Pet Peeve #64: Celebrity Privilege

Singer-Sia-attends-the-Creators-Party-presented-by-Spotify-at-CicadaLast week, the 32nd season of Survivor ended as it always does: A live reunion show where they announce the winner and talk with the contestants about the season.

Sometimes Survivor itself has some surprises planned for the finale, but this time, someone in the audience brought the surprise. After Jeff Probst talked to the final contestants, he was transitioning to a different topic when an off-camera voice started yelling his name.

Jeff looked confused until he realized who was yelling. That’s when Sia, a famous singer, walked onto the stage. Knowing that viewers from home couldn’t hear her, he offered her the mic.

Sia proceeded to do something nice: She donated $50,000 to one of the losing contestants (a crowd favorite) and $50,000 to a charity of that contestant’s choice. I appreciate her generosity. But I realized in that moment how strong of a pet peeve I have against celebrity privilege.

Here’s the thing: Would you ever think it’s appropriate to hijack a public event–much less a live television event–to do anything? Of course you wouldn’t.

But Sia did, even when she could have easily made her gift to the contestant after the show.

Now, I’m not saying all celebrities do this. Not even close. In fact, even just in the world of Survivor, there have been celebrities in the audience of past award shows who quietly sat in their seat like everyone else.

But my pet peeve is about the general concept of celebrity privilege–that someone thinks they are the exception to the rule just because they’re famous. That’s my pet peeve.

Does that bother you? Have you seen it happen?

3 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #64: Celebrity Privilege”

  1. Well it has happened enumerable times to be sure. I have seen or experienced it everywhere from preferential restaurant seating to sadly, our justice system.

    It is frustrating for me but in an odd way- Just as their status gives them these unspoken privileges. It also ties them to them. They cannot simply go to a dairy queen for ice cream for instance without going through a hassle.

    My real peeve is not with the celebrities. It is with the fans who turn them into these demigod like people worthy of obsession and worship. I guess it is human nature to set certain people apart and raise them up (we have been doing it since to the beginning of recorded history after all) But we lose site in that fervor for one important thing- they are just people no different then you or I, That is what lets them get these privileges, this fervor for them, yet that fervor does not stop them from being jerks.

    • That’s a good point that it’s just as much about the fans as it is the celebrities. It was interesting to watch it unfold on Survivor, because the crowd seemed really uncomfortable with what was happening. They weren’t enabling Sia to do what she did.

      • When watching Survivor off the DVR I had no idea who Sia was, nor do I care. At first I thought it was a disguise for one of the past Survivor contestants – the Brazilian woman from one of the more recent seasons who annoyed everyone – so that she would not get booed as she made a nice gesture. Then they kept calling her Sia and I thought, oh she must be someone on a CBS show or something – promotional plug. Wrong on both accounts by me. I am surprised she was able to pull it off and that Jeff Probst allowed her time on the microphone.

        We all have favorite actors/actresses/athletes/musicians and we respect what they do for a living, but as stated above they are just people. Some famous people are humble and others are continually feeding the celebrity “machine” to keep their 15 minutes going and going and going.


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