The price of fame is rising exponentially.
I've spent time at Hollywood nightclubs, even witnessed the ubiquitous paparazzi following Paris and Britney, but attending the Nuggets-Lakers playoff game last week began to make me realize the extent of the craze. I was in Denver with a group that included a friend who is a female television star.
Now, I've always believed there's an inherent responsibility that comes with celebrity. The celebrities have chosen a profession that makes them famous. They need to accept the notoriety--and always be nice and courteous to fans. But there are limits. My time in Denver made me understand that fans regularly take it too far.
I met the TV star at the airport and was shocked by what she told me. Someone was actually videotaping her on the airplane. It wasn't TMZ or some other celebrity media outlet, but rather a gawking fan brazenly shooting footage on a home video camera. When the TV star noticed she was being videotaped, the fixated fan smiled and said, "I bet you're used to this." (Have you no decency?)
Later, we're out at a nice dinner. While we're eating, two fans interrupt us and ask to take a picture. The TV star graciously obliges. It's rude, though. When I first began broadcasting, I was enamored by the industry's celebrity side and enjoyed having pictures taken with A-listers. Having grown up some, I still occasionally ask for pictures, even though it can be somewhat shameless. I have no qualms making the requests, but I understand there's an appropriate time and place.
We get to the Pepsi Center later that evening, where she's presenting the game ball. While she's at the arena, people ask for autographs and pictures. Regardless how many ask, she makes time for everyone. In fact, I've never been around a more fan-friendly celebrity. But men are rather attracted to her, and problems occasionally arise because of this. Sometimes they'll put their hands on inappropriate places during pictures. It's just wrong.
Celebrities should be obligated to be courteous to fans; however, it's only fair that they be accorded the same respect.