It is easy to say that we live in a world with constant and (increasingly) instant information…especially when it comes to dirt and scandal. In the midst of the mud flinging on everything from celebrity gossip blogs and Twitter/Facebook posts, news flies at a pace faster than we at times can handle. Now nothing is going to stop the flow of gossip as it’s a poison that we may never find an antidote.
At times, seemingly unforgivable acts looked passed when those involved are able to produce great works afterwards. Are we too welcoming and “forgiving” to others as long as they continue to perform and entertain us to our standards or based on our previous impressions of them? For sake of agruments, lets dismiss “guilty or non-guilty” and “what is art” for another time
Let’s look at an example to examine this further.
By the summer of 2003, Kobe Bryant was already a 3-time NBA Champion, MVP candidate with endorsement deals totalling over $100 million. That was before he checked into the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle, Colorado where shortly after he was accused of sexual assault by one of the hotel’s employees.
While the criminal charges were dropped and a settlement reached in the civil suit, it can be argued that many in the court of public option and many gossip column considered Kobe Bryant at best…an adulterer and at worst…a rapist. McDonalds, Ferreo SpA and Nutella terminated their endorsement deals with Bryant who was heavily booed for quited some time upon returning full time to the court.
Kobe’s reputation took even more of a hit during the very public feud with then teammate, Shaquillel O’Neal along with the lack of success the Lakers after the trade of O’Neal which many would say was forced by Bryant. In Phil Jackson’s book “The Last Season: The Team in Search of Its Soul”, Jackson referred to Bryant as uncoachable and by the 2005-06 NBA Season, Kobe Bryant was known as one of the villians of not just the NBA but the entire sports as he was voted #1 on many “Most Hated/Despised Athletes” lists.
Slowly but surely…those who booed Bryant were now once again wearing his jersey, especially after he changed his number from 8 to 24. By season’s end, he was once again a MVP candidate. By 2007, Nike released a new Kobe Bryant shoe for the first time since he visited Eagle, Colorado and Coca-Cola signed Bryant to a deal to promote Vitamin Water. Oh and the cover of NBA 07…and NBA 2K9
2 MVP Awards, 2 more NBA Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal later…while Kobe’s popularity may not be at the heights of his earlier years…Eagle, Colorado is only a whisper.
Nice turnaround huh? Let’s thrown a couple of more names who can be tossed into a similar side of this discussion.
Michael Vick, whom was convicted on dog-fighting charges in 2007, came back to the NFL in 2009 and was a MVP candidate by the end of the 2010 season with endorsement deals with Nike and Unequal Tech.
Roman Polanski has been a fugitive of the U.S. government since 1978 yet has made several successful movies with American actors and even was awarded an Oscar in 2002 (whose ceremony is held in California which is the state where Polanski was originally charged)
Robbert Downey Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Justin Timberlake, Woody Allen, Elvis Presley… the list goes on.
Is this work of great PR? Is it in our nature to forgive? Or do we become blinded by great works, regardless of the artist behind them? Or is the ART bigger then the ARTIST?
Are we dismissing potentially masters of their craft because we do not approval of their personal or moral choices?
Both R. Kelly and Michael Jackson never truly recovered from their scandals even though they were never convicted in a court of law.
Mel Gibson has been ostracised by mass media since scandals involving anti-Semitic remarks and accusation of domestic violence
Musicians such have Alicia Keys and Leanne Rimes have supposedly seen a decline in fan support in the midst of love triangles they’ve been involved.
So The Shaun asks…What more important…THE ART or THE ARTIST? Can great art/performance overshadow your personal perception of the artist? Or can that perception keep you from potentially great art/performance? Does the scandal affect your perception or can you look past it?
Why is that it takes us losing everything to appreciate what we have?
Why is it the more communication devices we create the more out of touch with each other we become?
Why is it while so many people can bitch about what’s going on yet no one is coming to the table with ideas of their own?
Why is it people do not understand how the US economic system works yet always seem to have an opinion about it?
Why is it those making millions have “contract issues” right now when people are struggling to make thousands?
Why is it that the news seems to be filled with those reporting on their opinions on issues instead of the facts of those issues?
Why is it none of the CEO/Presidents of the companies that needed a “bailout” have lost their jobs, yet their employees whom had nothing to do with it have?
Why is it we still continue to see majority of black fathers in TV/Movies portrayed so badly?
Why is it that all cartoons have lost their innocence?
Why is it that, even though they work/taste/operate just as well as the name brands, we shun generic brands so much?
Why is it people can’t handle the tough questions?
Why is it Lil’ Kim looks less and less like Lil’ Kim with each picture she takes?
Why is it we don’t dance at dances/parties anymore?
Why is it we can develop devices that do everything portably in one device yet still carry so much stuff?
Why is it there are still newspapers when by the time the paper is printed its old news?
Why is it that video vixens do sexually suggestive videos and photo shoots yet get pissed when people have no interest in their inner beauty?
Why is it we keep saying that those who take steroids are cheaters when it is becoming more evident that majority of the players during that time took them? If everyone is “cheating”, is anyone really “cheating”?
Why is it that none of the GM/Owners of these major league baseball teams are being investigated?
Many of us increasingly seem to live in denial how time have flew in our lives. The Shaun is sure that many of you know of at least a few people you are trying to hold on to their youth with all their might. You know…the 40+ year old woman going to the party with 20somethings trying to drop it like its hot (yes, The Shaun is aware he dated himself there). Let’s not forget the various ways our brother try to hide their grey hair or balding hair (YEAH THE SHAUN IS TALKING TO YOU WILL SMITH!). So The Shaun found that it would be appropriate to give everyone a few reminders of how fast time has as flown by. This is going to hurt but it is for your own good.
Biggie and Tupac were taken from us over 15 years ago!
The Simpsons have been on the air for 23 years and is about to show its 500th episode!
Seinfeld went off the air 14 year ago!
Scorpion executed his first fatality 20 years ago!
The SuperBowl Shuffle is older than Chris Brown, Rihanna AND Drake!
The Chronic will turn 20 later this year.
The NEW Cha Cha Slide came out 10 years ago!
The little smart mouth girl from the Pepsi commercials is about to turn 21.
The average price for gas in 1999 was $1.09.
According to the narrative in Terminator 2, Judgement Day was almost 15 years ago!
The Olsen Twins are now 25 years old.
David Tyree ended the New England Patriots chances at a perfect season 5 years ago!
“Little” Hailey Mathers recently turned 16 years old.
Quantum Leap‘s future was set in 1999.
Neo entered The Matrix 13 years ago!
Captain Kirk is 80 years old!