Unsigned: Hold Celebrities Accountable for Their Actions

People need to be held accountable for their actions regardless of their wealth or fame.”

People are taught from a young age that actions have consequences. Yet, in some cases, apparently, social status allows for an exception.

Many people of high social status have done questionable things that have gone without consequence, often by simply releasing a questionably sincere apology for the paltry reason of avoiding major social backlash and upholding their image.

Recently, at Rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival, nine people died from crowd surge, with the victims’ ages ranging from 14 to 27 years old. Hundreds were left injured. This is without considering the psychological trauma people suffered. According to CNN, one person that went to the concert, Mr. Bryan Espinoza, said, “At one point I thought I wasn’t going to make it” (cnn.com).

His brother, Mr. Jonathan Espinoza, who also attended the concert, said, “Fans immediately bust down a fence. You have cops trying to stop them, but I mean, there’s about 50 people that just break the fence down (and) immediately start running.” In a concert like that, known to be intense, with roughly 50,000 people attending, one would expect sufficient safety procedures to be in place ahead of time and followed. But according to Mr. Patrick “Marty” Lancton, the district fire chief of Station 21, the district’s fire chief was denied access to the venue the day of the concert, and his purpose was to help determine what resources might be needed (cnn.com).

Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “[Scott’s] heart is bleeding for his fans” (cnn.com). But Scott has yet to take responsibility for the lack of safety precautions (and other factors) that led to the nine deaths that occurred at his concert.

With more events such as concerts returning at full capacity, there’s increased concern for the safety of people attending. If more events like this occur, who will take responsibility? Most of the time, celebrities are not held responsible for tragedies like this or their actions. Even when they are under the limelight, all over multiple media platforms, and idolized by society, in the face of conflict, they choose money and reputation over accountability. This sets a dangerous precedent, especially for their young and impressionable audiences.

In these times, when celebrities’ actions are under a microscope and can be observed by anyone, it’s important that they are held accountable. With most of Generation Z and Generation Alpha on the internet, there’s a lot of possibility of exposure to unhealthy influence from celebrities and influencers. In the age range of early to late adolescence, things like peer pressure and exploration of beliefs are present. With most people being heavily influenced by pop culture during these years, they are more likely to learn from social icons. Combined with the manipulative nature of social media algorithms, the likelihood of this influence increases. Celebrities’ actions can seriously affect impressionable people’s beliefs and behavior (thesocialdilemma.com).

“I believe that there definitely needs to be more than just an apology posted to the celebrities’ social media accounts. They need to do any and every possible thing to make whatever they did better. Like, for the Travis Scott incident. He needs to visit with all of the families of the victims whose lives were lost due to his actions and possibly pay for the funerals,” said Senior Scarlet Riffey.

As celebrities continue to get away with being irresponsible, without even a slap on the wrist (only a disingenuous apology posted on their social media accounts), the cycle continues. If there are no consequences for this behavior, boundaries are blurred and the cycle won’t be likely to stop. If no one learns from incidents like Astroworld, more events like it will probably happen, without any incentive for celebrities to do the morally-just act of taking responsibility.

People need to be held accountable for their actions regardless of their wealth or fame. Audiences are affected by their actions, and celebrities should at least acknowledge the influence that they have on their fans. A lot of people are indirectly influenced by celebrities via the media and that can impact their behavior. When celebrities are continuously not held accountable for their actions it allows for more tragedy in the future. This needs to change. It’s time to hold our celebrities accountable.