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Who is the fairest in Hollywood? Celebrities such as Kristen Stewart face heavy moral pressure

Louise McCudden

149095218 226x300 Who is the fairest in Hollywood? Celebrities such as Kristen Stewart face heavy moral pressureIt seems the world of celebrity has experienced some strange moral epiphany all of a sudden. With the news that Kristen Stewart could lose her part in the new Snow White film because of her affair with Rupert Sanders comes a new implication about stardom: that having any kind of morality lapse could actually damage your career.

It certainly hasn’t always been this way. Remember when Brad Pitt left his wife for another woman following an on-set affair? His new lover, Angelina Jolie, and his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston, each got a fair amount of judgment. But Pitt’s own career was left unscathed.

Hugh Grant cheated with a prostitute and is not only still invited to star in films but also air his views on news programmes and at the Leveson Inquiry.

Usher is alleged to have made a heap of indiscretions which include cheating on his wife with her own bridesmaid. Yet he writes impressively self-righteous songs about how hard it is being unfaithful to everyone (poor dude), and the harshest personal criticism he’s received from the public that I can see came when he dared to suggest perhaps Chris Brown should have had “a little bit of remorse” after beating Rihanna. For this, he had to apologise.

Chris Brown’s own career, needless to say, is on top form. Mike Tyson admittedly found his rape conviction to be a temporary setback, but he seems to be enjoying a popular comeback with bit parts in The Hangover movies, dancing on television and advertising energy drinks.

But, hey, it’s not like we never hold our celebrities to account. After all, Rihanna is being admonished for setting a bad example to other victims of partner violence. She, as a survivor, tells the truth about how she feels towards her abusive ex, and because it happens to be compassionate rather than vengeful, we find it too complicated and would prefer not to hear it. But how can we expect her to remain cold and unforgiving towards a man she has actually known and loved in real life, when everywhere you look, the rich and powerful celebrate him as a star?

We know that the ambiguous virtue of ‘coolness’, of being liked as a person, is an essential proponent to showbiz success. How many great careers have been wrecked over an image problem? When Kitty Brucknell appeared on the X Factor she was repeatedly told she was a great talent but she wouldn’t succeed unless she became more likeable.

We also know that the public are not shy about making their voices heard when they decide someone deserves it: the abuse hurled at Brucknell online – everything from transphobic comments about “looking like a man” to outright threats of violence – makes the “haters” that Chris Brown bangs on about look like hardcore Breezy fans.

Some stars really do seem to be fair game for ridicule and hatred. Just last week we saw how Caroline Flack is deemed worthy of an entire feature in a One Direction fan magazine consisting of nothing but personal insults. Jan Moir dedicated a whole Daily Mail article to the evilness of Kristen Stewart, (Moir is not without condemnation for Rupert Sanders, to be fair. “Some husbands are just born clots,” she laments, for all of one sentence, before turning her attention back to lambasting “home-wrecker” Stewart.)

But mean columns in the Daily Mail or One Direction fan magazines are not even the worst of it. Cher Lloyd, a fairly inoffensive singer whose music you may or may not give two hoots about, who has spoken about the rough times she had being bullied as a kid, seems to attract a rather disproportionate amount of hatred considering that she’s never so much as killed a bumblebee to the best of my knowledge. Yet she was pelted with bottles of urine when she sang at V festival. It was so bad she had to leave the stage.

Celebrities will always be hated and judged, of course; it’s part of the job. But when the negativity directed at celebrities like Kristen Stewart or Cher Lloyd is so clearly determined by a personal judgment about them and/or their private lives, to pretend that everyone simply separates the man from the music when they rock up to a Chris Brown concert is naive at best.

The question we need to ask is not whether a celebrity’s private behaviour and personality is relevant to whether they deserve success at our hands or not: we’ve already quite clearly decided that it is. What we really should be asking ourselves is, why do we have a pop culture where sleeping with a film director, or even just being mildly irritating, is a bigger image problem and hindrance to your career than beating up your girlfriend?

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  • Junkets

    This is Hollywood for f…’s sake. It invented morality.

  • http://twitter.com/weareanalogue We are analogue

    you have missed the point. Kristen’s actions meant that she was no longer a good fit for that particular role…all actors, not just celebrities, are typecast to a certain extent – has it ever worked to have angelina jolie play the innocent girl? it is likely she will be offered less ingenue roles in the future, which will only develop her career.

  • http://twitter.com/killhopelaw Annie Bishop

    Cher is from a traveller background so it’s racist as well

  • http://twitter.com/jennie_kermode Jennie Kermode

    What do Stewart, Jolie and Flack have in common? Not just that they’re women, but that they’re all perceived as having abused sexual power over a man who is a popular object of lust. Resentment of that is where much of this viciousness begins.

  • kelvyn001

    I know for one that I wasn’t there and have no ins on the emotional truths of either person involved. And I would guess that the press and the rest of the world don’t either. Hearsay, speculation and media hyped sensationalism… should we push her off the edge of society or be gracious and let her return to the flock prodigal like in it’s own hollyweird self righteousness? Who’s moral compass should we agree with? Who cares! Here’s two people (maybe four) who made their own decisions based on their own personal needs and desires… just like most of us. Since when has the public eye become so all seeing that a simple affair has to be blown out of all proportion (it’s not really even a scandal in the history of scandals) But It’s now become a politically correct media induced witch hunt that has affected small minded executives of profit hungry film companies. How weird is that! There really are more important things for people to get their knickers in a twist about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Johnson/100001836727443 Matthew Johnson

    To the (considerable number of) misandrists on this blog: in the last 20 years ALL gender legislation has favoured women; from personal status to compensation for divorce, separation, career etc. The “we want it all and even that is not enough” wing of the feminist league are, for the most part, gorging on the cake as well as having it.

  • alan2306

    I have never posted a comment about celebrity gossip but this is taking the mick. The girl is in her early twenties for crying out loud, who cares! And talk about morals, aren’t the media the ones who take so much interest in these people? So much for morals, hypocrites.

  • Rudolf Barney-Seabra

    Honey, google Ingrid Bergman scandal. This happened before. 60 YEARS AGO. Nice to know the entertainment industry is environmentally friendly when it comes to BS. Constant recycling. Like they seem to be doing with screenplays aswell.

  • Peter Williams

    The reality is the the media architect the image, views and responses of the sheep masses. This awkward looking and throughly overrated tramp Stewart is not being morally vilified for her illicit indiscretions but more so that she has ended the Twilight dream and got caught out by upsetting the Hollywood apple cart of showing all is not well in Hollywood manufactured relationships like hers with Pattison.

    It has nothing to do with gender do not be misguided by that. Pitt and Jolie’s relationship is good for moral degradation of marriage, committment as well as commercial success.
    Hollywood is all an image, actors the greatest hypocrites and liars and it doesn’t matter who they are paired with as they can always have the extra bits on the side.

    Its just another stage and facade. Is it really important for our own lives? No, yet millions are engaged and make these non-entities famous and then get caught up commenting on their cliched, staged and scripted professional as well as personal lives.


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