As I’m sure we all know, the political climate is shameful right now. Nasty, hateful comments, intolerance, bullying and name calling all around. Earlier this year, a celebrity whose work I have greatly enjoyed started joining in on Twitter. He was attacking and shaming another celebrity, (a woman,) who didn’t vote the way he did or the way he thought she should. He continued to do this to various people
I noted in the back of my mind that he seemed like a controlling jerk. No matter what his beliefs, he doesn’t get to tell other people what they should believe or how they should vote. I thought it was rather narcissistic that he thought his opinions about how the woman should vote were more important than her OWN beliefs on how she wanted to vote. How arrogant that he thought he knew better than she did what she wanted for her life! I was not impressed, and it made me question how much I’d support his future work.
Some months later, his marriage ended in divorce. (No surprise after his series of attacks on women!) Then his ex wife came forward and shared her experiences within the marriage. She claimed he’d been cruel and verbally abusive, controlling, and a cheater. It was pretty easy to see that coming because his behavior had given me huge red flags. While I love his previous work, I cannot support his future work. While many fans are saying his wife was just lying, I’d already seen the truth about his personality and his wife’s heartfelt admissions only verified what I could already sense.
Devoted fans of a famous abuser usually do think the other person is lying. Gosh, this guy’s songs are so pretty, his movies are so funny, his books are so clever, he is so hot…he must not be an abuser. Rarely, these fans will admit that the person might have done something cruel, but they minimize it. Oh, but if he is an abuser, let’s get over it because we like how he entertains us and makes us feel!
I used to follow a fan page for this person on Facebook, and the admins of the page kept censoring anyone who commented about the celebrity’s abusive behavior. They repeatedly posted that no matter what he did, they still loved him for his talents. Many people said the ex must be a liar. I can’t think like that. If the man is repeatedly hurting women in his life and bullying other women online, there is no way I’m going to tolerate, accept or support that just because I like his work. And yet, so many people will ignore the way a celebrity treats others, or they will support and defend the celebrity endlessly because they will not accept that the celebrity is less than perfect. Maybe they confuse the celebrity’s fictional characters with real life.
Abusive and unacceptable behavior continues because abuser never stop, but it also continues because the public signals that we aren’t going to do anything about it. It’s stunning to me that, not only would someone not care that a person bullies others, but that anyone would go out of their way to minimize, rationalize, defend or ignore it.