What happens when your favourite celebrity becomes problematic

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Johnny Depp is the most recent in a string of celebs to suddenly go off like Tuesday’s milk.  Yet, the world seems to support him (and many others) in the wake of some seriously horrendous allegations.

Recently, I was as surprised as everyone else when the news broke that Amber Heard alleged that her, now estranged husband, Johnny Depp, had physically and verbally assaulted her throughout their relationship.

The world reeled, but, sadly, also seemed to decide that Johnny was the one who needed their support. So many people opted for victim-blaming, shaming and discrediting her statements instead of persecuting the accused.

Does our love of celebrity go too far? Why are we always so willing to turn the other cheek when a famous person we worship turns  out not to be infallible? According to the Daily Mail, hero worship is a real mental disorder. And I think many people I know might be suffering from it.

So what do we do – should we ignore it? Do we disagree with what they’ve done, but continue to consume the products they produce, like films and music? Or do we abstain?

Iggy Azalea said grossly homophobic and racist things on Twitter and then later apologised for it after the LGBTQIA community protested about her performing at a Pride event in 2015, but I still can’t listen to her music without feeling uncomfortable.

Beloved comedian Bill Cosby has been accused of sexually assaulting nearly 60 women since the late ‘60s. I only became aware of the allegations against him in 2014 after Hannibal Burgess called him a “rapist” on stage, but I can’t watch reruns of The Cosby Show ever again. To know that while this man could have been raping women and then going on set and pretending to be the ultimate father figure actually makes me shiver involuntarily.

And the same goes for Woody Allen. Yes, I know he’s never been prosecuted and has denied all wrongdoing, but Dylan Farrow still insists that her father sexually abused her when she was a child and wrote an open letter asking why Hollywood still celebrates the man she says touched her inappropriately when she was just a little girl.

Azealia Banks says horrible homophobic and racist things on her social media all the time to fans and other famous people (like Zayn Malik) alike.

I have a policy on these celebs – I don’t consume anything they produce because I cannot see any justification for supporting someone problematic. But does this really affect the person in question?

Yes, Johnny Depp or Woody Allen may not care that I won’t watch their next movie. It probably doesn’t matter to them. But it does matter to me.

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