Friday, March 9, 2018

Defending an Entertainer’s Right to run their Mouth

This past weekend we tucked into the sofa with dinner and Oscar. It’s my favorite time of year, awards season!

Only, something seems different now. When I was younger, awards shows were the thing to watch. To talk about at work the next day. To obsess over for weeks leading up to the air date. Salivating to see what the ladies would wear, who would win best picture or album of the year.

And then, there seemed to be a collective flip of the switch in the eyes of the public.

Suddenly it wasn’t cool to care about movie, pop stars, athletes anymore. Winning an award or trophy just proved the person in question had sold out. Got too big for their britches or something. Commercial success and celebrity weren’t revered. Weren’t something to strive toward. They were put on blast. As were the things said star vocalized when they won said award.

Don’t forget to thank the voting body. Ugh, his stupid speech went on forever. Please, she didn’t deserve that award. Just shut up and dance for us, monkey. Throw the ball. Pretend to be in love for the camera.

Oh, but don’t do it like that.

It’s even worse if the star in question happened to use their acceptance speech as a way to further a message. Any message. Be perfect. Be what everyone wants or doesn’t want you to be.

Just don’t do it like that.

At some point the collective decided that entertainers weren’t people with thoughts, feelings, a life outside of their job. That it was okay for the rest of us to have opinions, support causes, speak out about or against anything we want, but the moment a star did the same they were an overpaid moron who should keep their mouths shut unless they were delivering lines.

Um, I get it that stars make the big bucks but there are plenty of professions that produce a host of rich, visible people and I don’t see daily flogging of them for speaking their mind, supporting a charity, whatever. Using their platform to reach a wide audience.

So I can’t help but ask, why do we marginalize awards shows and the people involved?

I’m seriously asking that question because I’m an entertainer of a sort and as of yet I haven’t been told by a random stranger on the internet to keep my fat mouth shut because of my personal opinion that they don’t agree with. Operative word, yet.

But, then, I’m basically a nobody so I’m still entitled to an opinion. Right? Isn’t that the only way to know you have really arrived these days anyway? When the world clamors to be involved in everything you do but rejects everything you say?

As far as I’m concerned, entertainment is the thing that keeps us enjoying a tiny speck of sanity in a world filled with chaos. Escape. That’s why I listen to music, watch movies, sports. Why I write fiction. So maybe someone out there who feels like me can get a minute or two of diversion from the cruel reality by reading something I wrote.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to say things other than what my work is about. Does it?

True, like I said, I’m not a big known entertainer so I guess I can’t really speak to what that means. But I know for 100% fact that, no matter how widely my name is known (or not), I will never please all the people. I won’t intentionally belittle anyone, marginalize anyone, but there’s no doubt someone out there could take offense to something I believe when I say/write it out loud.

And then that’s where the public will focus their flame thrower.

Belittling. Begrudging. Judging. Trying to take away my voice.

Movie stars are people, CEOs are people, athletes are people, artists are people. And this country affords all of us equal opportunity to speak our minds. Some people hate that other people have a voice so they use their own to tear the first person down. Aren't we all entitled to a moment of escape?

I believe the answer is yes. I better. Otherwise, I picked the wrong career.

I have aspirations to reach a larger audience with my work, and fully support other weirdos like me who strive for the same thing. Which is why I love watching awards shows, whether for sports, music, movies. Those people worked their fricking asses off to reach that level. And I don’t see anything wrong with them having an opinion in addition to a trophy.

Seriously, who cares? I don’t agree with everything a celebrity type says, align with all of their messages, but definitely don’t begrudge them using their voice.

Their voice.

The one thing they stayed true to that got them to where they are is the very thing we seem to crucify them for having once they get there.

Well, I don’t care what the public at large has to say about awards shows. I’ll watch and be super excited about all of the outfits, performances, displays of personal opinions because I refuse to be an entertainer who tears down other entertainers just because they reached a higher level of success than me.

And, if I get what I really dream of, one day I might even join some of them, walking in a fancy dress on a red carpet. Of course, I’m only a writer. It’s unlikely anyone will even notice me on that carpet. Nobody talks about writers.


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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

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