Notions On Toxic Celebrity

Written by Luke Barnes

In this piece I want to talk about what I see to be the main failing of celebrity culture, the belief that somehow celebrities are the best of us. I write this piece as it has just come out that allegedly Vin Diesel was difficult and did not behave on the set of Fast X and as such the director has quit the project, as well as when production of Bill Murray’s next movie has stopped as he has allegedly engaged in some troublesome behaviour.  

In my mind celebrities seem to think that because of their fame and wealth that they don’t have to abide by the same norms and laws that apply to everyone else. Matthew Broderick literally killed someone and still gets to appear in movies, after only paying a small fine, how is that right or fair? I believe that it is because they are put on a pedestal that this sort of behaviour is allowed to flourish. By worshipping celebrities we are creating monsters.

An actor or celebrity with a huge ego is nothing new, they are a dime a dozen, however, this is a result of fan worship. If Vin Diesel didn’t have an army of dude bro fans who will like and share his posts and who will mindlessly flock to see whatever subpar action film he is starring in next in might make him question how he treats those around him, as both the Rock and now his director have pointed out that he is difficult.

Social media has certainly become a tool for celebrity worship and to an extent it has also been used as a means to keep celebrities in check, yet as society we need to see that this hasn’t been enough. Despite #MeToo and the grave threat of cancel culture, a little sarcasm there, celebrities are still behaving badly and escaping consequences. This is a problem I can only imagine solved by people putting their money where their mouth is and not watching these actors projects, letting them fade into obscurity, calling them out, not letting them escape problematic behaviour and encouraging others to do the same.

By giving these people fame and money we are telling them their behaviour is okay when it clearly isn’t. Something needs to change.

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The Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Trial: The Criminal Neglect Of Male Victims Of Domestic Abuse

Written by Luke Barnes

In this piece I want to talk about the ongoing legal battles between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I am fully aware that any day my views could be entirely changed if there was a smoking gun piece of evidence, and that not everyone will agree with what I am going to say but hey this is my take and it might later change.

As those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I have been team Depp for quite a while now, I think with the things Heard has done and said there is a lot of troublesome things that don’t quite add up. Moreover, I think there is a large amount of evidence to support her also being violent, if Johnny was, I remain mixed on that, and also having lied to police and various other legal professionals within the various trails after this all became public.

I do admit that I have been a fan of Depp since I was very young and this might all just be influenced by a hope that he isn’t the monster he is being made out to be as that would be hard to come to terms with. Maybe I am wrong and he is a vile abuser, it would upset me a lot but it is a possibility. However, I think regardless of that there is enough to suggest that Heard is not as innocent as she claims.

Moreover, I think it is very telling how a lot of the media are covering this story, despite numerous shady things done by Heard the focus is always on Depp as being the monster. This is done to propagate the harmful and frankly toxic view that men can’t be abused physically by women, and that in these situations it always has to be a male abuser, which is not only untrue but is frankly quite an outdated view. This can also be seen reflected by the fact that Depp lost most offers of work yet Heard gets to keep her role in the DCEU, this looks set to keep happening even if both of them are shown to be abusive towards one another- highlighting a double standard. If Depp is to lose all work so should Heard.

As I write this piece for you all the latest liable trial is still ongoing and it looks unlikely that this situation will change anytime soon, but all we can hope is that justice is served and that in terms of broader society male victims of domestic abuse are treated with more care and less sexist contempt.  

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