; why is it like this and why do we accept it.

I remember watching an extremely moving interview with Gary Barlow. As part of the programme he discussed the years he was ‘unpopular’. Just shortly after Take That broke up he became the butt of every joke, had a public spat with Robbie Williams and his name became mud. It became so bad that he didn’t leave the house, submitted songs to publishers under face names and only felt some release when he piled on the pounds and became unrecognisable. Here was a guy going through a pretty hard time and as a nation rather than giving him a hand up we kicked him while he was down.

I am not saying we should be censoring the media. I strongly believe in our freedom of speech and would hate to see the media sanctioned. However I remember the ‘naked Kate photos’ and wonder why? Why do we need to know that a woman went topless on her honeymoon?

I do not believe celebs should get a free ride. When we sign up for a job we take on various responsibilities and as part of the ‘fame game’ perhaps they should be willing to share a little more of their lives with us. But as a nation perhaps we need to remember that ‘celebs’ are people. They are battling demons and dealing with issues we know nothing about, and have no right to know about. Perhaps it’s time we cut them all just a little slack don’t ya think?

8 thoughts on “Do we have a right to their life?

  1. Difficult one as so many court publicity and then cry when they don’t want it. Really you can’t have it both ways. Many celebs keep away from publicity quite successfully. It is sad re Robin Williams and in such circumstances the press should behave with some dignity.
    Have a serene easy Sunday now.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. A lot of famous people manage to keep their private life private to the point that you do not care about it, you just care about their work. For example, Meryl Streep, I don’t even know if she’s married or not. I’ve never heard anything related to her private life and she means business.
    Another one is Cher, she’s all over the place, but I’ve rarely seeing media getting into her private life, other than her surgeries and the time her daughter had the sex reassignment surgery. I don’t know, it’s a hard place to be.

    • I think Jonny Depp is another actor who has done an amazing job at keeping his private life private. But I do wonder if it’s fair its such a struggle for them? But then they did go into this business so…..!

  3. I think there is blame on both sides. Frankly I don’t care what celebrities do on their down time. I don’t watch it on tv, don’t buy the magazines, and don’t follow them on social media. I don’t join a cause because they do and I don’t get upset because they do. The same people that are upset by the media frenzy are the consumers of it. I like watching movies and TV, but if I never knew what those actors did when they went home, my day would be fine.

    If people stopped obsessing over celebrities the media would stop covering them obssessively. It likely would also mean they made less. There are downsides to everything, a balance if you will. They are perceived to be worth more because there is an obssession about their “brand.” However, celebrities are also guilty of feeding the monster. They don’t like the constant obssession when they want privacy, but
    many do weild the power when they want the attention to market their professional projects, causes, ect. You abuse it and it will bite you.

  4. I’m not generally interested in what celebrities are doing in their private life. I occasionally feel sorry for someone caught in the limelight.

  5. My husband was an actor in high school and college and has dreams of doing stand-up comedy. He definitely finds fame appealing.

    I find the thought horrifying.

    The truth is that not everyone courts fame. Some people just want to perform and yet people want a piece of them.

    I’m not terribly interested in the personal lives of people I’ll never meet. It’s hard enough to know what people we see every day are thinking and feeling, much less someone we only know through their work.

    Since you mentioned Robin Williams, I’ll tell you a story I read. A writer was stretching at the park, getting ready to go running. Another fellow came up beside him and started stretching too. The writer made some kind of chit-chat remark to the other runner who made a little joke back.

    Then the writer recognized the other runner. It was Robin Williams.

    As the writer looked up again, his recognition of the actor showed in his face. And the writer reported that Robin Williams’s face went blank. It was as if he shut something off inside himself because being recognized meant he’d have to owe something to that other person instead of just being some guy.

    I was never a huge Robin Williams fan. I found him too antic for my tastes. And the only movie of his I really liked was The Fisher King. But reading that story I understood a tiny bit how hard it must be to have everyone expecting you to be funny every moment of the day.

    I’ll do my part by continuing not to read move star rags. But I often think about how just being famous doesn’t mean you don’t grieve the end of relationships, have bad days at work, and just want to be silly at the park with your kids or your dog. But because you’re famous, you don’t have that freedom to do those things without someone watching.

    Glad to know I’m not the only person thinking about these things. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    • You can very easily imagine that happening. i think about everything I’ve been through over the last few months and think of someone having to go through that but with the world watching your every move.

Looking forward to hearing from you....?!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s