Recently Jada Pinkett-Smith had words for all of us, the media especially, in regards to how we treat young celebrities. Here is what she had to say….
Are we bullying our young artists?
How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?
This last week, I had to really evaluate the communication in regard to our young artists in the media. I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and… social networks. It is as if we have forgotten what it means to be young or even how to behave like good ol’ grown folk. Do we feel as though we can say and do what we please without demonstrating any responsibility simply because they are famous? Is it okay to continually attack and criticize a famous 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood and fame is all about as he carries the weight of supporting his family as well as providing the paychecks to others who depend on him to work so they can feed their families as well? Does that render being called a cunt by an adult male photographer as you try to return to your hotel after leaving the the hospital? Or what about our nine year old beautiful Oscar nominee who was referred to as a cunt as well? Or what about being a young woman in her early twenties, exploring the intracacies of love and power on the world stage? And should we shame a young woman for displaying a sense of innocence as she navigates through the murky waters of love, heartbreak, and fame? Are these young people not allowed to be young, make mistakes, grow, and eventually transform a million times before our eyes? Are we asking them to defy the laws of nature because of who they are? Why can’t we congratulate them for the capacity to work through their challenges on a world stage and still deliver products that keep them on top. We all know how hard it is to keep our head above water, even in the privacy of our own homes let alone on the world stage. Imagine yourself, at their age, with the spotlights, challenges and responsibilities. Most of us would have fallen to the waste side before we could even get to a crashed Ferrari, a controversial romance, several heart breaks, or an Oscar nomination at NINE. We WISH we could have had the capacity to accomplish HALF of what they have accomplished along with ALL these challenges they face. But…maybe THAT’S the problem…we WISH we could have or even…we WISH we could.
As most people know already, I am quite the fan of the Smith clan. I love me some Will, Jada, Willow, Jaden and Tre as I really enjoy seeing a Black family of ‘Hollywood Royalty” for what it is worth. Also, I don’t find their family celebrity any creepier than i find a real estate practice where the entire family works. Still with all due respect to the matter and to her as a person, I think Jada Pinkett-Smith isn’t looking at the entire picture of the matter and like most people who want A B and C, fail to understand the universal tax one must pay with X Y and Z.
The Universal tax means that regardless of the actions’s intent, whether noble or not, an equal and opposite consequence must be endured. Simply put, in order get one thing, we must be willing to give up another, and no matter how noble we think the act, a negative consequence can and will be endured to some degree.
Equivalent Exchange for my anime nerds.
This is my rub with celebrities. They act as if they are exempt to this phenomena. Hell to be fair, most of US think we are exempt also. Fact of the matter is that celebrities don’t get to just choose a career and lifestyle that is centered around being in the public-eye, but then complain when they are constantly IN the public-eye. And yes I am aware that these people consider celebrity nothing more than their ‘profession’ and that may be true…. for them. But it isn’t to the common man,woman and child.The concept of celebrity doesn’t adhere to a set time table that corresponds to them ‘being on the clock’. No. fame is fame 24/7 and not only when these people think it convenient. You don’t get to BE in the public-eye then pick and choose when those eyes can be open. As a celebrity, you exist on a ‘grander scale’ than the rest of us. Your capital is greater, the level of play is greater and your consequences…are greater.
That brings us back to the issue at hand.
What Rihanna, Jusitn Beiber and Taylor Swift are experiencing as far as bullying from the media, is nothing more than the same thing their peers would experience but on a grander scale.. on a larger stage, which corresponds to the level of scale in which they exist. If Rihanna was just Robyn the Account Manager at xyz company, and she experienced what she did in front of her coworkers, she would get much of the same treatment. The only difference is that she would experience this only with those in her immediate circle of contact, ie friends, family n coworkers. But Robyn IS Rihanna and Rihanna’s circle of contact is the entire world. Same for Taylor Swift and her not able to keep a man, women who mock her should go to hell self. Your scale of pain n pleasures are in exact correlation to your ‘level of life’.
The level of bullying, scrutiny n criticism they have to endure is exactly in relation to their level of ‘life’-and although I feel bad for their mental state in all this because their behavioural n cognitive understanding is really no different than ours,but their ‘level of life’ is. What they are experiencing is nothing more than a consequence of their ‘station’. The good and the bad of it all. We ALL have to endure it.
The universal tax.
and the universe will have it’s due.