Does Society Praise Criminals?


Every day in the news, a new criminal is seen that could potentially pose a threat to our community. When that person is a celebrity, no matter how atrocious their crime might be, society seems to praise and continue to support them. Why is that? Why is it that as soon as YNW Melly, a rapper most commonly known for his song Murder On My Mind, turns himself in for murder, his name is known by just about everyone, and just as many people are singing the words to his songs? Why is it that our society idolizes rapists, murderers, and abusers? 

Fans are quick to dismiss any and all crimes that were committed by their favorite celebrity, for no reason other than the love they have for them, and the faith that they have in them. Teenagers are easily impressed and influenced by celebrities, and when they do something, it is in the eye of the public and is looked at with affection. It doesn’t matter what is done, any publicity is good publicity. Songs will only be sung more, fans will say their name more, their movies will be watched more, and their name searched more. 

Psychologists say that being a part of a fandom is amazing for your social health, mental health, and emotional health. This might explain why it is so hard for fans to believe what the media is publishing about their favorite artist or actor.

“Belonging to a fandom group helps adolescents connect to other like-minded youths on social media throughout the year, as well as at concert events. Feeling like you are a part of the group can help one define his/her identity and give a sense of purpose to what might be an otherwise routine lifestyle.” Dr. Laurel Steinberg, a psychotherapist, and professor of psychology at Columbia University said. 

That feeling of connection only grows as a celebrity becomes more famous. When a celebrity falls, the paparazzi are there to shoot it, and the world sees it. The same happens when a person speaks out about sexual harassment, abuse, or pedophilia. Throughout the years, victims have spoken out against sexual harassment.

 In 2018, The Time’s Up movement was created by Hollywood celebrities as a response to The Weinstein Effect, a universal trend where people (celebrities and the common man) come forward and speak out against sexual allegations.  

“Hey, @realDonaldTrump, Listen up. I was sexually assaulted twice. Once when I was a teenager. I never filed a police report and it took me 30 years to tell my parents.”Actress Alyssa Milano wrote on Twitter. “I never tried to find justice for my pain because justice was never an option. For me, speaking up meant reliving one of the worst moments of my life. It meant recognizing my attacker’s existence when I wanted nothing more than to forget that he was allowed to walk on this Earth at all.”

Many of us look up to celebrities as role models, but plenty of those that we look up to have committed heinous crimes. In 1987, Mark Wahlberg beat two men, leaving one permanently blind in an eye. He was charged with attempted murder, serving 45 days at Boston’s Deer Island House of Correction. 

Wahlberg is still in many movies, and his popularity has only grown. The same goes for hundreds of other celebrities. We are still supporting murderers and rapists. Their past and present are easy to look up to, so why do we still support them? 

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  • This article was written on March 8th of 2019.