When Celebrities Go Bad

Today, we were talking about Mel Gibson’s spousal abuse and other such celebrity scandals, and my wife mentioned that there are a lot of women who still take Mel’s side, and hate Oksana Grigorieva for some reason. I can’t say I know what to think of Oksana. It’s possible she’s just trying to exploit money from him, but I’m not even sure I blame her if that’s the case. Dating a jerkass celebrity and not even getting any money out of it would have to be a bum deal. But even if she is, that doesn’t change that fact that Mel abused her, does it? And that he’s a huge bigot who thinks he’s superior to everyone else? Not that the latter is illegal, but you’d think it would turn people off from him. And maybe it has in some cases, but apparently not in many. I don’t like him, but I never did. He’s always given off the air of being a bully, and it turns out he really is. This didn’t change my mind, though, but just further cemented the opinion I already had. People also sided with Chris Brown when he beat the Jamba Juice out of Rihanna, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing applies to Charlie Sheen. And hey, I liked both Hot Shots movies, but paid no attention to Charlie’s career beyond that. From the little bit of Two and a Half Men I’ve seen, it looks like he plays a self-absorbed misogynist to whom women are inexplicably attracted. A real stretch, huh? :P Anyway, I have to wonder if it’s primarily female fans who have the misplaced loyalty for abusive male celebrities. Are there any comparable cases with male fans remaining loyal to abusive FEMALE celebrities? I guess Naomi Campbell beat people up, but I’m not sure she had any fans in the first place. I’m not saying this is necessarily true, and I’m someone who thinks differences between the sexes are primarily learned behaviors, so it’s not like I’m suggesting that loyalty to jerks is somehow linked to estrogen or something. I am, however, curious about this phenomenon. I suppose there’s also the factor of separating the artist from the art, in that I can think someone is a terrible person but still enjoy their work. The thing is, while I do this, I don’t always LIKE to. I know the artists and celebrities I admire aren’t necessarily going to be people I could get along with, but I still like to THINK they are when I don’t have any evidence to the contrary. If this is common (and I don’t know for sure that it is), then it could explain why fans are often so eager to dismiss awful things done by people they admire, as it seems that many people did with Roman Polanski. I don’t know the reason, but it seems like being abusive and/or bigoted isn’t enough to lose public acclaim. So why isn’t it? And what WOULD be enough?

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4 Responses to When Celebrities Go Bad

  1. Kal says:

    Maybe it has to do with women thinking that they can ‘fix’ a damaged person like Gibson. Maybe it’s just the way they are wired. We all know of examples where women stay with abusive boyfriends because any tiny little scrap of love they can get from these creeps is better than all the attention they would get from a good guy. Guys don’t have that instinct. I don’t feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan nor do I think that we all need to “understand” the factors that made her into such a train wreck. I just know that I hate the way she feels so picked on by society and can’t see how her own lack of responsibility for her own actions have led her down this path. One look at her parents and you can see they never cared enough about her to teach her the right way to act and think.

    • Nathan says:

      I think it might well have a lot to do with the tendency women have to think they can “fix” a man. It’s also sort of a self-esteem issue, with some people thinking they DESERVE to be treated like crap.

      One look at her parents and you can see they never cared enough about her to teach her the right way to act and think.

      Which I think might go double for Mel. At least Michael Lohan doesn’t deny the Holocaust ever happened, as far as I know.

      • vilajunkie says:

        Gibson denies the Holocaust happened? Oh boy. So where does he think all those pictures of starved and abused (and dead) Jews come from? I guess it’s just a case of “It didn’t happen in my lifetime for me to be around to see it, so I guess that means it didn’t really happen.” I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be people in the next generation (people born after 2010) that deny the World Trade Center attacks ever happened.

      • Nathan says:

        It’s actually Mel’s father, Hutton Gibson, who denies the Holocaust, and also apparently thinks the World Trade Center attack was done by remote control or something. I don’t know that Mel has specifically agreed, but he has said something about everything his father taught him being the truth, so it’s pretty suspicious.

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