Singer Elton John hit the headlines this week, after he walked off-stage during a concert in Las Vegas. After inviting a selection of audience members up on stage to watch him perform one of his songs, one fan ruined it for everyone by crossing the line and touching him whilst he was performing. Elton eventually stopped playing and walked off-stage, whilst his security team removed all audience members from the stage.
I remember the days before YouTube, before Social Media and (gulp) even before the Internet. The only way you would know anything about your favourite celebrities was from Magazines and Television. The occasional pull-out poster to stick on your wall was really the closest you would ever get to meeting your idol. But these days we know as much about their lives as they choose to share with us. Celebrities are allowing fans to get closer than ever before, just like Elton did by letting fans get up close and personal during his shows. But sometimes people take it too far.
This week I had a few private messages sent to me on Twitter, by a girl who wanted me to contact Lindsay Lohan on her behalf, to ask her to go to her house to visit her because she is a huge fan. Lindsay follows me on Twitter and so the girl must have been making her way through the people Lindsay follows (as they have the capacity to privately message her, whereas other people don’t due to her security settings). It was a very bizarre message, verging on begging me to help her get in touch with Lindsay, as though her life depended on it! I don’t know Lindsay, we aren’t friends and I have never spoken to her and so the idea of trying to reach out to her on someone else’s behalf, wasn’t something I was prepared to do. So, I suggested she contact her management company if she had a request she wanted put to Lindsay.
Today, in a similar line of events, Musical Theatre Actress/Author/Vlogger Carrie Hope Fletcher Tweeted “If you ask someone you don’t know who is in the public eye to hang out with you/go for coffee/dinner with you, please don’t be offended if/when they say no. It’s not personal just…would you say yes if a stranger in the street approached you and asked you to hang out?”
Why do some people feel a sense of entitlement to have access to someone, just because they are in the public eye? Is it because Social Media allows us to interact with famous people and it feels like we get to know them personally? We must respect the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour. If you make a celebrity feel uncomfortable in a situation where they are giving fans access to themselves, then you run the risk of that privilege being taken away, for everyone.
If a celebrity likes one of your tweets, replies to you or even follows you on social media then that is amazing and you can revel in that moment for eternity. But please don’t think you are entitled to touch them, ask them to come visit you at your house or go out for dinner with you. That is really taking things one step too far.