Posts Tagged ‘TMZ’

When the Famous Become Infamous

May 26, 2010

Recently there was a bench warrant issued for Lindsey Lohan’s arrest after she failed to appear in court.  Lohan has been in and out of court, since her 2007 drunk driving conviction and it was reported that she had been partying big time at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Before anyone start complaining about how spoiled some actors and actresses are these days and stating how actors and actresses of the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s conducted themselves differently, think again. Some actors and actresses of the past were just as bad.

Errol Flynn drank heavily, shamelessly chased after women and died in the arms of his teenage mistress when he was 50 years old. Joan Crawford was reported by her daughter Christina in her famous book Mommie Dearest as having been both physically and verbally abusive towards her and her brother.

Of course, this information came about after these persons died. Back in the day, there wasn’t TMZ, or Extra reporting about their exploits and the studios were willing to “bail out” a particular actor or actress, both literally and figuratively, when that person got into trouble.  While studio executives weren’t happy to learn about a particular star’s infamous exploits, they “protected” their stars.  They considered it the cost of doing business with these people. After all, the movies of Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford and others, made money for the studios, so the executives put up with “that” kind of behavior.

When the studio system dissolved, so did the protection it afford people. Yes, actors and actresses have more freedom to pursue projects to their liking, the flip side of being an independent contractor is that they are vulnerable to a spurned boyfriend or girlfriend, ex-employee or other person leaking information about drug habits, relationship problems or other juicy tidbits to the press and no one can do anything about it.

So, the next time you hear about some famous bad boy or girl du jour, remember this:  They’re just continuing a long and not so illustrious  tradition.

Sources:

http://www.tmz.com/2010/05/20/lindsay-lohan-bench-warrant-jail-court-dui-hearing-probation-passport-judge/

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Lindsay+Lohan+longer+large/3057692/story.html

http://www.inlikeflynn.com/flynn.html

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Cult of Celebrity

March 25, 2010

The recent deaths of former child actors Andrew Koenig and Corey Haim demonstrate once again that all that glitters in the celebrity world is not all gold. Their struggles with depression and addiction show the not-so-pleasant side of fame. While these persons had trouble making the transition to adult acting, which didn’t help their underlying conditions, they are not the first actors to lose their way in the bright lights and big city of Hollywood.

Despite these deaths showing the dark side of celebrity life, there are people who follow the lives of celebrities as if they were friends and family. I don’t mean reading an article in the newspaper where an actor or actresses is talking about an upcoming film. What I do mean is reading loads of articles, following their every move on the Internet, scheduling your life around episodes of Entertainment Tonight and TMZ. Outside of eating, sleeping and going to work, their world is your world.

Studies have been done on the subject of celebrity worship and they have found that following a celebrity for purely entertainment purposes, such reading an article in the paper about a favorite actor’s new movie, is a harmless pastime. (Grohol) The trouble becomes when there are “…[i]ntense personal attitudes towards celebrities.” (Ibid) These attitudes can reflect neuroticism and the person following the celebrity can exhibit “…borderline pathological behavior and traits of psychoticism.” (Ibid)

The main product of Hollywood is fantasy. Everything that goes on in Hollywood is to support that product. Sometimes people both in and out of the industry forget that and choose not to deal with life as it really is, with its bills, jobs, chores and relationships that aren’t always so dreamy.  Engaging in fantasy, no matter how beautiful, won’t make reality go away.

So, to paraphrase John Lennon, “Life is what’s happening while your watching the umpteenth episode of E! True Hollywood Story.

Source:
Grohol, John M., Psy.D “The Psychology of Celebrity Worship” PsychCentral.Com November 23, 2008. <http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/11/23/the-psychology-of-celebrity-worship/&gt;