Archive for the ‘Celebrity Reputation’ Category

Can a Bad Break Be a Good Break?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The pre-wedding pummeling delivered by Ray Rice in a casino elevator has been played on television, on websites, in offices, on iPhones, in homes and offices, and is the definition of a viral video. Now what?  Beyond the hand-wringing, the empathetic comments, the angry tweets and the many, many collateral issues- the NFL response? The Casino? The investigators? The teams?- is there a good break?

If an athlete with ALS can spur tens of millions of supporters sending donations to combat the disease, can this video be the engine for a nationwide effort to support safe houses? Domestic violence groups? Legal services for victims?

Does it have to be “fun” to create a CCTV security cameracontribution frenzy? Something we want to look at like funny freezing friends?  Or can it just be something we can’t bear to watch?




Protecting Queen Bey’s Hive

Friday, August 8th, 2014

in the Press Room of the 2011 Billboard Music Awards

A brand can be founded on anything, it seems. Something that should be as private as a marriage can be easily used to elevate a celebrity’s status- the tactics appear time and time again. That being said, it came as no surprise when the reigning King and Queen of hip-hop and R&B stepped into the role of husband and wife in 2008. Together, their careers were propelled to an entirely new level of success, culminating most recently in a world tour grossing $100 million in profits, according to Now, six years later, the duo known as “Bey-Z” are battling rumors of their marriage teetering on the rocks.

On July 29, the two attended a private event for the opening of Jay-Z’s mother’s new restaurant. An allegedly private photo surfaced of the two enjoying Gloria Carter’s event at Newark’s Diamondz N Da Ruff.

When the Star-Ledger questioned Carter about whether her son and daughter-in-law would be separating, the rapper’s mother brushed the inquiry aside, saying, “That’s not what this conversation is about.”

The cold, hard truth is this: Beyonce and Jay-Z are worth more together than they are apart. Their relationship is, arguably, one of the key factors of their continuing success as they cater to the public’s idea of a fairytale romance. If they truly are having marital problems, it’s hardly a shock that the two would strive to do anything in their power to protect their public image. Whether they unite as a family in support of their mother or, as they’ve been doing, acting out their romance on stage, it’s more beneficial for them to continue to act as a happy couple. If they want to keep their tidal wave of success from ebbing, it’s probable we’ll continue to see these photo ops emphasizing a supposedly solid marriage.

It’s worth noting that there are celebrities who actively, and successfully, shy away from the spotlight. We rarely see these celebrities’ private lives, as they manage to keep them hidden from the public eye and separate from their work. When relationship issues arise in heavily publicized celebrity couples, it’s only fair to ask: Is using a relationship to buoy your fame worth it? If the bond matters that much to Beyonce and Jay-Z, wouldn’t they detest the notion of incorporating their marriage into their brand?  It seems safe to say they take no issue with this particular method of branding. After all, they’re only continuing to rake in unimaginably immense profits.



Man v. Food v. World

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Adam Richman, former host of Man v. Food, went on a vulgar rant on Instagram, going as far as to encourage a woman to commit suicide.

Richman has lost 70 pounds since his years hosting Man v. Food. He showed off his weight loss in an Instagram that included #thinspiration in the caption. One user noticed this hashtag, which is often used to promote a variety of eating disorders, and decided to enlighten Richman by commenting, “#Thinspiration is actually seen as a harmful phrase.” Richman responded harshly, inciting a response from many other users. His comments quickly spiraled out of control and became more and more aggressive, posting “…grab a razor blade and draw a bath. I doubt anyone will miss you.” Friend of the user who initially responded to Richman, Amber Sarah, has documented the entire feud in her blog.

In response, the Travel Channel told The Washington Post that they have decided to postpone the July 2nd premiere of his new show “Man Finds Food.” Richman initially tweeted an apology, which has since been deleted. He later issued a statement to ABC News apologizing for his “inexcusable remarks” and added “I’ve long struggled with my body image and have worked hard to achieve a healthy weight…I’m incredibly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt.”

