Our fixation with celebrity lifestyle wrongly ignores famous people’s faults

We are undoubtedly a culture that is both super aware as well as curious about the “celebrity” lifestyle. We are not at fault; consider the consistency at which our media monopolizes our screen time with news about a starlet gone bad or a young pop star that has recently fallen into a life of drugs and debauchery. We see images of actors, athletes, directors and politicians flit across our TVs at an alarming rate, is  it surprising that we would have an odd fixation with them?

This fixation can be attributed to a means of controlled escapism, a want to live vicariously through others seemingly without hardships, or simply as a collective gain of entertainment.

I understand the curiosity. What I don’t get is why we care about those who have let their ugly sides show.

In the past few days it has been announced that Piers Morgan Live is on its way to an unsurprising cancellation, and television star Alec Baldwin is “leaving public life.”

(Photo by Flickr user pvera)

When a person is of public interest, no matter from what walk of life he or she comes from, and then performs an illicit act, says something with vicious intent or anything derogatory or discriminatory, he or she should be held accountable for the actions and words. Just like anyone else would expect to be.

A person being held to his or her actions is not something that is often seen in Hollywood — especially for men.

Regarding Piers Morgan Live, it seems that no one is too anxious to rally around the show. According to CNN, even staff members on the show are happy about the cancellation due to Morgan being a difficult person to work with.

Such difficulties were presented for everyone to see when he interviewed Janet Mock, an advocate and leader for the transgender community, and proceeded to antagonize her, fight her and then poorly deal with the fallout. He was seen as petty and childish while Mock kept her composure throughout the entire debacle.

Alec Baldwin has been on a tailspin for months now and has announced in a long essay for the New York Magazine that he is choosing to retreat from public life. This is months after his television show for MSNBC was pulled after he supposedly used a gay slur in public. That was not the first time he has been seen as angry or belligerent.

We often get caught up in the spectacle of the celebrity lifestyle but we do not have to endorse bad behavior. Just because you liked Baldwin on “30 Rock” does not mean you have to support his views or what he says.

Despite our fascination with Hollywood, it is important to note that the scandal that happens in the midst of that town is often riddled with patriarchy, the power-hungry, and the ignorant. By not supporting people like Morgan or Baldwin you are taking a stand against the media that perpetuates the idea that people placed on a pedestal can get away with anything due to their social status. It may seem insignificant, but it is a step.