Celebrities must be responsible role models

Celebrities must be responsible role models

By Noami Ng, Diocesan Girls' School

On June 2, taxi driver Derrick Bird, 53, went on a shooting rampage, murdering 12 and wounding 25 people in Cumbria, England. The police said it was the worst shooting in Britain since the Dunblane massacre of 1996. The rare incident shocked all of Britain, and Queen Elizabeth said she shared 'the grief and horror of the whole country'.

Just hours later, celebrity singer Lady Gaga gave a bloody performance in England as part of her Monster Ball tour. A man posing as a psychotic killer appeared to be gnawing on Lady Gaga's throat, causing fake blood to spurt out and stream down her chest.

Thousands of fans and parents who attended the concert were disgusted and sickened by the sight. One mother, who took her 14-year-old daughter to Lady Gaga's concert, said: 'What happened [the Bird shooting] ... is very fresh in people's minds and, given all the violence which happened ... just hours earlier, pop stars should be a lot more sensitive and not be featuring scenes of murder in their shows.'

Some Lady Gaga fans defended her blood-splattered performance, saying she had been doing them for some time and should not be affected by a mass shooting. Besides, one noted, shootings were probably shown in movies on British TV that night.

Lady Gaga has been known for her outrageous theatrics and outlandish costumes since she rose to fame. For example, she doused herself with fake blood last year at the MTV Video Music Awards after a fake chandelier dropped on her.

Celebrities appear on TV, sell CDs and movies, and perform live to showcase their talents to the world. They must take responsibility as role models. Lady Gaga's performance promotes the message of violence. Those who are not revolted by such displays of sadism have simply been desensitised to violence - almost like Romans entertained by gladiators' barbaric slaughter of animals in the Coliseum.

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