Celebrities have a love-hate relationship with the media.
They frequently sue them
Hugh Grant famously won bucketloads in 2012 over News Of The World phone hacking claims. Grant’s slams included: “There has been a section of our press that has become allowed to become toxic over the last 20 or 30 years and its main tactic is by bullying and intimidation and blackmail.”
They often attack them
During a trip to Australia in 2003 the Coldplay’s Chris Martin waited until a photographer following him took a break, then smashed his car’s windshield and slashed his tires.
They occasionally marry them
Scarlett Johansson recently tied the knot with French journalist Romain Dauriac, the father of her daughter Rose.
And they all need them … to promote their shows, movies and recordings
Some are more grudging about it than others. The Times journalist Janice Turner endured an interview from hell with actor Rhys Ifans and noted afterwards:
The game is you listen politely while they plug their film, bang on about their ‘method’, the brilliance of their co-stars and directors etc. Then in return you hope they will offer up — without you having to prod and pester like some celebrity stalker — the tiniest nugget of anecdote, a shard of light upon their real selves.
Because they hate the game too, and particularly since it is mainly conducted in hotel suites, you feel as if you’re engaged in an odd form of prostitution, one where it remains unclear who is the hooker and who the john.
After being told to “fuck off”, Turner’s interview with Ifans concluded with him saying: “I wanna end this interview now. I’m bored with you. Bored. Bored.”
Yep, it can be a fairly fraught relationship.
So I’ve found it oddly moving to see celebrities join in the condemnation of the Charlie Hedbo terror attack.
(The incident itself is a shocking reminder of how dangerous journalism can be: 61 of them died on the job in 2014 alone. I know, I know, journalists killed on the job aren’t usually the ones who writes travel and entertainment fluff for a living … but the upped security on the building where I work is still pretty confronting … it’s not like a madman with a gun is going to know the difference.)
People rarely consider the risks some journalists take to preserve freedom of speech and keep the world informed.
And I’m awed by the resolve shown by the remaining staff of Charlie Hedbo, who’ve vowed to publish the satirical weekly next Wednesday, despite the murder of most of its senior journalists – with a much larger than usual print run of 1 million copies.
Here’s what the stars have had to say on Instagram …
>> Kylie Minogue: “#jesuischarlie”
>> Christie Brinkley: “The gunmen found the satire “offensive” to their religion… But MURDER and TERROR is Ok with them? #jesuischarlie#violencebegetsviolence parisstrong.”
>> Natalie Imbruglia: “#jesuischarlie #freedomofspeech Sending love to the victims and their families 💙
>> Diane Kruger: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference#IamCharlie#debattremoncoers’estarretté#liberté#egalité#vivelafrance#”
And: “I mourn for my french brothers and sisters today, slain by what one can only call, cowards…Violence is never the answer and I know that no matter what God you believe in, he is ALWAYS promoting peace. Paris, mon amour, je pense a vous xoxo”
>> Livinia Nixon: “Such sadness. 🇫🇷💔 #jesuischarlie”
>> Anne Hathaway
>> Hilaria Baldwin: “#rip #paris #senselessvoilence.”
>> Emilie Livingston (wife of Jeff Goldblum): “Sad and horrific.”
>> Rebecca Gibney: “Alone on a mountain. Sending out the love vibes 💛💛💛😘🙋#peace #thereislightafterdark #jesuischarlie #lovenotwar#collectiveconsciousnessworks.”
>> Matthew Le Nevez
>> Conan O’Brien
>> Ricki Lee: “EVERYBODY should have the freedom to express themselves and not be in fear of doing so! #JeSuisCharlie#FreedomOfSpeech #FreedomOfExpression.”
And on Twitter …
>> JK Rowling: “Sometimes a picture says it better than any writer could.
>> Alyssa Milano: “Paris est dans mon cœur aujourd’hui.”
>> Bill Maher: “Condemning attack is not enuf: unless U strongly endorse the right of anyone to make fun of any religion/prophet, U r not a moderate Muslim.”
>> Hugh Laurie: “I deleted a silly tweet because I’ve just read about the terrible events in Paris. #JeSuisCharlie.”
>> Kerry Washington: “My prayers are with Paris.”
>> Julianne Moore: “I am heartbroken by the loss of life and attack on freedom of expression. #JeSuisCharlie.”
>> Mark Ruffalo: “What a tremendous loss. A free press is our greatest weapon against tyranny, home and abroad. #JeSuisCharlie.”
>> Ellen DeGeneres: “My heart is with the city of Paris. #JeSuisCharlie”
>> Justin Timberlake: “Pray for those families who lost loved ones AND the people senseless enough to commit this travesty. #JeSuisCharlie”
Song of the day: The Beatles “Let it be”