Harden up, ANN7

To become a celebrity is an active choice, and you have to take the bad with the good says Chris McEvoy.

I’m probably in the minority, but I think fame must be a horrible thing.

No, not the kind of fame that South African “celebrities” have – you know, the ones with a few thousand Twitter followers who only get media coverage when they say something really vile on the internet or do something really stupid on TV (more about the hilarious ANN7 train wreck later).

I mean REAL fame, the kind that has the paparazzi camping outside their house with telescope lenses. The ones who make the front page of gossip rags if they so much as scratch their arses.

It sounds like a sucky life, being forced to watch your every move because that’s what everyone else is doing. I’m sure your life – whatever that may be – is so much better. I know mine is.

For instance, I just scratched my arse right now. Does anyone care? Of course not. Although some of you are probably wondering if it’s medically possible to have that image surgically removed from your brain. But that suits me just fine.

But as sucky as their lives may be, I don’t feel sorry for them. Nobody should – not even for a nanosecond.

Nobody becomes a paparazzi magnet by simply doing their job well while looking hot. In fact, talent isn’t even a requirement any more, now that we live in a Kardashianised culture. Getting (and staying) famous requires the relentless dedication of a natural born attention whore.

Their daily duties include starvation, exhausting exercise, obsessing over their appearance, showing up at any event significant enough to include photographers, informing the media where and when they’ll be pretending to eat a salad that day, and resisting addiction.

It’s a horrible job, and when they screw up, it gets even worse. They have to go into damage control mode, which means even more work. Now when ordinary mortals like you or I do something stupid, morally reprehensible or just plain embarrassing in public, we can always slink off back to our caves to give our egos time to heal, and eventually our friends will start phoning us again.

Not so with celebrities. They have to show up on even more red carpets sporting shit-eating grins, appear on talk shows to answer questions like, “what the Hell were you thinking, you water-brained fool?”, and endure global online flaming that would turn most of us into gibbering wrecks.

So why shouldn’t we feel pity when the whole world starts whaling on them? Simple: because even the most dull-witted celeb you can think of knew exactly what they were getting into long before you knew their name. Note that they didn’t know what MIGHT happen – they knew what WOULD happen, and decided it was a worthwhile price to pay for fame.

Even the lowest, most naïve celeb wannabes know the deal before they’ve bagged their first fan. Check out the contract American Idols contestants have to sign: “I understand that… others may reveal information about me that is of a personal, private, embarrassing or unfavourable (sic) nature… Information may be factual and/or fictional… [The show] may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation.”

And they should add to that contract, “so don’t go whining like a little bitch about your lack of privacy and witch hunts against you when the inevitable happens. You got yourself on television, thereby invading people’s homes with your stupid face. Well, congratufuckinglations, and welcome to the real world where cause and effect is an actual thing.”

So with that, let’s turn to the hilarsballs news channel that sounds like it was named after a sexbot, ANN7. Seriously, their first week on air couldn’t have been funnier if all the presenters had started throwing pies at each other. A world of cringe.

But even more amateurish than the channel’s dismal attempt at broadcasting was their reaction to the public ridicule that followed. News anchor Chantal Rutter Dros claimed the criticism was “hate speech”, and presenter Sheena Deepnarain took to Facebook to complain about the “cynicism”: “…people are making fun of News Anchors, Presenters etc... and this saddens me.”

Well, tough titties, bobblehead. Fame is a package deal, and if you can’t suck it up, you shouldn’t be on television.

Follow Chris McEvoy on Twitter.


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