As sure as night follows day, you can be guaranteed that in an interview, a celebrity will be asked to give their opinion on a major social movement: Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the war in Ukraine, transgender rights.
ome enjoy it, and are flattered that their opinion appears to hold gravitas and influence. Others flub it entirely, spouting ill-considered nonsense, and end up wandering into a sort of “clickbait roadkill” scenario.
And then there’s Graham Norton, who this week offered an absolute masterclass in how these questions should really be answered by celebrities.
In an onstage interview with Mariella Frostrop for Times Radio, Norton was asked about cancel culture. No surprise there: it’s a contentious enough issue within the world of celebrity, and more so in the world of comedy, where Norton’s career originated.
Asked by Frostrup about JK Rowling, transphobia and Rowling’s experiences within the culture wars, Norton deftly replied with an answer that many of his industry peers could learn a thing or two from.
“What I feel weird about is when I’m asked about it, I become part of the discussion,” said Norton. “All I’m painfully aware of is that my voice adds nothing to that discussion.
“I’m sort of embarrassed that I‘m somehow drawn into it. If people want to shine a light on those issues – and I hope people do – talk to trans people, talk to the parents of trans kids. Talk to doctors and psychiatrists. Talk to someone who can illuminate this in some way.
“I’m very aware that as a ‘bloke off the telly’, your voice can be artificially amplified,” Norton added. “And once in a blue moon that can be good, but most of the time that’s just a distraction.
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“If you want to talk about something, talk about the thing. You don’t need to attach a Kardashian to a serious subject – the subject should be enough in itself.
“It’s the Michael Gove thing [‘We’ve had enough of experts”] but please can we have some experts? Can we rustle up some f***ing experts and talk to them, rather than men in shiny pink suits,” he added, while wearing a pink suit.
It may be a moment of false modesty on Norton’s part, but I doubt it. Norton has seen first-hand what happens to celebrities who shoulder themselves into this debate.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s safe to assume that Norton has opinions on trans rights. But, as he rightly says, the simple fact of being a celebrity should not offer you a megaphone.
In fairness, Norton’s answer, entirely free of ego and full of common sense, should be copied and pasted into the handbook of every single celebrity ahead of a media or public interview.
Because what Norton is saying here about the ongoing trans debate appears to have escaped so many celebrities and Blokes Off The Telly – it does not matter what you think.
If you’re on Love Island, or have a new single coming out, we really can live without your take on so many things. As Norton rightly says, you’re only really offering yourself up as grist to the clickbait mill.
Whether for ego, or a genuine desire to use their platform or influence for good, celebrities are quick to shoulder themselves into divisive topics on which they ultimately have next to no expertise.
The only people I want to hear from on such issues are the people directly affected by it, for whom it’s their day-to-day-reality.
Life – serious, real life – through a celebrity lens is often of little use to anyone else.
And trust me when I say I get the irony of using a celebrity’s name to get a salient point across here. In the hope that others will stick to what they know and leave the expertise to… well, the experts.
Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.