The recent period of mourning for HM The Queen created a situation where #TheQueue not only merited a hashtag of it’s own, but news reports a-plenty. One unexpected outcome was that a couple of popular TV presenters were pilloried for jumping the queue – and in the UK, there is no greater sin. Especially, when that “proper” celebrity – ex-England football captain, husband to Posh spice, one David Beckham Esq – refused the offer to be fast-tracked, and queued with everyone else, for over 10 hours no less.
These TV presenters are of the “ah, aren’t they lovely” type. Her pretty, blonde and genuinely nice; him with silver-fox good looks, and generally considered to be an all round nice guy – who survived his public admission of homosexuality (while still very much married) during their daytime show, despite suggestions of less than decent behaviour towards a young male intern. They’ve revelled in their role as the good guys, the ones who could (and would) publicly declaim the less than ideal behaviour of others – such as our past Prime Minister.
Now, the UK still has a surprising number of avid fans of our past Prime Minister, many of who are active on social media. So when they jumped on the bandwagon of the presenters’ fans already calling for their heads…. or whatever the current punishment is for media darlings who fall from grace, it all got a bit loud. There’s even been a petition to have them fired from their prime viewing daytime TV role.
Me, I’m British, I don’t approve of queue jumping, but I’m more in the “tsk tsk” brigade, expecting anyone who can get away with it to do so, rather than being genuinely bothered.
Himself and I watch a variety of regular YouTube contributors, including a British couple who’ve been creating a tiny home from a wreck of a barn in Portugal. We’d been watching a while when they unveiled a town house they’d bought – another project – if a less arduous one than the previous one, before heading off on a month’s holiday to Canada. All was well, until they released a shock post – and a confusing one at that – indicating that their property had been decimated by wildfire. They went on to explain that – some months earlier – they’d bought a third property, somewhere they believed to be their dream home, with extensive land and fruit farm. But, before they’d had a chance “to announce it”, the fire had blazed through, causing extensive damage to the land and fruit farm – although, fortuitously, the house remained untouched. The fire had also blazed through the neighbouring village, where fortunately no lives were lost, but many village properties were beyond repair.
So far, so sad and shocking. But that’s when it all started to go wrong….
Through tears, we were given the story of how this was their most major financial undertaking to date, and how – haltingly and through tears again – their viewers and subscribers could make donations towards re-building their dream. To recap, the house is completely undamaged, it’s the 57 acres of land and fruit farm which took the hit. And it will take time to recover and re-grow, it will also take time and money for the electricity and water infrastructure to be replaced – but they do own 2 other houses and a 5-acre property where they currently live.
Me, I just shrugged, said “they’ve read the room badly” and forgot about it. But it seems many followers and subscribers weren’t taking that apparent expectation lying down. They told them what they thought about their pity party, some of them doing so at length, and some rather harshly – to the extent that all comments were deleted and disabled.
It’s an interesting phenomena, this habit of building up favourites, only to judge them harshly and demand their punishment when they do something perceived to be wrong. The fact that they earn their living by being in the public eye, makes them vulnerable to that self-same public being inclined to believed they’re owed, and so to extract a price. In both cases, the defence made subsequently is that the parties involved have mental health issues, and/or have overcome challenges to get where they are today. All of which is undoubtedly true. On the other side of the equation, neither party have acknowledged they may have been mistaken.
All the parties in these tales appear to be publicly soldiering on – although there has been a suggestion of one mental breakdown and/or suicide attempt.
What’s your view on mis-steps of those in the public eye? Does what they do/say afterwards make a difference? How do you feel about any subsequent fallout?
© Debra Carey, 2022