The ‘culture’ or Celebrity

celebs

So, I’m going to come off all curmudgeon now, which I don’t want to do because I’m not a ‘hater’ but here is the thing. Stuff.co.nz has a piece up today with some of the ex-contestants off The Bachelor reading ‘mean tweets’ and the graphic refers to them as ‘celebs’ or ‘celebrities’. I have a real problem within the Kiwi culture at the moment of what and who we think are celebrity.

I genuinely think that if people want to go on reality TV then more power to them, and if they can use that exposure to advance a career in the public eye then great for them, however to be a ‘celebrity’ in my mind require more than a contestant on a game show.

It dismays me that dictionary.com describes celebrity as “a famous or well-known person” because that’s bollocks. Clayton Weatherston is not a ‘celebrity’ but he is famous and well known.

In my opinion there are very few celebrities in NZ, there are a lot of famous people, or people with high profile, but ‘celebrity’ should be in another category and require much more than being on a dating contest, or a cooking contest, or the son or daughter of a famous person, or a catch phrase that nek minute is gone. Peter Jackson is a celebrity, Sir Bob Charles is a celebrity, Lorde is a celebrity the runner up to current TV3 reality contest #4 this year…is not.

This is not a stab at anyone person or group, it’s a commentary of where the focus of the media currently is. If someone plays the cards their dealt and rides a wave of temporary fame to get somewhere in life then good on them, but to the industry around them that, in all honesty, is using them now only to throw them on the rubbish heap as soon as they no longer have value, it’s you I have a problem with.

As Jacinda Adern said in a recent article on the direction towards reality TV at TV3 “I get that the world of broadcasting and media is going through some rapid changes, and the best of them are struggling to keep up. People crave content, but on their terms. I understand that means that you’ve started counting clicks, and that in turn has started determining what content is produced, updated and magnified. But that model has the potential to be a dangerous vacuous spiral.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

NZ Celebrities engage in the Marriage Equality debate

A list of pretty high profile New Zealanders have lent their names, faces and opinions to a campaign supporting marriage equality.

In the 90 seconds you see…
Tamati Coffey (TV Presenter) and his partner Tim Smith
Anika Moa, Hollie Smith, Boh Runga (Musicians)
Rachel Hunter (NZ’s Got Talent Judge/Supermodel)
Brooke Howard Smith (TV Presenter) his partner Amber Peebles (Radio DJ)
Nigel Latta (Psychologist)
Danyon Loader (Olympian)
Jason Kerrison (Musician)
Jason Fa’afoi (TV Presenter) and his partner Anna and their son Charlie
Pearl McGlashan (Actress)
Ali Campbell (Musician)
Alison Mau (TV Presenter)
Orene Ai’I (Rugby Player)
Dame Cath Tizard (Former Governor General)
Mike King (Talkback host/Comedian)
Oliver Driver (Actor/Presenter)
Richie Hardcore (DJ)
Turumakina Duley (Tattoo Artist)
Amy Usherwood (Actress)
Nick Dwyer (Radio DJ)

But the person I want to mention is Nigel Latta, this is what he says near the beginning of the video.

“See I thought we lived in a free country, I thought my kids were growing up in a place where everyone has the same rights.”

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this, please feel free to respectfully engage in this conversation in the comments below.