Maybe ‘hate’ is too strong a word. What about ‘disappointed’, ‘appalled’, ‘shocked’ ? To the point that you would throw away all his cds, posters and pictures in your collection?
Many of you are his fan not only because of his music and voice but also his clean-cut, goody two shoes image. He’s kind, considerate, loves his family, dog, goldfish, Thai food and provides all the politically correct responses when asked about any issues. He’s non-confrontational, non-controversial and in the eyes of many – plain dull. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t have the legions of fans of say a Justin Bieber? What if David Archuleta goes through a metamorphoses overnight – a second onset of puberty and turned into a braggart, loud-mouthed brat? Would you remain his fan?
We are surrounded by public figures who are not exactly Mother Theresa incarnate but still enjoy a huge following. A few cases in point:
1) The late Amy Winehouse won a truckload of Grammys in 2008 for her album ‘Back in Black’. She had a history of drug and alcohol abuse plus erratic behaviour which very often turned violent. After she won her Grammys, Natalie Cole – Nat King Cole’s daughter-remarked that Ms Winehouse didn’t deserve to win those awards precisely because of her behaviour. Was she right?
2) Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend one night after a heated argument. Chris was among the brightest of stars in the music industry before his appalling behaviour. His die hard fans rallied to his cause and laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of his girlfriend whom they accused of being a pushy **tch. Were they right in their attitude?
3) Serena Williams verbally and very nearly physically abused a line judge at the 2009 US Open womens’ final. It was painful to watch a supposedly professional tennis player go at the line judge in that manner. Of course she denied uttering any of the heinous remarks that was caught by on court microphones. Afterward she made a half-hearted attempt at an apology ( noticeably it was not directed to the line judge ) to her fans ‘if’ she had upset them. All was forgiven and she continued her merry way. Was it right that she got a mere slap on the wrist for her transgressions all in the name of “let’s move on?’ and the fact that she is Serena Williams?
Is right for us to expect our idols to be Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Santa Clause all rolled into one? Public figures are after all mere human; flawed and carrying their fair share of chinks beneath that glossy exterior. Are we just to enjoy their particular fields of excellence and forget that they are quite often really awful people?
Should public figures be held to a higher moral standard? Perhaps even unfairly so because really, who among us are so perfect? While we ourselves cannot claim to be angels then we have no cause to expect any more of our idols.
All of us are taught from young to be honest, upstanding members of society. Family, friends and society exact a heavy toll on any missteps. However when it comes to public figures we are, on the whole, ever willing to free the reins of our moral strictures and suspend judgment because of who they are; famous, brilliant, glamorous.
Would you do the same for David Archuleta?