USA - "A Million Ways To Die In The West" World Premiere - Los Angeles

The Travel Channel’s response to this incident, although drastic and likely costly, is a necessary one. If they had chosen to support Richman, despite his indiscretions, they would have sent the wrong message to all of the fans that he has upset. And while Richman has taken the right first step in apologizing, he must prove his sincerity to his fans in order to maintain his viewership and to be seen as a reputable and profitable influencer in the food industry.

The full conversation can be seen in this article by Buzzfeed. (Warning: graphic language!)

Photo credit: ©

Choking your reputation: How Charles Saatchi’s Neck Is On the Line

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Famous art collector, Charles Saatchi, was photographed outside a London last year choking his, now former, wife. Artist renditions of Charles Saatchi with his hand around the neck of Nigella Lawson can now be purchased on Saatchi’s website,

Pictures of the shocking event can be purchased for amounts ranging from the hundreds to the tens of thousands. Artists may upload their work to Saatchi Art and sell it to receive 70 percent of the original selling price, while the gallery receives the other 30 percent.Art gallery with different pictures

The Saatchi Art website clearly forbids uploading images that are “violent or threatening, or promotes violence.” Yet when asked why the pieces were not removed, chief curator Rebecca Wilson responded that “Saatchi Art does not believe in censorship unless the material is pornographic or incites racial hatred”, according to the Daily Mail. Saatchi seemed to be unaffected by these paintings and commented, “Would it have been a better story if I had censored artists whose work might be personally disobliging?”

Obviously, these images have begun to stir up some controversy. “Domestic violence is not a trivial matter. It is extremely insensitive to all victims of domestic violence for someone who has accepted a police caution for assaulting a partner to earn commission on images of the offence. We are shocked that anyone would want to make a profit from images of abuse,” said Polly Neate of Women’s Aid. So the question stands, is restricting the sale of such paintings considered “censorship” and a hinder to freedom of expression? Or are such works offensive, especially to victims of domestic violence and abuse? Should these works be removed?

Either way, the publicity that Saatchi has received, after seemingly choking his ex-wife, appears to be making light of a serious matter. No woman should ever be choked by her husband, and earning a profit from such an act of violence is distasteful and insensitive.  If Saatchi wishes to maintain his reputation as a renowned art collector, he should be careful in his next steps; he must try to avoid both excessive censorship and creating a reputation for himself as a misogynist, to keep an effective and profitable gallery.

Photo credit: ©

Senate Investigates Dr. Oz’s “Miracle” Claims

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Dr. Oz is not only a heart surgeon, an author and a television personality, but also made the list of the most influential people in the world. Therefore, his recent dealings with the US Senate have sparked headlines. Everyone is beginning to wonder is Dr. Oz just a serial endorser? What responsibility does he have to his audience as a public figure?

Oz has been a longtime supporter of various weight loss products, such as Pure Green Coffee and Garcinia Cambogia. Some companies will use Oz’s words in their commercials.

The Senate recently held a panel to evaluate false advertising on weight loss supplements and many panel members proved to be unhappy with Oz’s promises and assertions regarding products with little scientific evidence to support their benefits. Senator Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, noted that Oz’s language gives consumers “false hope” and pondered his intentions in such assertions.

Measuring Tape And Diet Pills

As mentioned in an article by, Oz responded that he does in fact utilize “flowery language” to discuss certain products, but that he also supports the products enough that he gives them to his own family. He also added that he feels as if his job is to “to be a cheerleader for the audience” and that he looks “everywhere, including in alternative healing traditions, for any evidence that might be supportive to them.”

Despite his admitting to the use of some suggestive rhetoric, Oz also asserts that he is not responsible for how other companies redistribute his words. So the question is, is Oz solely to blame for using “flowery language” in the first place or do companies take his assertions and spin them for their own benefit? Is Oz taking advantage of his audience in his position of influence or does he genuinely believe these products will work?

Going forward, he promises to tone down the language and make an edited list of products that he believes have benefits. “To not have the conversation about supplements at all however would be a disservice to the viewer,” he says and adds that he hopes to find a way to stop future weight loss scams. Oz better make sure to support products that will actually produce results before the public begins to realize that his claims are not backed by any significant evidence and his reputation as a trusted influencer is no more.

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