Usha
Speaking of a South Indian actor who is perhaps the most talented actor in India today, a lady said that her admiration for him came down several notches after she read about his extra marital affairs and that he had no respect for marriage as an institution. So…??? I did not understand what the personal life of this actor had to do with his brilliant acting genius and why he fell in her esteem.
Is it important for actors, writers, poets and singers to have a private life that is impeccable or at least “acceptable” to the society they live in for their talent to be recognized?
Is it not enough for them to be terrific in their job and have a private life of their choice however “immoral” it might be?
Does the charm in the writing of a Gide or a Wilde diminish because they were homosexual? Does the voice of a great singer sound less melodious if he is a misogynist?
Would Shakespeare’s works fall in value if we learnt about the skeletons in his cupboard?
Why are the prejudices and peeves of these professionals a matter of concern to the audience except in as much as they are part of their work?

Is this the result of the “Page three” and “pin up” culture that takes the private life of these people to the drawing rooms of people and makes them into “role models” for ordinary people and elevates them to the level of heroes? Then it builds the pressure on the “famous” to live a life that is expected of them by their fans and “followers”.
Why cant actors, musicians and writers just be treated like others with a special talent for their job and be appreciated as such for that skill and then be allowed to live their private lives the way they want? I understand the need to know about their private personalities if one were to marry them, work in partnership with them or entrust them with any responsibility that affected their lives (or the nation say, by electing them to a public office.) But why do we need to know about their prejudices and personality disorders just to go and watch their performance in a movie or a concert or read a book written by them?
And who is responsible for this? The “fans” who place these personalities on a pedestal, the press which thrives on fishing out juicy and gory details of the private lives of these people or the stars themselves who like to live out their life in public?

Is it all because there are no 'real" heroes anymore that people are desperately seeking to fill the void with these imaginary ones?
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