The Price of Fame: Do Stars Give Up Their Right to Privacy?
By Jo Piazza Posted Mar 19th 2010 08:00PM
That's a pretty nice premium to get for being famous. But what should that increase pay for? Is it enough to cover the complete lack of privacy afforded famous folks today, the media scrutiny and sometimes the inability to drive to the gas station without the paparazzi tailgating their BMWs? Maybe it is. It's hard to put a price tag on privacy.
We raise these questions after reading your comments in response to our post about the ethics involved in releasing Corey Haim's 911 call.
Jojo posted: "Just because a person is a celebrity does not mean we should have access to EVERY part of their life. How sad that a mother's anguish can be played over and over for all the world to hear."
Keith posted: "When you make money from celebrity, you cant deny celebrity... you go as you came in...."
Samantha posted: "These people chose to have public lives when they went into showbiz. Are we just supposed to ignore them once they die? If they CHOSE the public life, it goes for in death too. Air the tapes. If you don't want to hear it... PLUG YOUR EARS!"
Our commenters represent two sides of this quandary. Jojo and heaps of others say that the public should not be given access to every part of a famous person's life, but Keith and Samantha (and again, plenty of others) believe that celebrities sign those rights away when they start accepting fat paychecks.
There is an argument that back in the good old days (before the Internet, a 24-hour celebrity news cycle and a variety of celebrity tabloid magazines), celebs were still able to exist in their pretty and famous bubbles without such enormous intrusion into their private lives. While that is true, it is also true that the rise of more celebrity news outlets has managed to create more celebrities. Oftentimes, there is a direct correlation between how often we hear about a certain actor, actress, singer or reality star and how much money they bring in at the box office, in album sales or through endorsements. The continued intrusion into their lives also serves to raise their salaries.
Would 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' have made $186 million at the box office if it hadn't been for speculation over Brad and Angie's romance? Would that same couple have been able to sell off pictures of their subsequent three offspring for tens of millions of dollars if it hadn't been for the celebrity media's interest in them? Would Paris Hilton ever have risen above the status of banquette dancing socialite if it hadn't been for all her gossip column coverage?
It's give and take, plain and simple, but that doesn't mean it's always fair. Now we want to hear from you. Do you think celebrities sign away their privacy because of their big paychecks? Tell us in the comments what amount you would have to be paid to offer the public full access to all your personal garbage.
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