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?