Scandals lead to ruined careers for celebrities, exception being singers


Brittany Cornelison

From Britney Spears’ breakdown and Charlie Sheen’s much publicized ranting to Tiger Woods’ infidelity and Martha Stewart’s jail time; scandals are publicized and whether or not people keep up with the latest Hollywood gossip, the latest wrongdoings are everywhere. Society sees these celebrities, looks down upon them and even revokes monetary funding towards them or their organizations because of their acts of rebellion. Because of withdrawn support these stars lose their status in society, causing their careers to come spiraling down.
However, when looking at the stars who are famous because of their musical talent, there is a different trend. Sex scandals, drug addictions, nude photos, whatever it may be, seem overshadowed by the lyrics that encompass this generation’s singers and performers, leaving their fame unscathed.
Take Miley Cyrus for instance. Her performance at the Video and Music Awards in August struck the world of music listeners by surprise. From tweets to news posts, it seems as though viewers were not expecting this from the former Disney Channel child pop star.
As freshman Catherine Ryberg watched the VMAs, she said she lost respect for Cyrus after her actions at the awards show.
“I thought it was sort of degrading of herself, like, ‘Does she have any dignity? Why would you put yourself out there like that?’” Ryberg said. “I mean, she’s always been famous. I guess a couple years she faded out. I don’t know if this is her comeback or whatever. Her last two videos have had the most views in 24 hours on YouTube, so obviously that says something.”
In addition to the 10.7 million views on Vevo in 24 hours, her single “We Can’t Stop” remains in the top 15 songs on iTunes. Despite her twerking and near nudity, people continue watching her performance, listening to her music and consequently supporting her career. Senior Seth Johnson said he likes some of Cyrus’ new music even though he is against the way she portrayed herself during the VMA’s.
“I think that when I see Miley Cyrus I will remember the action, but the music can take me to a different place,” Johnson said. “No, what she did will not affect her music for me, but when I physically see a visual of her face I can’t help but think of the VMA’s.”
The VMA’s showed a different side of this pop-icon, but her music remains just as popular today as it was before the awards show fiasco, Johnson said. This ideology that singers don’t reap as severe of a punishment for their actions remains as well for American recording artist Chris Brown. Brown, in March 2009, received felony assault charges for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna. This charge of domestic violence shocked the public, yet Brown’s musicremained prominent, and his music supported by many. But, listening to artists who are involved in controversy does not mean that you support them as a person, Ryberg said.
“I think generally actually if the music sends a bad message there’s a good chance that the person isn’t going to be that great of an influence,” Ryberg said. “There’s a line between listening to music and having that person be like your idol … you don’t have to make them someone you look up to just because you listen to them.”
No matter how large the action, songs of artists who have acted publicly indecent are still making music worthy by the people of being in the top 40 chart list. This is not true for all celebrities, though. Accusers said that chef Paula Deen used racist comments in her kitchen resulting in sponsors such as Wal-Mart and Target cutting ties with this famous star cook. Deen’s career spiraled down the drain, despite her fame from her innovative cooking, as Food Network fired her in June 2013 because of the controversy that surrounded her.
Deen is not the only celebrity facing criticism based upon their actions though. Lance Armstrong, former professional road racing cyclist, used steroids during his career which was based upon his physical accomplishments. No longer do people look at his accomplishments in awe; it seems as if only disappointment remains. At the end of the investigation, Armstrong lost all of his sponsors and even Nike refused to support the Livestrong foundation that was founded on Armstong’s name. There are some celebrities who are unable to get past their actions and remain in the limelight.
“People just love music so much … it just overshadows [their actions],” Johnson said. “It’s so hard to just separate ourselves from music, it gets our brain amped up in such a different way than what the talent of others, not trying to downplay them, but it’s different.”
This seems to be unique to singers however, as we observed from the popularity
downfall of Deen and Armstrong.
“But I mean as far as Lance Armstrong or Paula Deen, there will always be some other chef that can make the exact same stuff as she makes and there will always be more bikers like Lance Armstrong but no one can duplicate the music of Chris Brown,” Johnson said. “Songs are very unique, not every person can do the same genre of songs.”
By Brittany Cornelison