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September 19, 2023

TV, fame support violence

This past week, Trayvon Martin would have turned 19 years old.

I figured his birthday was the reason why his name was a trending topic on Twitter. When I clicked on his name and sifted through the tweets that mentioned it, I was shocked at what I read.

George Zimmerman, the man who was found not guilty, is set to star in a “celebrity boxing match.”

His rumored opponent is rapper DMX, but no official confirmation has been made.

My first response to this “news” was asking myself, since when did fatally shooting a teenager give someone celebrity status?

No matter what your views are about the case, it’s clear that the goal of this “celebrity boxing match” is for Zimmerman to keep his 15 minutes of fame.

But why does he have fame?

Giving or upholding celebrity status to violent people is a disturbing trend in our culture that worries me.

Actor Charlie Sheen, for example, allegedly shot his fiancée, Kelly Preston, in 1990, beat his girlfriend, Brittany Ashland and threatened to kill her in 1996 and threatened to kill his wife, Denise Richards in 1996, pleaded guilty of third degree domestic violence against his most recent wife, Brooke Mueller, in 2010.

And yet, not only does Sheen get off easy with fines and short jail times, he also keeps his celebrity status by continuing to get acting jobs.

In fact, he currently stars in a television show called “Anger Management,” in which his character has anger issues.

Apparently, Sheen can and does profit by being his awful self on TV.

My question is, why?

Why are we as viewers allowing Sheen to gain visibility and further his celebrity status by being awful?

He may have been famous for acting and being part of an acting family, but his celebrity is now rooted entirely in violence.

Zimmerman, an ordinary citizen, is now well-known for shooting a teenager.

Since his acquittal, he has used his story to stay visible to the public eye by auctioning off a controversial painting of the American flag and now, boxing someone on pay-per-view TV.

If we are ever going to end this strange reward system that pop culture is giving to violent people, the change is going to have to start with us.

Don’t support violent people.

The only way to de-celebrify them is to stop paying attention [literally].

Vote with your dollars by not supporting them, and do not tune into their TV shows so you are not included in ratings.

Because if you do, you are helping them and people similar to them continue to promote violence.

Respond to Emily at

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