Fame and privacy don’t get along. First, we have to define what it means to be famous. Then get into the real-life examples, because this is not an easy subject and it cannot be solved overnight. Setting the boundaries which will satisfy three sides: the public, the press, and the celebrities, is something we need to work on together, and you, the reader, have more power than anyone else.
Fame and Privacy, and Celebrity
Being an A-lister in Hollywood allows you to negotiate better deals with the press. Money and power will bring you the best PR firms and lawyers, but publicists are far more critical in a simple case of fame and privacy in Tinseltown. Again, being a celebrity in Britain or Canada allows you even more privacy. Look at Radiohead: we barely know anything about this band, yet they are among the most profitable and respected in the whole world. For 20 years, they had loyal fans who respect their privacy and fame. But most artists still enjoy a healthy dose of public adoration. And there’s a thin line from being adored to becoming public property.
Late David Bowie and Imas, Jay Z and Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, these superstars managed to avoid the traps of fame and keep parts of their private lives. Their PR companies give their fans, the public, a ton of material, in a controlled environment. When it comes to gossip, articles attacking their personal lives and choices, it’s best to keep calm and carry on. But what if you can’t? What if your PR company tried to deny, deny, deny, but the press and the public aren’t buying it?
As we saw in Beyonce’s documentary, you take the narrative in your own hands. You speak about issues and take away the power from the press. No one said that being famous is easy, but it comes with perks. Being adored, worshiped by millions, while doing what you like, and having enough time for yourself is a luxury. The insane amounts of money involved are icing on the cake. Self-made millionaires can find ways to deal with the press and their intrusive methods, especially in recent years. And we don’t need to know everything, who’s going to do doctors and when, or have photos of celebrities on funerals.
Fame Beyond Art
Politicians and royals are publicly funded. And that’s where the boundaries between privacy and fame get even more blurred. However, there is gossiping, reporting, and there is harassing. Lady Diana is the most famous woman who was chased to death. No, the paparazzi didn’t kill her, but it’s impossible to deny their involvement in her accident. But before that, she was a victim of the press. Did we need to see photos of her in the gym? Did we have to see Jonathan Rhys Meyers at his mother’s funeral? How many times did Kate Moss have to fight the paparazzi to get from point A to point B? Kate Middleton’s cars were blocked, and that chase lasted until she became a Duchess, which brings us to the latest, Prince Harry and Meghan: war on the press.
Prince Harry was born famous. It’s no secret that the press was playing nice while Prince William and his brother were growing up, because of what happened to their mother. The public still calls them “the boys “or “Diana’s boys,” even though they are in their 30s and have their own families. There will always be a large amount of sympathy for them. Which is why many fail to understand why is Prince Harry complaining now.
The Sussexes Against The Markles
The press needs to be responsible, but so should everyone in the public eye. The Queen’s “never complain, never explain” worked so far. It doesn’t have to work for Harry and his wife. It also should be noted that the press was very optimistic about Sussexes. “Was” being the keyword. Their main issue, according to the statement, is a letter Duchess wrote to her father, who then gave it to Daily Mail. The most considerable portion of lousy press Meghan Markle gets comes from her family and former friends or people who met her once.
Should the news not give these people space? Why would a reporter refuse to write a story about the most talked-about couple of the year? Her family feud will still be there, with or without the media.
In all honesty, Harry and Meghan are passionate about their work. They failed to understand that fame limits their privacy. The Sussexes are not earning money in a traditional way; they aren’t Beyonce and Jay Z. Nor are Elton John or Jennifer Aniston. And no, it was not Prince William’s job to protect two adults, one of them grew up with the same royal privileges and burdens. Should there be some unique set of rules for the Royals? They are still only humans, and we tend to be more sympathetic towards Meghan or Kate or Camilla. Because they married into it, they weren’t born with that royal rulebook.
Anyhow, the documentary filmed in South Africa just got the couple more heat, as well as more followers. It is hard: they are stuck with lives they no longer want to live. No, they cannot just move; the monarchies don’t work that way. The Crown always did and always will do anything necessary to protect itself. And Prince Harry is part of that Crown, part of the most influential royal family.
Going Into The Media War
The other issues are charities. When celebrities want to help, they give away the money they earned. They post on their social media accounts and invite people to join them in the cause. They have the luxury of not showing their faces and doing something beneficial. With the Royals, things are different. They need press coverage to show up and explain to the public why do they support a specific charity. If you are the system, going against it isn’t rebellious. Politicians tend to pretend to have a love-hate relationship with the press as a way of showing their power. The more you fight, the more fame and less privacy you get. The only way to avoid is to not be in the press. Which is a nightmare for the vast majority of famous people.