Gawker recently posted an article that literally dug up a list of Bill Cosby’s acts of alleged sexual perversion and molestation towards women and I do not know how to digest it. And now more women are starting to come forward, accusing one of our most beloved TV fathers of sexual assault. In the light of Woody Allen being publicly accused of sexual assault on his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow spreading from news outlets to blogs all over the internet and R. Kelly’s past child molestation claims recently making headlines again after being swept under the rug 15 years ago, I’m left wondering–in the social media age, where we know way too much information about celebrities–how do we process their very public indiscretions and skewed morals?
We live in a instant gratification kind of world now and everyday the internet slaps you in the face with eye popping photos and headlines that are salacious enough to distract you from work. Celebrities who used to be mystified and almost untouchable by the average person are now right at our fingertips, every single day. Even if they don’t “@” us directly or RT our 140-character brilliance, we still feel connected to them as if we could assess them when we saw fit. There was a time where your only interaction with celebrities was by writing in to the fan club, seeing the snapshots of them by the paparazzi, or on their shows, at their concerts–but there was never a way to touch these people the way we can now with Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Feeling more connected to these celebrities, it’s easier to be more judgmental on their morals, or on the questionable things that they have allegedly done before social media became a huge part of our culture. That’s why it’s easier to sweep things that happened before the social media age under the rug. Bill Cosby’s alleged sexual assaults were a shock to me. I admittedly had no idea. The Gawker article claimed, “With shocking speed, it [Cosby’s alleged sexual assault] was effectively forgotten. When the subject came up today, more than half the Gawker staff had no memory of any sexual allegations against Bill Cosby.”
What Woody Allen, R. Kelly and Bill Cosby have in common is that their alleged sexual assaults took place prior to the microwave social media culture that is Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ve become conditioned in the last couple of years to receiving updates on everyone who is a part of our lives, right on the spot. And most times, we’re “following” celebrities and know about their scandals before they even admit to it.