3 February 2011

Are public figures less gentlemanly than they used to be?

I wonder if I look at the past through rose-coloured glasses sometimes or if things are really changing like I think they are.

Are sporting stars, movie stars, musicians, media personalities and politicians becoming less and less gentlemanly (and I’m including females in this equation too), or is it just me?  I sometimes wonder if this perception is due to the over-exposure that these figures receive now through modern media and electronic communications including social networking.  Certainly misdemeanors are much more public knowledge now much quicker than it ever was in the past. Perhaps this is driven by the voyeuristic society we have become though…

Many public figures, we can all call to mind instantly, fail to deliver on the  expectation that they are role-models for the younger generation.  Perhaps this has been the case for quite sometime, but we just didn’t hear about it as often and in such fine detail.

I am certainly disappointed when my sons hear about the illegal, immoral and down-right stupid behaviours of some movie, music  and sports stars which they look up to.  I can’t seem to recall hearing such controversial things about my idols when growing up.

Which brings me to my next point – are we too lenient on these people?  In many commercial and government businesses it is very difficult to get employed if you have a criminal record, are a self-confessed drug addict or your continual actions could bring the organisation into disrepute.

If you are a “personality” these activities don’t seem to have much effect, in fact in some cases they can make you a more bankable asset.  And you get to sell your story to the highest bidding gossip magazine.

I think we are sending the wrong message here.

I don’t pretend to have any of the answers here, but thought it would be an interesting topic for conversation.

Tags: bad behaviour, Public Figures