Just when the world thought that we had gotten over the Charlie Sheen saga, a new event hit recently. Although this one did not have any run ins with the law, it is till hard not to shake your head and ask “what was he thinking?” About a week ago Charlie Sheen felt the need to send his number to Justin Bieber. However, when he tried to send it through a private message on Twitter, he accidentally posted it instead. Within minutes Sheen was receiving calls from anyone who is his follower. For a while the actor got into the joke, answering by saying “Ray’s Pizza,” “Winning!” and other greetings. But eventually he had to turn the phone off and later change his number.
A Celebrities success often times can be determined by the Public Relation Agency that represents them. Throughout 2011, names that have remained in the headlines are Charlie Sheen, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey for various reasons. These household names are often time topics of dinner conversations across the US, and even internationally. These celebrities have their PR Rep’s to thank for the immediate income boost, and success. Several “PR Tactics” have allowed for the extended success.
Charlie Sheen is no rookie to Hollywood Scandal. Since the early 90’s, when Sheen accidentally shot Kelly Preston to his most recent “wining spree,” all eyes are watching and waiting for the snow ball effect to continue growing.
The series of roller coaster events have created Charlie to become known as “Hollywood’s Bad Ass.” The creation of this reputation draws audiences and a group of followers that Sheen has been able to virally market his merchandise to off of his most recent scandal.
Sheen’s public breakdown was made very public and allowed for audiences to tune in whether it was through his Twitter account or YouTube channel. These tactics allowed for easy access to watching Sheen’s trip to rock bottom. This may seem like a tragic downfall of one of Hollywood’s elite, but Charlie has been able to make have a net worth of $35 million dollars.
The Kardashian family initially won the hearts of viewers through their reality television show “Keeping up The Kardashian’s.” The family’s fame grew from there and slowly attention was directed to Kimberly Kardashian our homegrown American Socialite.
Kim has also done several controversial things for instance PETA criticized Kardashian for repeatedly wearing fur coats, and named her one of the five worst people or organizations in 2010 when it came to animal welfare. In addition, she has been able to receive payment of $10,000 per tweet from sponsors for each tweet. Although, I would have to say to most recent and debatable controversial event was her marriage to Kris Humphries. The marriage didn’t even last six months and appeared to be a ploy to get more viewers, as well as endorsement deals. After the “unexpected” divorce Kimberly appeared responded with a podcast explaining to fans that the divorce was just as expected to her as it was to viewers. This PR move allowed for viewers to feel connected with viewers and once again was a very smart PR tactic.
Oprah Winfrey took advantage of her intimate talk show from the mid 90’s and built up her brand turning herself into billionaire through the use of Media. This year, Oprah started her own Television Network the Oprah Winfrey Network. This was not only a brilliant PR move to gain more viewers, but this network allows for recognition of her global outreach, as well as continues to support her Billionaire status. Winfrey reaches out to audiences through social networks such as Twitter, her personal Blog, as well as her Website that keeps audiences informed. Winfrey’s PR Agency set the structure for continuous success, and a strong reputable platform that other people trust and believe in. Unlike Charlie Sheen and Kim Kardashian she is looked up to for her drive and ability to reach out to audiences and in PR that is the goal: To get audience’s attention and never lose it.
Does celebrity equal power? If you would have asked me this at the beginning of the semester, I would have answered with a simple no. I mean just because someone is a celebrity doesn’t give them power right? Well in a lot of ways, this actually is the case. I did not realize how many celebrities in the world have the power to do a lot of things just because of their celebrity status. Some of these can be good, but others just don’t add up. For instance, Donald Trump is a billionaire entrepreneur that made his own fortune in the real estate business. He has had continued success over the decades and he is a man that gas rightfully earned his power. This is what led to him considering running for president of the United States. Now some people blew this decision out of proportion, however although he had no military background, or government for that matter, he was someone who clearly had a feel for what people wanted and if there is anything we need right now in this country, it is change. This in my opinion, was a form of celebrity power that was going to be used for a good cause.
Now on the downside of celebrity power, there are some classic celebrity train wrecks out there such as Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen, who clearly let their celebrity stature get the best of them and clearly thought they had too much power. Although each had numerous run-is with the law, they seem to keep falling into trouble because they must feel they are above those who abide by the law.
So I would have to saw to some degree, being a celebrity does equal power. However, there are different kinds of power and that is why even in celebrity world, there are different classes of celebrity.
