The F Factor: Forgiving The Famous

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    The turnover rate of forgiveness for celebrities is a seemingly easy process according to Hollywood and pop-culture standards.  If a star’s past status of extreme relevance has dwindled down to a miniscule spark of interest to the public, it seems that not much is to be feared on the celebrity’s part because there is usually a good chance that they can bounce back. Examples of this phenomenon stretch across the numerous entities that encompass pop-culture from sports, media, television, movies, music, and so forth and it all returns to the classic notion that “no publicity is bad publicity”. Remember Isaiah Washington from ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy?  He’s infamously known for getting the boot from the show in 2007 after saying a few choice words to co-star Patrick Dempsey during a heated argument.  Though his language and reported outburst was only directed towards Dempsey, he indirectly offended co-star T.R. Knight and the LGBT community, thus he was black-balled from the scene for quite some time.  Despite that bad publicity, it was recently announced that Washington has been cast to play the role of John Allen Williams in a movie titled Blue Caprice, a film that will document the sniper incident that occurred in the Virginia and Washington D.C. area in 2002.

    Another celebrity who has been receiving extremes of total support to immeasurable outrage from the public is the one and only Charlie Sheen.  The Two and a Half Men star is well-known for his confusing rants and random antics. Unfortunately for Sheen, production of his popular sitcom has halted because his actions affected the integrity of the show, its network’s reputation, and offended many people in the viewing audience.  Despite his actions, Sheen received a whole new audience of followers and fans who may not have even watched the show or even followed his whirlwind of a career before.  Interestingly enough the show is still being syndicated on several networks and will continue to be for many years because of its popularity. Maybe his antics and classic one-liners like, “I’m not bi-polar, I’m bi-WINNING” worked for him and not against him in this case.  Sheen’s next chapter of solidifying his bad-boy image will be during his “honoring” on Comedy Central’s Roast series on Monday, September 19 at 10/9c.

    A final example of how Hollywood and the media tend to forgive celebrities is with the case of Grammy-award winning rapper Clifford Harris Jr., also known as Atlanta’s own T.I. In a bizarre turn of events he was re-arrested after being released from prison. Many people heard about this news, rolled their eyes,  and thought to themselves what  did he do this time? He was being sent to a halfway house in Atlanta to finish out his sentence for a parole violation that took place in September 2010, but officials re-arrested him because his mode of transportation was not approved.  He used a large tour bus which reportedly was not allowed because of certain rules and regulations.  Surprisingly the kicker to this story is not that he was re-arrested. The interesting dynamic that exists is that VH1 was actually filming T.I.’s release for a reality series that will document his return back to his life and career after his stint in prison.  The first episode is slated to air on Monday, December 5, 2011. Again, here lies another example of a celebrity’s ability to profit from a loss and the forgiving nature of the media and the pop-culture audience.

    –Kelsey Evans

    What other examples do you know of a celebrity’s mishaps turning into large gains?


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