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Celebrities not “real people” after all

Lillie C., Staff Reporter
January 31, 2012
Filed under Opinion

In 2001, Michael Vick started a dog fighting ring in his own family’s home garage. It wasn’t until 2007 that an investigation was ordered and police showed up at Vick’s home inSoutheastern Virginiaand found cages full of dogs. The dogs had been hurt and dying from fighting, illness, and starvation. Vick was arrested and sentenced to twenty-three months in prison, with a fine of $2,500. He served time and paid money for attorneys to find homes for the dogs. Most of the dogs were Pit Bulls, which are the top fighting dogs because of their ability to bite hard and lock their jaws until they are ready to let go. Michael Vick is not the only superstar society has seen do horrible things and refuses to let that bring them down. Other stars break the law and still wind up coming back into the spotlight like it was a publicity stunt.

Chris Brown is major news right now for the assault of girlfriend Rhianna. He was sentenced five years of probation and community service for six months. Yet, he is more popular now than he has been in the four years he’s been in the public eye. The first night after being on probation, which prohibits him from going to an alcohol serving establishment, went to a night club. Of course, He gets his first little “Oops!” and gets away with it because the night club served food and wasn’t just a bar. Not to mention, his performance at the 2011 VMAs. Only a handful of people refused to stand up and cheer for him. That is an outrage. All that Brown got was a slap on the wrist, not the full punishment of the law. 

Nick Bollea or, Hogan, son of WWE wrestler, Hulk Hogan; was speed racing in the streets ofCaliforniawhile his friend rode shotgun. They crashed and sent both of them to the hospital. Hogan, receiving minimum injuries went home soon after. But, his “best friend”; John Graziano, was basically a vegetable. He was declared to be living in a nursing home for the rest of his so called machine-operated life. Hogan was charged with reckless driving and only spent eighteen months in jail (which he got out due to good behavior), five hundred hours of community service, five years of probation and his license suspended for three years. Some ask if that was enough, or should he face more jail time because it was basically murder? “At least Graziano didn’t physically die,” says Hogan’s father, Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea. He referred to Graziano’s coma as “karma” due to the opinion that John was a negative person. Oh, so just because you are a negative person means that your son has the right to turn him into the living dead? Graziano will be a vegetable for the rest of his life. That is the most depressing part of it all.

So why is it that these superstars are doing horrible things, knowing that they are role models, and yet they still are being treated as if nothing happened? Because the precedent is that they get off easier than the average Joe. Shouldn’t society treat them the way they should be treated? Should Michael Vick be allowed to play football after the cruel abuse those dogs endured? Should Chris Brown ever be allowed to have contact with another female? Should Nick Hogan be allowed to drive ever again? It seems to me that celebrities are being put on a pedestal. And because they are celebrities they get off a tad easier. If it were a normal civilian who had done those horrible things to those dogs or a female, would they see the outside of jail for a long time? And twenty-three months isn’t very long, obviously. Animal abuse involving fighting, injuring, killing, torture, or poisoning an animal is a third degree felony which gets two to ten years of jail time with a ten thousand dollar fine. Did Michael Vick not torture, kill, fight, and injure those dogs? I think I rest my case. Celebrities get off too easy. They should be tried like normal people, because when paparazzi are following them around, don’t they say “We’re just normal people!” I guess defying the law and getting away with it is just one of the perks of being famous.