Celebrities are Humans Too: Is it “fan culture” or harassment?


Sydney Davenport

Celebrities split publicly

Sydney Davenport, Opinion Guest Writer

TW: Mentions of Sexual Assault

In the age of celebrity obsession there is a fine line between fan culture and harassment. Celebrities and athletes build up a fan base throughout their careers, and inevitably, that fan base dwindles or it becomes a “toxic” fan base. “Loving” a character or actor/actress is wonderful, but once you start hating them because of something they did in the past and apologize and make up for it, and then you change your mindset completely, you can’t consider yourself a real fan.
Disliking a celebrity is one thing, but leaving rude comments and hateful remarks on their social media is completely uncalled for. The fandoms that some of these actors have is remarkable, but once their name is big, something happens or rumors are spread and then they’re universally hated.
A celebrity that has recently dealt with this rapid switch from love to hate is Percy Hynes White. One of his most known roles was Xavier Thorpe in the Netflix series “Wednesday,” which is one of his best known roles. When the first season of the show came out, he was the talk of the show’s fanbase; everyone loved his character and who he was off screen. Then, all of a sudden, allegations were made through social media that he sexually assaulted multiple women in the past-among other things-years ago. Without any evidence and no investigation, many fans immediately jumped on the hate bandwagon, and this threw his fan base into disarray and he, understandably lost many followers. What gets me is that people were so outraged and upset that they demanded that Netflix recast the role of Xavier and re-film season one. I am in no way defending him, but it was the sudden opposition that emerged with no due process that struck me as odd.
Since we’re in an era of posting our favorite edits of that special celebrity, it’s hard to tell whether fans are really fans or whether they just want to jump on the bandwagon to love that celebrity. Once everyone has heard of them, they’re only perceived in that one way. In many situations, social media is a place where allegations are made that are in no way true; it’s too easy to make serious accusations.
The biggest issue I have with fan culture is when celebrities are in relationships, while everybody may want to know the hot gossip, they deserve some privacy too, just like us average, everyday citizens. Relationship “stans” just didn’t get that memo. The “Outer banks” stars were in the spotlight on-and-off screen and the people loved it, until they broke up. Then the fans were split between loving one and loving the other. The relationship between Madelyn Cline, (Sarah Cameron) and Chase Stokes, (John B.), became very public very fast. Once they broke up, fans collectively sided with Cline and created the rumor that Stokes cheated on her, though sources haven’t confirmed this to be true. Situations like this bug me to my core because they can’t just have a breakup like regular people can. Fans who think they are close friends with the couple and take sides are utterly pathetic. I think the fans were more upset than the two of them or at least that’s how it seemed from all the comments and videos I’ve seen about the situation.
All in all, celebrities are people too, and even though they are in the public eye, they still deserve the right to privacy and due process. It’s not all fans that are bad, but it’s the fans that take it too far, that are the worst.