It has been an incredibly busy 24 hours for the internet because everybody has an opinion on Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos.
For those of you who still haven’t heard, the actress was one of a number of famous ladies who were alleged to have had their nude photos stolen and circulated online by some rather suspect individuals who dwell in the darker corners of the internet.
This isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Sure haven’t we seen similar leaks making headlines for as long as celebrity culture existed? However, the fact that the internet’s favourite Oscar-winning, YA franchise fronting regular gal is involved seems to fueled the fire of unrelenting outrage.
First things first, let me state in no uncertain terms that I think the leak is abhorrent and I don’t blame the ladies who took the pictures for it either. While I may find it hard to fathom why you’d bother taking the snaps in the first place, I accept that it’s a case of each to their own.
The simple fact is though, when pointing the finger of blame in these situations maybe we can’t just aim straight for the hackers alone. Perhaps we need to have a look at the culture we contribute to ourselves as well.
Don’t fly off the handle just yet, I’m going to explain myself.
As an entertainment writer I’m well aware that a significant percentage of the general public love a bit of gossip. Things that are in the public interest often play second fiddle to things that are of interest to the public because we quite frankly can’t get enough of reading and hearing about how the other half live.
That’s not to say that I think everyone who reads a bit of celebrity gossip is responsible for what has happened to J-Law and Co. It’s just that I can’t help but wonder if our obsession with what goes on behind closed doors ultimately leads to this kind of invasion of privacy?
We don’t all lurk in the far corners of the internet offering to pay someone for access to intimate videos, no, but we sure do love to read about peoples’ dirty laundry without batting an eyelid.
Some websites, newspapers and other media outlets make millions because we want to know who’s going out with who, who’s been doing the dirty and why so and so isn’t still best pals with yer wan.
I fully accept that it’s a COMPLETELY different ball game but WHY wait until things go this far to bother collectively drawing the line? Why do we so freely use the “it’s what they sign up for when they’re famous” line until it gets to this stage?
Then there’s the fact that that the widespread outrage which, as mentioned above, seems to be ten times as zealous because of who has been wronged. The likes of J-Law and Mary Elizabeth Winstead aren’t the people we’d expect to find in the middle of such a “scandal”. (BuzzFeed has a handy piece about why the scandal isn’t scandalous at all right here.)
Would everyone be so interested if the snaps were of another starlet, one we might regularly see getting up to all sorts? Or would it be a case of “well, what do you expect from her?” and an old roll of the eyes? I’d like to think the masses would be just as angry about it but the cynical side of me isn’t convinced.
Either way, what has happened to the ladies involved is abhorrent and deserving of every bit of condemnation it has received.
Emer McLysaght sums it up beautifully for DailyEdge.ie here.
They say sharing is caring, but you need only cast a quick glance across any website’s news feed today to see that it most definitely isn’t always the case.