Thursday, June 30, 2011

Celebrities: Do We Really Have a Right to Know Everything About Them?

My girlfriend, Poncho Girl, works for a non-profit organization and over the years has met some interesting public figures. Yesterday was no exception.

Yesterday, she met Aaron Eckhart, an actor I adore. He is a talented actor with an impressive body of work, but really hooked me in his portrayal of Nick Naylor in Thank You for Smoking.

Prior to his visit, we googled him. I have to admit, other than finding him attractive and admiring his acting abilities, I didn't know much about him. I thought he was married with child, but found nothing to support my belief (I'd make a very poor celebrity gossip writer). However, in my search, I learned his date of birth, height, college he attended and how he was previously engaged.

This had me thinking....with all the celebrity/public figure news, do we have the right to know why someone's marriage failed? Do I care that some politician was stupid enough to send naked pictures of himself via twitter. No. Wait, I do if he did this on work time with taxpayer dollars. However, my point is this: Why do people care so much about the private lives of a public figure? Do we feel entitled because our movie ticket dollars help fund their career? I'm not sure.

If we use this logic, would we want our corporate employer to know we were having marital problems, fertility issues or that our teenage kids push us over the edge most days.... I doubt it.

So...this has me wondering why most people are interested in the private lives of public figures. My feeling is to let them share what they want and let them have a life that is not always under the microscope.

About my friend meeting Aaron Eckhart....well, I told her that I believed she was making the whole story up and I didn't believe her (I should know by now not to say this to her) and she told Mr. Eckhart that her friend, LMB, did not believe he was visiting her office and could she take his picture as proof. Apparently he laughed and posed with her.