Crime In The Public EyeAs everyone grows up they struggle Essay

Crime In The Public Eye

As everyone grows up, they struggle with adolescents behaviors and the decisions they

make during those years. Is it fair to judge performers for what happened when they were in their

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twenties? And if what happened in their twenties was convicted of a federal crime should society

remove their publicated work from the public eye? Performers such as actors, musicians, and

different kinds of artists are under a different kind of pressure. With being under the spotlight,

people tend to be harder on their image then they are there own, because some individuals look

up to them and see them as their role model.

I strongly believe that performers should not get

there work removed just because, they were convicted of a crime either before there fame or


Today individuals are told what to do, what jobs are the best, and what they can and can

and cannot watch. Why is it it okay to continue to censor what we should and shouldn’t listen too

or watch. Kekla Magoon (2010) pointed out, everyone has a choice “Everyone has a certain

amount of choice in their reading material, the movies they go too, and the television programs

they watch” (p. 87). Should it be any different when it comes to the performers? Performers

choose to express their individuality through art, music, or even performance. That is why there

has always been an ongoing discussion about whether or not media such as television, social

media, and or people in the spotlight have been a problem for society. According to

Zuchora-Walske, C. (2010), in the USA debate on internet censorship points out that, “The

internet allows people to share more information than ever before. But, it also allows people to

share harmful or false information easily” (p. 5). That’s how tabloids and paparazzi companies

make their money off of celebrities gossip and what is the “juiciest” new stories out in the world

World View Against Convicted Crime 3

to expose. So, if it is okay to spill gossip on a actor or musician for going to jail would it make

them any less of a person, if anything some people would think that it would make their life

more interesting to the public eye.

Furthermore, another point that individuals should take into consideration is whether or

not performers have been convicted of crimes during their adolescence years. Just about

everyone makes mistakes growing up in this world. Some have even done some things that they

are not proud of. But, how does one learn without making mistakes in life and changing the

course of their actions in order to not do it again. Especially, during their adolescent years where

it is an transition in between childhood and adulthood. During this time people go through a

variety of changes whether it be physical or intellectual which can end up affecting one’s social


According to an article on Adolescent Development (n.d.), “Adolescents move beyond

these limits and can think in terms of what might be true, rather than just what they see is true,

during this time they are searching for personal identity” (para 5). For example, many of

performers such as John Hamm and Jay Z, have been in trouble with the justice system either

once as an adolescent. According to Corbis (2018), “Jon Hamm at the age of 19 was arrested on

assault charges for a hazing incident at his college and Jay Z being arrested at 16 for carrying

crack in his pocket in high school” (para 1-2). During post of these performers life they were at

the stage of discovering “self identity” so, why would society continue to look down upon people

in the spotlight when hundreds and thousands of people are doing it everyday. Jon Hamm did

something that involved his years at college, everyone has made mistake in college. In these

adolescent years, people tend to learn from their mistakes that one has made during this

World View Against Convicted Crime 4

transition. Jon Hamm went on to play in “Mad Men” and Jay Z has became a rapper, producer,

and entrepreneur as well as has a wrote a memoir in 201l stating, “The way to redeem your past

is not to run from it, but to try to understand it, and use it as a foundation to grow”. This shows

that Jay Z is aware of the crimes that he has committed in the past and what has helped him grow

as an individual. With him making a memoir explaining on how this has helped him grow and

mature should make everyone else more intrigued to follow him throughout his journey and take

more pride in his artistic abilities and the way he chooses to express himself through the art of


Celebrities are in the limelight all the time, whether or not society cares about their lives,

there are some sleazy tabloid out there airing out every detail in there life. The media plays a

huge role in celebrities life without us watching their movies, or going to there concerts, or being

interested in them 24/7 would they even be famous? So, why would we care about what

happened if they went to jail before or after they became famous. Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016)

explain, “Coverage by the media, in turn, affords celebrities a kind of free advertising that can

engender public interest and further the individuals career”. Most celebrities today get famous

just on social media alone. In order to get famous off of social media that would count on

countless public views. So, when one is convicted of a crime and they posted that on their social

media wouldn’t that just increase there publicity? Things such as the first amendment protect the

rights of free speech so, know one can censor their social media because it is protected.

