Celebrities are good for a few things; they entertain us through music, television, and movies and they serve as icons in fashion and their different actions, but when they make a mistake, it becomes a statement for the rest of society (and for other celebrities who are making the same mistake). When prominent figures act in a way that is unlawful, unjust, or unacceptable, society likes to make an example of them. What comes to mind first, is Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all time and was LOVED by golf fans. However, when one of his mistress’ talked about her relationship with him, his name became worthless. Subsequently, more and more women came out talking about the same relationship that they had with Woods. Tiger Woods became hated by Americans for cheating on his wife and for sleeping with so many women. This sex scandal was all over the news and his family was stalked until he admitted to these allegations. However, in reality, he is probably not the only celebrity that does this. He is just the one that got caught and couldn’t cover it up. Another celebrity that comes to mind that was made of an example for his terrible acts is Bill Cosby. For anyone that doesn’t know, he was a comedian and actor that was loved by Americans for his entire career, until he was recently accused of sexually assaulting many women throughout the years. Cosby committed a terrible crime, but this crime has become a way to bring awareness to the frequentness of sexual assault.
Bill Cosby was accused of raping many women beginning in the 1960s. There are more than fifteen women that have accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them, but no charges have been made. Bill Cosby paid one woman that accused him a large sum of money to settle the civil lawsuit against him (this is all according to a Huffington Post article posted in September of 2014). It has been incredibly clear that people are upset with Bill Cosby but more importantly they want him to speak out about these allegations. After polling fans of Bill Cosby, most said they wanted him to “own up to the mistake.” Over these allegations, Cosby has lost deals with NBC and Netflix and also lost countless fans. However, the only good that has come from this resulted in a fifty percent increase in the calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. The women that have come forth with these allegations about Bill Cosby have empowered other women that have suffered sexual assault to come forth and get help. The importance of making an example out of celebrities’ mistakes helps society realize what is really going on within our communities. Some other celebrities that were accused of sexual assault are; Mike Tyson, R.Kelly, 2Pac, Ceelo Green, Darren Sharper, Lawrence Taylor, Woody Allen, Sean Kingston, Marilyn Manson, and Ben Roethlisberger just to name a few.
Another name that has gotten much media for beating his wife is Ray Rice from the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Rice and his fiance at the time and now wife Janay fought in an elevator and both were taken to jail and charged with simple assault. However a few days later, a video was released of the fight when the couple was on the elevator and Ray Rice was seen dragging his wife’s body out of the elevator. This is what caused Rice to be suspended from two football games. However, what was most shocking was that his coach continued to support him and defend his character. Janay married Ray a few months later even though she was dragged out of an elevator.
This story reminded me of the class session of when we attended the art gallery that hung the pictures of the woman that was abused by her husband at such a young age. After many years of being beat and her children being affected by it, she got the courage and bravery to leave him and take him to court. Learning about this woman’s process has been incredibly eye opening because we learned how difficult the process is to protect your family against a man that has abused you for so many years. She has battled custody rights, restraining orders, and child support and the justice system still questions her. She has been a way for us to learn more about sexual and physical abuse and the role it plays in society. We know that one out of every five women are sexually assaulted on campus, but we do not even know how many woman are abused and do not report it. Celebrities get the backlash of their mistakes because they were once so popular in American’s eyes but we also need to save and help the people that are victims of abuse from your average person. We learned in class that eighty to ninety percent of sexual assaults are perpetuated by acquaintances, so if we know this statistic, how can we make a difference? What changes can we make?