There was a time when public ridicule and criticism were preferred over being ignored or forgotten. Remember the old adage that says there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Well, in today’s cultural climate of social justice via social media, these words may no longer ring true for celebrities and others operating in the public eye.
Is Image More Important Than Art?
Show business is definitely more business than show, especially in today’s world of influencer marketing, where every musician you know also has a fashion line they want you to buy. Some would argue that the music industry no longer cares about music, art or expression at all—they’re only interested in branding individuals for maximum profitability. The talent and identity of young artists tend to get lost when management teams want to make them the next clean-cut teen idols that kids can look up to. Eventually, the individuals at the center of the brand are going to grow, change and struggle with normal developmental shifts because they’ve been wrapped in a package that no longer fits. They’ll rebel and make mistakes, and they’ll do it publicly because they have no choice.
Is Bad Publicity Still Better Than No Publicity?
Stars and politicians once subscribed to the idea that controversy sells, but does it still? In today’s more socially conscious and connected world where cancel culture is canceling everything and everyone from Mr. Potato Head to Ellen DeGeneres, one thing is clear—society demands perfection and almost no one is safe from losing favor.
So, what should happen when celebrities fall from grace? According to entertainment attorney, John Branca, it’s important to distinguish the art from the artist.
No one is perfect, and it’s unreasonable to expect that consumers should no longer appreciate the work of artists, actors or musicians who’ve said or done irresponsible things. What happened to the time when someone screwed up, apologized and worked to do better the next time around? Instead of canceling them entirely, the social justice warriors of the world could embrace these unfortunate circumstances as teachable moments.
Is Social Media Dangerous for Artists and Celebrities?
Having millions of followers on social media may be a way for stars to connect with their fans, but it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While the world enjoys a window into the lives of the rich and famous, celebrities are under added pressure to act as idols and role models in their daily lives without privacy. They are subject to intense scrutiny day in and day out, which becomes toxic to their mental health. Then, when they do take a break from social media, the criticism only escalates because they are no longer accessible to the masses. How much is too much?
At the end of the day, it’s important for consumers to remember that the people behind the microphones and in front of the cameras are just that—people. They come with their own trauma, ignorance and experience, and they’re just trying to make it in this world like everyone else.