Celebrity Standards?


Ned Riddle, Staff Writer

The slap heard around the world. There’s no doubt everybody at Poway has heard about the infamous Will Smith incident at this year’s Academy Awards. A move so out of character for what we would expect of Mr. Smith, that it shocked even the most open-minded people. However, this slap has sparked a new discussion. How similar are celebrities behind closed doors, compared to the public persona that fans see? But more importantly, should celebrities be held on such a high pedestal as they are in today’s society?
The age of celebrities and public figures started with the 20th century, but has gotten ever more prevalent in today’s culture. The invention of Social Media has made it increasingly easy for celebrities to spread their influence and to create a platform for themselves from scratch. If there has ever been a time where celebrities are adored by the public, it would definitely be now.
However, an interesting dilemma has been brewing through the years. Many believe that celebrities hold too much power within their dedicated fanbase. Some internet celebrities have somewhat of a cult following, and fans who will defend their actions at any cost.
Take for example, Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock. What he did was objectively wrong, as he acted in such a hotheaded manner, and tarnished the prestige of that night’s Oscar ceremony. His action was incredibly irresponsible, and in no way did he have proper cause to physically assault one of the presenters. But there have been plenty who have come to his defense, believing Chris Rock deserved to be slapped. If this was some unknown journalist who slapped Chris Rock, nobody would come to their defense.
It has become clear that celebrities have an influence on their fans that is stronger than common sense in some cases. Ultimately, celebrities are people just like us. They have emotions, and problems, and should not be held to a higher standard than the average Joe. Incidents like Will Smith’s Oscar slap have made that obvious, and as long as Celebrities are good examples and are held to realistic standards, their existence makes sense in today’s society.