We should know better by now.
We’ve been conditioned to idolize celebrities from a young age. As impressionable youngins, we gazed up at glamorous movie stars, sexy musicians, and ripped athletes and aspired to be as successful as them when we would inevitably grew up. Of course, we rarely actually attain this level of success once reaching adulthood because, let’s be perfectly honest here, we’re all a bunch of average schmoes prone to fucking up every now and then.
We instead make up for our many shortcomings by feasting on a daily diet of watching movies, listening to music, reading Hollywood gossip columns, and devouring entertainment news to the point we feel an emotional connection to our favorite celebrities and are absolutely enamored by how they seemingly glisten with perfection.
This is a romanticization of the Hollywood lifestyle at best. All too often, we continually fail to admit our heroes and idols are just regular assholes like you, me, and Seth Rogen, and it shouldn’t come as a major shock when a famous hollywood figure commits a scandalous act that reveals how much of a colossal douche bag they are.
Case in point, look no further than the shitstorm that has the Hollywood press encircling Joss Whedon like a swarm of bloodthirsty piranhas. Whedon, the famed writer and director of THE AVENGERS and creator of feminist icon Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was recently scorched in a letter written by his ex-wife Cai Cole. In the letter, Cole states that Whedon, a man who has been lauded for his emphasis on writing strong female characters, had numerous affairs throughout their marriage and was a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals.”
The fallout from the scathing letter was swift: social media pummeled him, long running fansite Whedonesque is going to shut down, and Whedon’s reputation plummeted so far that even some of his most ardent fans raised their torches and pitchforks in understandable outrage over the shocking revelations detailing Whedon’s cruel infidelity.
However, what’s really worth noting here (outside of Whedon being a total dick and a fake feminist of course) is how stunned Whedon’s fans were when discovering his deception because, truth be told, no one should have been surprised by Whedon’s cockwafflery in the first place.
After all of the celebrity scandals we’ve witnessed, it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that yet another director’s personal values are morally equivalent to the consistency of a dumpster behind Applebee’s. We should know better by now than to get too emotionally attached to beloved actors, writers, directors, musicians, and athletes because we don’t personally know them. Our opinions of influential pop-cultural personalities are shaped by their public personas, and this is most definitely applicable to Whedon because while we may be incredibly knowledgeable about Whedon as a writer and a director, we don’t know jack shit about him as a human being (Or we used to not know. It’s kinda hard not to know what kind of man Whedon is now).
Let the fallout of Whedon Gate be a lesson to us all. We need to stop worshipping our favorite movie creators and actors as if they are the reincarnation of Mother Theresa. If we consistently put celebrities on a pedestal, they will inevitably let us down. While I’m not saying we shouldn’t view important Hollywood figures as likeable or charming, we still must keep them at arm’s length. We can still love and appreciate the art they produce, but at the same time, we must understand we will never truly know a superstar like a wife, friend, or relative would.
Celebrities aren’t angels but regular people, and if the average person is anything to go by, some our idols probably suck.
Sadly, this now perfectly describes Joss Whedon.
What a shame.