Why We Forgive Famous Sex Offenders
The recent Celebocaust continues with the news of Chuck Berry’s passing, and there’s no doubt that the guy lived full life and revolutionised music. Vale Chuck!
It does, however, highlight the remarkable hypocrisy of the modern media and celebrity sycophants the world over that so much is being said about his wonderful achievements in music but less is being said about the fact he served time for having sex with a 14 year old girl.
Similarly, when Bowie died last year the world lovingly commemorated his contribution to music and pop culture but overlooked the allegations of sexual misconduct (including sex with minors). Meanwhile, celebrities continue with work enthusiastically with convicted sex offender Roman Polanski and with Woody Allen, who married a woman who was under his care as a child.
Meanwhile, Mel Gibson and Chris Brown continue to be chastised (probably fairly) for violent acts against women and bizarre and offensive public behaviour.
Why is it that some are so derided while others escape the scrutiny? There may be many reasons but I suspect it’s just a bit of old fashioned virtue signalling.
Mel was an alcoholic racist and was violent and there were recordings of it. You can’t really get around that. But there’s nothing really in the public record to condemn Berry and Bowie. Both were pioneers for minority groups (Berry helped fave the way for African American performers and Bowie popularised the concept of gender fluidity and bisexuality long before they were mainstream concepts) and with no one really pushing the cause of their (alleged in Bowie’s case) victims it’s easy to overlook their flaws and celebrate the achievements.
To be clear, we at the Bear are massive fans of Bowie and Berry’s work and both came from tough backgrounds. They were probably good guys. The hypocrisy is still astounding though.
Any other thoughts? Post below!