Opinion

The publicity machine rolls on

As the Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell feud enters its second month, it got me thinking about all the ways celebrities try to obtain more publicity. This Donald/Rosie feud is clearly little more than a publicity stunt for both of them.

Ms. USA is out drinking and making out with random people, Donald sees this as an attempt to get more publicity for all things Donald by hinting that maybe her behavior is grounds to drop her (but never really intending to), then in a show of divine understanding, he lets her stay. Then Rosie walks into the equation by criticizing “The Donald,” who in turn fires back saying she represents all things loser. In the end, they both emerge more visible than before. Think they weren’t in on it together? Did I mention this all happened just days before the premiere of Donald’s new season of “The Apprentice”?

In Hollywood, everything is publicity -you hire a publicist for $2,500 a month to keep your name in the forefront. If that’s too much to pay, you find more unorthodox methods. Keith Richards once said it doesn’t matter if they’re talking good or bad, as long as they’re talking. The Winona Ryder shoplifting incident was most definitely a publicity stunt. Whenever a celebrity gets involved in a barroom brawl, it’s almost certainly a planned stunt. Their handlers must tell them, “You need a more edgy appeal. Show up at this bar and punch this person, you’ll get a slap on the wrist and community service you’ll never have to do.”

The newest form of publicity is damage control, namely, “I’m an alcoholic”. If you’re a celebrity and you get busted for something, you can claim you’re an alcoholic, are going to rehab to face your demons, and hope all will be forgiven or forgotten. Mel Gibson gets busted with a DUI and makes anti-Semitic remarks, so he goes to rehab. Mark Foley makes passes at underage boys, but he’s been drinking too much, and was molested by a clergyman as a youth. Isaiah Washington calls one of his castmates a “fag,” and it’s because of the sauce. Do you honestly believe any of this? Mel Gibson, you’re an anti-Semite who made despicable anti-Semitic remarks. Mark Foley, you’re a homosexual who had a crush on at least one underage boy. Isaiah Washington, you’re a homophobe who made homophobic remarks to a coworker. Simple. You all need to just deal with it!

So in the future, when a celebrity is in the news for some thing less than ideal, remember it was probably a well-planned stunt to get into the public stream of consciousness. If you liked my column, show it to a friend. If you didn’t like it, feel free to start a feud with me, I could use the publicity. If you found it offensive, I’m sorry, but I’m an alcoholic and will soon be entering rehab.

Olin Meyers is a senior majoring in motion pictures. He may be contacted at o.meyers@umiami.edu

February 2, 2007

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Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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