Celebrities and Their Privilege

Do celebrities have a get out of jail free card?


Leila Sheffey, Staff Reporter

Living in this society, privilege exists and power is easily abused. Does being a celebrity come with that advantage? I would say yes. There are many situations in which celebrities have used their power to get away with certain things average citizens wouldn’t be able to. Wealth and status can grant people significant advantages in this day and age.

It makes me wonder if celebrities take serious situations lightly, knowing they can easily pay their way out of it. In one episode of The Kardashians, Kylie Jenner was in a room with a lot of historic artifacts and pieces that cost a lot of money and Kim Kardashian told her “Don’t touch a thing in there. Kylie… I know you have the money to pay for it, but that’s besides the point.” It’s up to whether or not a celebrity has good morals because, if we’re being honest, having that kind of money can get you out of a lot of situations. A junior at Grayslake Central, who preferred to be on background, said “Imagine a celebrity got pulled over for going the speed imit and the officer is a huge fan…police officers do have cameras but it’s easy to just turn it off and let them go.” Along with that, if offered a certain amount of money, they could get people to keep quiet. Senior Katherine Fernandez said, “Having wealth, I believe that celebrities can do almost anything with it. What if they mess up somehow, you know they got that money that’s gonna shut somebody up.”

On Sept. 15, 2022, well-known rapper, Cardi B, was on trial for charges including third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and ten other charges after a fight broke out at a strip club in New York. The rapper originally needed to face up to four years in prison, but she ended up walking out with just 14 days of community service. Cardi B then released a statement that said “I’m looking forward to moving past this situation with my family and friends and getting back to the things I love the most–the music and my fans.” By using her fame, she was able to bring down her sentence and walk away without anyone batting an eye.

Another example of celebrity privilege is Kim Kardashian’s choice of attire for the 2022 Met Gala. She chose to wear a one of a kind, $5 million dollar dress that belonged to Marilyn Monroe. Kardashian said, “What is more American than Marilyn Monroe…and I thought ‘where is the dress that she wore?’” On May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe made history at Madison Square Garden when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy for his 45th birthday while dressed in a provocative, skin-colored, never before seen in its time, gown. She said “I flew all the way to Florida to try on the Marilyn Dress at Ripley’s. They weren’t even gonna let me try it on until Kris Jenner called.” Kris Jenner refused to share her secrets, but said “If somebody says no, you know what I say. You’re talking to the wrong person.” Having this kind of status and power can almost guarantee getting whatever you want.

Being famous has a lot of advantages but also disadvantages. Your entire life is being watched and criticized by the whole world. And even though they have a lot of wealth, celebrities also have to deal with the pressure of maintaining their image and making sure they don’t mess up. How lenient should we be towards celebrities? They are human and make mistakes too, but should they face consequences like every other normal person?