Rebel Wilson defamation: celebrity news is not real journalism – Brisbane Times
Most people who are seriously defamed can’t hope for more than $250,000 tops. But Wilson did many times better both because the publication was thought to bear malice and because the judge was satisfied that it did her specific damage in Hollywood, by way of lost roles and income.
I have no brief for film stars, starlets, singers, supermodels, members of various royal families, socialites, socialisers, radio and TV personalities, celebrity cooks and sportspeople.
A good many of these court publicity – or at least favourable publicity – and many depend on recognition and notoriety for their incomes. A good many who affect great concern for their privacy – the late Princess Diana comes to mind – in fact had close relationships with many of their tormenters, ones they continued even when it became clear they could not ultimately control them.
The public is often encouraged to be curious about them, having their appetites whetted by soft and controlled interviews and exchanges of flattery. Publicity agents arrange appearances (many of which are paid for) and organise tame interviews, in which it is agreement that particular topics and relationships will not be discussed.
There’s a vast publishing industry, now online as much as broadcast and in print, devoted to celebrities’ lives, to speculations about the state of their marriages and relationships, portents of their pregnancies, indications of jealousy, guilt, anger, ill-health, fatness and problems with diet. There are many photos, some obviously posed, others intrusive and unwelcome. A good deal of the material is very iffy and our right, or need, to know not obvious.
Some of this gossip and tittle-tattle, assuming it to be true, can be interesting and amusing, perhaps even character forming. But it isn’t “news” or “journalism” in any serious sense