Sunday, October 08, 2006

SOUND OFF: WHO CARES WHAT CELEBRITIES THINK?

Most of my readers who responded think that too much fuss is being made about recent negative comments made by movie star Mel Gibson, Sen. George Allen of Virginia and civil-rights leader Andrew Young about particular races or religions.

"It is hypocritical to overly publicize the comment of a one-time incident for most public figures," writes Susan Riberdy of Windsor, Ontario. "It is sad that we as a society focus on what famous people say, when we ignore the racial cleansing and atrocities around the world."

Joseph Sabatini of West Chester, Ohio, agrees."The personal lives of celebrities do not interest me in the least," he writes. "I have all the concerns I need in my life to succeed and be prosperous. There is no time for such nonsense."

"We should stop the carping censorship and let people state their opinions," writes Dunbar Jewell of Charlotte, N.C. "We each can then evaluate for ourselves without the all-knowing, Goebbels-like press shaping our minds."

Not that everyone was sympathetic. Sunny Carney of Columbus, Ohio, probably spoke for many in saying, "Gibson, Allen, Young and others of their ilk should practice that old bit of advice: Think before you speak!"

Check out other opinions at
http://jeffreyseglin.blogspot.com/2006/09/sound-off-does-persons-past-forgive.html or post your own at by clicking on "Comments" below.

Jeffrey L. Seglin, author of "The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today's Business" (Smith Kerr, 2006), is an associate professor at Emerson College in Boston, where he teaches writing and ethics. He is also the administrator of http://jeffreyseglin.blogspot.com, a Web log focused on ethical issues.

Do you have ethical questions that you need answered? Send them to rightthing@nytimes.com or to "The Right Thing," New York Times Syndicate, 609 Greenwich St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10014-3610.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jeffrey Seglin has posed the question; Who cares what celebrities think? As the consumer of various forms of media, I care tremendously what celebrities think. When I hear a film director on a talk show interview, or read the same in print media, I am interested in why they filmed a movie a certain way, or had a scene filmed by the cinematographer a particular way. I enjoy authors and actors, along with actresses, of stage and screen, explain the motivation behind their character, and their personal interpretation. The famous artists, of all mediums, and how they work one's eye, with the flair of a brushstroke, the choice of black and white or color, when photographing a shot. How they capture my ears with a certain arrangement, certain notations on a sheet of music, and the vocal collaboration, with a specific composer. I care because it's these talented individuals, that elevates our society, and gives us culture, a heritage that makes America unique. And we should thank everyone of them, as Americans, Mr. Seglin.

Todd M. Brklacich
Murray, UT

Anonymous said...

It is not that I 'care' what celebrities say,or value their 'opinions' it is that they only have a platform for their usually uneducated and uninformed 'opinions' because we the entertainment going public have given them their very public voice by making them famous. We therefore have to listen to their 'opinions' no matter how insulting we feel they are. This is a country with free speech and I do not want that to change. I have a perfect way to 'voice' my disgust with an 'opinion' that I vehemently disagree with.
That is to vote with my pocketbook and not go to the movie or play, or to buy the recordings of such celebrities that I feel are polluting America with their 'opinions' about politics, race, religion, etc. This method has been very successful with the 'Dixie Chicks' after their remarks about the President. It may not shut them up but it makes me feel better that somehow I have a voice. Hopefully we are intelligent enough to be able to sort the 'wheat from the chaff' and to pay attention to those whose opinions are worth listening too and to assign to the trash bin of stupidity those that are not.

Anonymous said...

I’m just wondering if in his drunken state he just lashed out in anger at the person who dared to stop and then actually arrest him and he would have been nasty to anyone. If I remember correctly he commented on his name. How would he know his name? It makes me wonder, was the police officer wearing a badge with his name on? So if it had been a German name what would the comment have been, perhaps some Nazi reference, or if the name was Arabic? What would he have said then?

Susan Weston
Amherstburg

Anonymous said...

Most of these celebrities.. Madonna, Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand etc.. just about got thru High School and who cares what they have to say about the Govt, Politics and the War...they are paid to perform.. not to give their advice. They are disgustingly overpaid for their work and should give the money to our low paid Military who are risking their lives so those performers can speak out against them.

Anonymous said...

Most of these celebrities.. Madonna, Sean Penn, Barbra Streisand etc.. just about got thru High School and who cares what they have to say about the Govt, Politics and the War...they are paid to perform.. not to give their advice. They are disgustingly overpaid for their work and should give the money to our low paid Military who are risking their lives so those performers can speak out against them.

Anonymous said...

The "culture" that celebrities have built in America is for the most part over sexualized, immoral, unoriginal rehashed copies, sequels and remakes of old works of art. Uniqueness is a rarity any more, and despite the fact that the nature of art is that there is no such thing as true originality, the fact that celebrities (musicians, actors, etc) are held in such high esteem gives people an excuse to copy them, in hopes of reaching the same degree of success that they did.

Why would anyone want to model their life after Brad Pitt or Tiger Woods? Who wants to model their life after someone who cheats on their wife, or leaves one attractive celebrity to go have kids with another, just so they can turn around, leave that one, and go back to the othere? Why does the media care to plaster their lives all over television and magazines and newspapers?
Because it causes a distraction. It keeps people focused on something other than what's really going on in our country, and the world. It gives teenagers a sense of belonging to some pop cultural group so that they can compare themselves to eachother and be cool because everyone else is doing it. Instead of informing its citizens, the American media is distracting them from what's really going on. And people are buying it. That's the sad part.

Anonymous said...

Celebrities are just people living under media and audio visual hype. They have consumers under a magic spell and stupor for entertainment. They sell their souls for money and they make enough money to live lives of excess. But that is all coming to an end. Their mansions, properties, gold and silver, unlimited and instant gratifications to sex and drugs and media will soon come to an end. They will be the targets of robberies, rapes, and murder like never before. This economy is causing wrath to brew in the hearts and minds of the poor and middle class who can barely survive while these celebrities live like kings and thumb their immoral lifestyle noses while pretending they care for the poor. They do not care. They make fun of us poor people. They wake up everyday and remind themselves how lucky they are to be able to live such superior lifestyles and not have to be accountable for their immoralities. Support for these leeches will die down considerably when people continue to wake up and see that they are barley surviving yet still paying to see movies and buy the magazines and goods that support these lowlife immoral entertainers. Boy what a surprise these mega rich stars including the rest of the wealthy are going to get. The bodyguard services industry is about to boom like never before.

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