Why is it that some celebrities are given a break by their fans and quickly forgiven for questionable behavior, while others make a mistake and it sticks to them like glue?
Way back in September 2012, country megastar Jason Aldean was caught kissing American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr in a Hollywood bar while he was still married to his wife, Jessica Ussery. Jason apologized for his infidelity, but, despite reported attempts to fix the marriage, the couple was not able to get beyond it and filed for divorce in 2013. Now, two years later, fans are still talking about the scandal, and Jason has had enough. He wishes people would get over it and move on, but sometimes it's not that easy. There's no doubt that cheating can leave a mark on someone's character, and it can be difficult to let it go not only for the person who was cheated on, but for all of the loved ones involved and - in the case of celebrities - adoring fans as well. At a certain point, though, once the people closest to the situation have moved through it and reached a new phase of their lives, why are so many fans refusing to do the same?
There is no question that infidelity takes a toll, and can take on a life of its own for everyone involved in the aftermath that follows. This is particularly true for celebrities. One aspect of being a beloved public entertainer, like Jason, is that you are put on a pedestal, everyone looks up to you, holds you to a higher standard, and wants you to be strong and invincible, doing no wrong. In his case, while his fans really worshiped him, it appears that there is very little tolerance for his weaknesses. In the eyes of the fans, he has not remained the infallible superstar that he was before his own needs entered the picture and word spread of his adultery. Consequently, there is a lot of anger and disappointment that people seem to have a hard time getting beyond.
Without a doubt, the way each celebrity handles the objectionable behavior plays a huge role in the response of their fans. Did he or she take ownership and responsibility for what they did? Did they acknowledge the impact it had on their partner and loved ones and how they let everyone down? Did they apologize and express remorse for doing so? If, in fact, they back away from the confrontation, don't admit to what they did and become self-righteous when discussing it, there is little chance forgiveness will come. In Jason's case, however, it seems that he took the first path and admitted to and apologized for what he did. It is hard to know where his ex-wife and inner circle of family and friends stand, but we do know that his actions continue to haunt him in the public's eye despite his attempt to make amends.
Why is it so hard for people who admire him from afar to accept his struggles, or those of any celebrity? There is no question that he suffered, he paid his dues and walked over the coals, and in one way or another he has reached the other side. If people can accept his choices and become more compassionate and less judgmental that acceptance can actually carry over into other aspects of their personal lives by enabling them to be more tolerant and less critical of themselves.
Was Jason's apology not ample enough? Did he need to show more regret over a longer period of time? Perhaps. However, in the long run, it's not that people have to agree with the choices he made, rather that they simply lighten up and move past it and get on with their lives, which is what Jason has done. The freer he is from the conflict of the past, the more energy and focus can go into making the music that everyone loves him for so much. That sounds like a win win across the board.
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