New Delhi: The costs of celebrityhood are many and relentless public scrutiny is just one of them. Fame and riches are not the only gifts of becoming famous, every step that one takes is then monitored. Another thing that comes from fame is responsibility. Words of famous public figures carry weight as does their behaviour.
Especially true in the time of social media, what one says many decades back can also come back to haunt a career. Comedian Kevin Hart’s decades old tweets, for example, became the reason for his job as the Oscar host being taken away.
Another aspect of this exists as well. When celebrities preach one thing but actions in their personal life seem not to mirror that. Many cases of such celebrity hypocrisy exist.
A recent such case has taken over the internet, especially as it pertains to one of the most popular people on the planet at the moment.
This of course relates to American musical artist Taylor Swift, millions of whose fans globally follow her ardently and abide by her every word.
Taylor Swift recently threatened legal action against a 22-year-old college student who had been tracking her private jet usage on Instagram.
In a letter shared by the student with the Associated Press, Swift’s attorneys have alleged that he is effectively providing “individuals intent on harming her, or with nefarious or violent intentions, a roadmap to carry out their plans.”
The student denies these claims and says that the information he is providing is in the public domain already.
The case though has put the question of celebrity hypocrisy and moral responsibility in question back again. From American actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s private jet rides to Bill Gates’s yachts, it has often been said that the use of private jets goes against the global fight against climate change, which many of these celebrities themselves promote.
The argument goes that the use of private jets is often just done for a show of luxury and not always due to real need. On a per passenger basis, private jets pollute as much as 14 times more than their commercial counterparts and thus it is advised that celebrities only use them when needed.
The statistics of how many celebrities use their private planes though goes against any conceivable logic. This is the root of all controversy here and is why questions are now being raised on Taylor Swift.
While on one hand celebrities promote environmental protection and urge normal citizens to fight against climate change, they in their personal life engage in contributing to the scourge of climate change themselves. This then does not bode well with normal citizens who have to put in excessive efforts in their everyday life to lessen their own carbon footprints.
Responsibility has to be shared also in terms of how much one gets from the society. A balance is thus needed in terms of how much we demand from celebrities and how much they owe us for the fame and fortune they receive, all while walking the talk on climate change and together building a sustainable future.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone. The opinions and facts in this article do not represent the stand of News9.)