Although the media has added so much to our lives, it can also be harmful. Today I read an interesting article by Alec Baldwin in New York Magazine. Alec Baldwin is a famous actor who has had his fair share of scandals and negative press, especially recently. He has been accused of making homophobic slurs to a paparazzi and is often thought of as being hot-headed and ready to explode at any moment. In this article he states that he is sick of the scrutiny, false press and lies and that he is done with living in the public eye. To be honest, I can’t blame him. Reading the article got me thinking that we as Americans often put too much pressure on celebrities to be perfect all the time. In today’s world where everyone has a camera and internet access in their pockets, you can take a photo of a celebrity and upload to the internet in seconds, they have virtually no privacy or room to have a bad day. If someone tweets a photo or a video of a celebrity that is even slightly negative, the internet goes on a warpath and the celebrity feels the backlash. We forget that they are human with human emotions. How would any of us react if men with cameras were following our wife and child and threatening their safety? Probably not too differently from Alec Baldwin.
He made several quotes in his article about the media such as, “I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible. I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it’s superfluous at best and toxic at its worst.” He goes on to say how he experienced several negative effects from TMZ’s false stories about him–“After the TMZ event, Capital One did not renew my contract, although it politely said the two things were unrelated. AT&T had booked me for a paid speech in Orlando—and then canceled. WNYC lost funding for my radio show. Bill de Blasio, who apparently gets his news from TMZ, too, distanced himself from me.”
Media and technology have given us so much power, and much of it is used for good. However, sometimes we need to take a step back and remember that celebrities are humans and we can push them to their breaking point. The media can have harmful effects on people that we do not always consider. Read Baldwin’s full article here.