Every celebrity you idolize will turn into Chris Pratt

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This article discusses sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers. The Kingston Sexual Assault Centre’s 24-hour crisis and support phone line can be reached at 613-544-6424 / 1-800-544-6424. The Centre's online chat feature can be reached here.

It’s inevitable idolized male celebrities will disappoint their fanbase. The rise and fall of these famous men—mostly white men—has played out repeatedly on our Tumblr, Twitter, and TikTok feeds.

John Mulaney gave us a messy and public divorce last year after being known as the stand-up comedian who loved his wife. Chris Pratt went from endearing us on Parks and Recreation to joining a homophobic church and belittling his son for having severe health issues. Once Tumblr’s sweetheart, Brendan Urie now has allegations of sexual assault, racism, and transphobia under his belt.

Unfortunately, the consequences of this pattern extend far beyond our phone screens.

Men hurt others every single day, regardless of their celebrity status. That’s because they’re human beings and part of a privileged group more easily forgiven when they cause harm.

Idolizing an individual only makes it more difficult for them to be held accountable for their mistakes before causing irreparable damage.

When we tell a guy like Pratt he can do no wrong, it’s not surprising when he shamelessly flaunts his ableism and misogyny on his Instagram page.

That’s not to say fans are to blame for the actions of celebrity men. But their blind eye to the small mistakes these men make—like Pratt laughing freely as Jennifer Lawrence mocked a monument sacred to native Hawaiians—contributes to preventing their growth.

More importantly, idolizing celebrity men strengthens the false notion that a person’s character is based solely on how they present themselves to the outside world.

Thinking celebrities are their movie characters, or their online personas is dangerous. As a result, when idolized famous men are called out on inappropriate or criminal behaviour, their victims are likely to be accused of lying or exaggerating for clout.

Unfortunately, no matter how adorable you think Aziz Ansari is, he’s capable of making women feel uncomfortable, and, like any other human, he’s also probably capable of committing sexual assault.

It’s hard enough for a victim to speak out against their abuser. Hearing constantly that said abuser is “too nice” to have hurt someone only causes more fear, self-doubt, and trauma for survivors.

You have no idea who a person is behind a screen—a TV screen, a film screen, or a phone screen. When you insist Tom Holland or Timothée Chalamet are perfect humans—rather than just stellar actors—you’re adding to a world where women are vilified when they’re abused by the men everyone loves, and where men struggle to live up to unhealthy and unattainable expectations.

No celebrity man—like any regular man—is safe from wrongdoings. Enjoy their films and TV shows, but please don’t idolize them.

Aysha is a fourth-year Commerce student and one of The Journal’s Editors in Chief.

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