The Movie Waffler Top 4 Issues Faced By Public Figures | The Movie Waffler

Top 4 Issues Faced By Public Figures

Most people dream of becoming famous at some point in their lives. Whether you've always wanted to be a rockstar or a pro athlete, your ideas about stardom probably don't match the realities of being famous. The following are four issues that celebrities must face throughout their careers and that ordinary people generally don't.

1. Libel and Defamation

Libel refers to publishing information about someone that isn't true, and defamation is the broader issue of unjustly ruining someone's reputation. Both of these actions are illegal, but it's difficult to prove that libel and defamation have resulted in someone's financial or mental decline. Sometimes celebrities can successfully sue people who attempt to defame them, though. For example, Michael Jackson's lawyer, John Branca, explained that Jackson was able to sue someone who accused him of misconduct during his lifetime. Although ordinary people can face libel and defamation, it usually does not have extensive effects unless they have big public images.

2. Social Media Scrutiny

Almost everyone has social media today, both for personal and public use. Celebrities often face harsh judgment for what they post on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other platforms. Sometimes, fans promote boycotts of their former favorite stars after they post racist, sexist, or otherwise problematic content. Celebrities also face a lot of online judgment for their appearances, with fans being quick to notice weight gains and losses. In some cases, famous people become so tired of the toxic online culture that they quit social media; in others, they hire lawyers to ensure that people do not use social media to spread hatred or bully people.

3. Copyright Issues

Another area in which celebrities must tread carefully is copyright law. Most songs, movies, and other forms of art are protected by copyrights that belong to the original creator. If a celebrity publishes something under a name that has already been used, he or she can be sued. As a result, celebrities and their lawyers must carefully examine the names and subjects of existing works before releasing new content. On the other hand, it's important for artists to copyright their own work so that it is not abused by other people, something that's all too common thanks to the Internet.

4. Privacy Concerns

It's easy to forget that celebrities are human beings with lives outside of their art or careers. However, famous people still get married, have children, and have personal struggles. Many celebrities have spoken out about their issues with privacy, as journalists and paparazzi always take pictures of them when they eat at restaurants or go shopping. Although an amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to privacy, this does not protect celebrities from photos being published in gossip magazines or similar forms of unwanted exposure. 

Even though becoming a celebrity is a dream for many people, a host of new legal concerns accompany it. If you're becoming successful in your field and noticing an uptick in public attention, learn about these four issues surrounding the rights and responsibilities of public figures.