Does celebrity always equal power? I would argue yes. In our society there are many different levels of power: social, economic, political, emotional, etc. If people know your name, know what you do, know what your involved in, or even know what scandal you were a part of, they have power in one of these areas. Celebrities are everywhere, from every walk of life, and seen through every type of media. The more they are in , the more power is possible.
We see celebrities like Charlie Sheen who has been involved in some risky business. He has been involved with porn stars, cocaine, and even got fired from his last gig. Do you think that he has power? Of course he does. Sheen may have done some terrible things but people know his name. People want to know what he is doing. Hell, people out there are probably wondering “what kind of underwear is Charlie wearing today?” Does that mean that he has power? Yes it does.
Think of it this way. If any celebrity out there, pick any one you would like, no matter how big or small, came up to you and introduced themselves. Would your heart race a little? Would you ask for their autograph? Would you be worried about saying the wrong thing? Would you walk away from the conversation hoping they liked you? Would you go home to your friends and family and tell them how awesome or even how terrible meeting this person was? Then that celebrity has done their job. They have gained their power over you. They have another person talking about them, another person spreading their name, another person spreading their brand. This is a power that most, if not all celebrities, have that most normal people do not.
Do we put too much stake into what celebrities think, feel, and do? I would say yes. But who has the power to change that? The celebrities do.
I don’t see them giving that up anytime soon.
C. Wright Mills discusses the power of fame in his book ” The Power Elite.” Most of the information he discusses refers to the latter half of the 20th century. Some of his main themes are carried over and evident into the 21st century with our present day celebrities.
C. Wright Mills states:
” There is no doubt that it is enormously more important to one’s prestige to have one’s picture on the cover of a truly big national magazine..”
C. Wright Mills is correct when he states that being on covers of magazines is an important part of the “celebrity job”. In saying this being a celebrity is a competitive sport and getting on those magazine covers are crucial to stay popular and hot. If a celebrity is not featured on magazines they are most likely not a hot ticket item and lower on the fame scale. It is a competition to be the best of the best and that is what fame is all about. This competition is what keeps celebrities and fame alive today. Without that motivation to be better, there would be no reason to try. Most of the time it is healthy competition but then there are cases where things get out of control.
These cases deal with fame whores. Defined by Urban Dictionary a fame whore is an individual who is willing to do anything, regardless of how humiliating or demeaning, to achieve notoriety. Such people will do anything to get people’s attention. ( In which will be publicized on magazine covers.)
Here are a few examples:
The days when Charlie Sheen takes shots at his old gig “Two and a half Men” may never end.
Recently Sheen posted a picture on Twitter from his new project “Charles Swan III” with a caption that read:
“this is at least TWO AND A HALF times more fun than my last gig..!”
I’ll give it to Charlie on this one. I definitely got a laugh from the caption. However, I’m sure Sheen wishes that he was still making the kind of money he was making on “Two and a half Men”.
Charlie Sheen’s 1966 Ford Mustang is going to be auctioned off. The newly refurbished car is being auctioned off on charitybuzz.com.
Car lovers and regulars would love a 1966 Mustang no matter who’s it was at first. But with Sheen’s label attached to this car, you can expect bids to sky rocket just because of Sheen’s celebrity.
The proceeds coming from the sale of the car are going directly to C5 LA, a Los Angeles organization that helps at-risk youth get into college.
In class we are learning about the importance of using Twitter in the PR world. I guess Charlie Sheen was cued on to this fact too. After Sheen’s exodous from “Two and a half Men”, Sheen joined Twitter so fans could read his thoughts about the situation. Almost instantly he gained over 1 million followers.
Because of this popularity, Internships.com, paid Sheen to tweet a their link.
“I’m looking to hire a #winning INTERN with #TigerBlood,” he wrote in March.
Internships.com claims that almost 100,000 clicks on the link came within the first hour of the tweet.
This is great PR by both Sheen and Internships.com.
FX agreed to 10 episodes then if those episodes reach a predetermined ratings level, the network will pick up an additional 90 episodes.
The highest paid actor finally has a job again!
“In a cafe society, the major inhabitants of the world of the celebrity – the institutional elite, the metropolitan socialite, and the professional entertainer – mingle, publicity cashing in one another’s claims for prestige.” – C. Wright Mills
Brooke Mueller is house hunting! I’m not exactly sure why this is such a big deal but if you examine this quote by Mills, you can see why columnists are covering this. Most people wouldn’t care if Mueller was buying a pad or no but because she is Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife, people seem to care a little more.
Mueller, purposely or not, is using Sheen’s publicity and gaining her own level of prestige.