There are several performers out in the world that have been charged with crimes and that

has negatively affected one’s career as well. For example, on September 25 of 2018, Bill Cosby

had been accused and convicted of a crime that he had committed in 2004 for the drugging and

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assault of Andrea Constant. Where he had been found guilty of three counts of aggravated

assault, and sentenced to three to ten years in the state prison. As people may know Bill Cosby

was an actor on the Cosby show that had aired between the years of 1984 to 1992. So, the show

had been off air long before Bill had been accused or convicted of any crime. Even though Mr.

Cosby had been sentenced to prison that should not affect people watching the Cosby Show.

Yes, people may not like Bill Cosby for the crime he has been sentenced to prison for, but that

doesn’t change the way he had acted on the show, let alone be censored or removed from public

access. That should be a choice that the people should be able to make for themselves and know

one should be able to take that right away.

Another performer that goes by the name of Chris Brown is a well known songwriter and

rapper. Over time people may know him because of his many songs but, he also dated a well

known performer named Rihanna. According to an article called Celebrities Convicted of

Felonies (n.d) “In December 2009, Chris Brown assaulted his girlfriend Rihanna, and was

charged with a felony and criminal threat”. He pled guilty and took a plea deal that allowed him

to not go to jail, but instead 5 years of probation, community service, and domestic violence

classes. Over the years, this was a big deal in the celebrity world. There was tons of gossip on

whether or not Chris had been abusing his girlfriend and people started judging his character

based on the crime he had committed. Even though he had done this awful thing doesn’t mean

that his music was any less popular or appealing to the public so, it shouldn’t be anyone else’s

choice to take away access of his music material.

Lastly, the most important thing about not removing performers work from public access

would be that it is art. The definition of art according to Oxford Dictionary (n.d.), it is the

World View Against Convicted Crime 6

“expression of human creative skill and imagination through various branches of creative active,

painting, music, literature, and dance”. Performers do not make music, or act, or even make

different kinds of art just for the money. There artistic ability is allowing them to channel what

they enjoy doing into their career. A lot of people agree with the fact that this art is a type of

therapy for individuals. Especially in the prison system. According to an article on Art Therapy

(2016), “Prison arts programs play a special role in affirming inmates as humans capable of

change and empathy, arts are inherently communicative, connecting people emotionally to each

other”. Artist that are convicted of crimes that end up in prison will probably utilize the program

of art therapy. The program of art therapy is a therapeutic way to channel all of the negative

energy into something positive. There are different programs such s Rehabilitation-arts and

Mission & History (n.d.), which is an Art Rehabilitation Program that “are meant for people in

prison to be welcome back into society after they have served their time”. This is a way for

people that are in our prison system to get a chance to give back to the community through their

artistic abilities regardless of the crimes that have been committed in the past. Having Art

Rehabilitation Programs would help people understand how important it is to let them have art as

an outlet they can channel instead of crimes.

In conclusion, there are different elements that society needs to take into consideration

before removing public access of performers work. Everyone has a past so why are people

continuing to judge performers for what mistakes they may or may not have committed during

the successful time in the limelight. That is the point of our justice system, to trust them to make

the right call for punishment for the laws that have been broken in our social system. So, when a

World View Against Convicted Crime 7

performer has been sentence to jail or there federal punishment, why punish them again for

remove the work that they used to channel there negative energy from public access.

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Work Cited

Rehabilitation-arts | MISSION & HISTORY. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Stepney, S. A. (2017). Art Therapy with Students at Risk : Fostering Resilience and Growth

Through Self-expression (Vol. Third edition). Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.: Charles C


Art Therapy. (2016, August 05). Retrieved from

Aliprandini, M. W. G. (2016). Censorship. Points of View. Retrieved from


Figure 2f from: Irimia R, Gottschling M (2016) Taxonomic revision of Rochefortia Sw.

(Ehretiaceae, Boraginales). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: E7720.

(n.d.). doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f

Zuchora-Walske, C. (2010). Internet Censorship : Protecting Citizens or Trampling Freedom?

Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books. Retrieved from


Freedom of Expression in the Arts and Entertainment. (n.d.). Retrieved from

World View Against Convicted Crime 9

Corbis. (2018, May 25). 14 Celebrities Who Were Arrested as Teens and Turned Out Okay.

Retrieved from

Adolescent Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Art | Definition of art in English by Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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