Any Publicity Is Good Publicity

Does Society Praise Celebrity Criminals?

Victorianna Beels, Copy Editor

   Have you ever heard the phrase “another day, another dollar?” Well now get ready for a new one: A new day, another criminal.

  Every day when you turn on the news, there is a new story about the newest criminal to hit the streets. It gets old to turn on the news and hear about the newest person being added to the wanted list, but when the person who is the newest addition happens to be a celebrity, things change. 

   No matter how atrocious a crime committed by a celebrity may be, society seems to continue to support them and even praise them. When a celebrity is found guilty of a crime, the dedicated fans really go wild, going as far as to start protests outside of the courtroom in favor of the criminal. For example, in the case of NFL player Aaron Hernandez, when transported from the jail he was being held in to the courtroom, fans of the former Patriots tight end followed the van chanting, “Innocent! Innocent!” Many also continued to wear his jersey even after being convicted of the murder of friend Odin Lloyd. LCN student Shane Sellers, ‘20 states, “It is reasonable to separate sport from personality, especially because players are considered on a playing field standard.”

   Once convicted of crimes, many fans are quick to dismiss any and all crimes that have been committed by their favorite celebrity, for no reason other than that they love them and put their full faith in the celebrities. It makes the crimes committed by the celebrities feel not like a crime at all, but almost like a way to get publicity. It does not matter what the publicity is around: any celebrity publicity is good publicity. The more you hear the name, the more likely you are to listen to their music, or watch their movies, or search up their name.

   Additionally, this is the case for sexual assault. The #MeToo movement sparked a series of empowered women speaking out upon their sexual assault experiences when actress Ashley Judd accused former film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Before the case, many people were never aware of Weinstein’s name, now it is a name that is remembered for starting the #MeToo movement, thus bringing it more publicity.

   Many fans look up to the celebrities that they see on the big (or little) screen, but plenty of those have committed heinous crimes. In 1987, Mark Wahlberg beat two men, leaving one permanently blind in an eye. He was charged with attempted murder, serving 45 days at Boston’s Deer Island House of Correction. Since the conviction, Wahlberg has still acted in many movies and his popularity has only grown. The publicity that surrounds Wahlberg has drowned the crimes he committed, leaving many who have never even heard about the things he has done. When asked if they would support a celebrity who committed a crime, LCN student Faith Andrzejewski, ‘21 states, “It depends on the crime. If they murdered someone or hurt a child, definitely not. If it was a minor crime like a misdemeanor, I would continue to support them though.”

   Due to our undying support for the celebrities we follow, we unknowingly support those who have done very bad things in their time, many of which we did not even know about. We are still to this day supporting murderers and rapists. Their past and present has become easily accessible with search engines and documentation online, yet we still support them at the end of the day.