Shut Up & Sing, or Speak Out and Lose Everything?

I don’t know when exactly it started, perhaps with the publication of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” but it seems that the notion of consumer conscientiousness has become a prevalent thread in our society, whether it’s upheld or not. In our Entertainment PR class we’ve been spending time discussing this idea with a specific focus on the conscience (sometimes lack-there-of) of the entertainment consumer.

I take a relatively negative view on this topic. I believe that people should abstain from supporting people with distinctly negative moral patterns (think Mel Gibson and Chris Brown), yet many of these celebrity wrong-doers still get hired for exorbitant sums and have hordes of fans. On the other side of things, I admit that I have a tendency to be an overconscientious citizen. Based on our discussions in class, and after watching the documentary “Shut Up & Sing,” I can firmly attest to the fact that this aspect of my personality also rolls over into my life as a fan, but do I judge too harshly?

Personally, I love the Dixie Chicks. I loved them before they dissed George, and I love them even more after. After watching the documentary, which follows the aftermath of Natalie’s infamous statement, I gained even more respect for these women. Even knowing that the death threat Natalie received was never acted upon, I still found myself sitting through several moments of tearful angst (not exaggerating), “wondering” what would happen to her.

Afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about how horrible it would feel to know that a.) someone wanted me dead based on a politically-charged statement (in part because I’d be sooo dead already, love you Obama!) b.) that I could potentially have to give up something I loved just to maintain my own personal safety.

As stubborn as I am, this experience in class has allowed me the insight to compromise. While I still find it disturbing that Charlie Sheen became the highest paid TV actor six months after he was arrested for domestic violence, I will try to make an effort to resist defaming celebrities for their views just because they differ from my own, but rather hold them to the merit of their actions and talent.

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