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Pete Davidson's Instagram post on suicide should be a warning to every one of us

‘I’m upset I even have to say this.’

SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT of the entertainment industry, those in the spotlight have been pressed by journalists on how they navigate criticism from the press and public.

shutterstock_420205174 Source: Shutterstock/BAKOUNINE

The more seasoned among them used insist that they no longer read articles about themselves while those who were new to the game maintained that while they knew better than to pay attention, they still felt compelled to keep abreast of press attention.

In the late 90s and early noughties, we saw the birth of celebrity culture; a phenomenon which intensified massively with the advent of reality television and weekly magazines, the latter of which relied heavily on paparazzi shots and ‘inside sources’ for their content.

Lines became significantly blurred, and it was no longer a simple case of ‘a star’ and ‘a civilian’; we saw the creation and introduction of the ‘celebrity’.

‘Overnight celebrity’ became synonymous with the noughties, and given the fact that members of the public regularly saw ‘themselves’ enter into the spotlight, it gave many carte blanche to comment and critique more readily.

And then came social media.

Interacting with ‘stars’ and ‘celebrities’ has never been so easy, commenting on celebrity culture requires little more than a scant knowledge of emojis, and creating ‘celebrities’ only to cancel them requires little more than a hashtag.

Celebrity culture has become virtually inescapable; for both those at its centre and those looking in.

Social media has been a vehicle for good in many ways, but it would be folly to suggest that its birth hasn’t resulted in many instances of mob mentality when members of the public have concluded that a person’s ‘celebrity’ status renders them immune to online harassment and abuse.

Last night, Pete Davidson used his Instagram account to speak out about the nine months of criticism he has endured at the hands of the public, telling those responsible that ‘no matter how hard [they] try to make him kill himself’, he won’t.

NY: American Museum of Natural History Gala - Arrivals Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

In a post which has amassed more than 780,000 likes, Pete wrote that he made a concerted effort not to respond to harassment over the course of this year, but he can no longer maintain a silence.

I’m trying to understand how when something happens to a guy, the whole entire wold just thrashes him without any facts or frame of reference. 

He continued:

I’ve been getting online bullied and in public by people for about 9 months. I’ve spoken about BPD and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth.

Directing his attention at his critics, he wrote:

I just want you guys to know. No matter how hard the internet or anyone tries to make me kill myself. I won’t. I’m upset I even have to say this.

View this post on Instagram

💙

A post shared by Pete Davidson (@petedavidson) on

Ariana has acknowledged Pete’s post, shared it on her Instagram story and encouraged her fans ‘to be gentler’ with others.

I care deeply about Pete and his health. I’m asking you to please be gentler with others. I’ve learned thru my own mistakes not to be reactive on socials so I do understand, but you truly don’t know what anyone is experiencing ever. (sic)

PastedImage-29432 Source: arianagrande/Instagram

“I will always have irrevocable love for him and if you’ve gotten any other impression from my recent work, you might have missed the point,” she added.

20 years ago, a failed romance between two people in the public eye might garner a few requisite press clippings; today it acts as an opportunity for people all over the world to critique and condemn as they see fit.

The creation of celebrity culture has resulted in the blurring of many lines, and it is those relating to decency and morality which have undoubtedly been most significantly impacted.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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