Don’t make jokes about celebrities being harmed

Image via Wikimedia
Image via Wikimedia

They’re people deserving of respect

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor

Recently, Kim Kardashian was held up at gunpoint in a hotel in Paris by masked robbers. They stole over $11 million worth of jewellery from her while she was gagged, bound, and locked in the bathroom. Kim has been severely impacted by the event, with her husband Kanye West delaying parts of his concert tour to look after her.

Kim is an often hated-on celebrity. She is famous for being famous, shallow, and extremely rich. She’s at a much different level socially and economically than even many of her fellow A-list celebrities. She’s not my favourite famous person either—but I’m still deeply troubled and horrified when this kind of thing happens.

Kim initially thought she was going to be raped when the intruders entered. This is the worst fear and harshest reality for women everywhere. Kim was emotionally traumatized, held hostage, and invaded in her private residence. It is a life-altering event for her and her loved ones. The personal circumstances of the victim or crime are unimportant here. Kim had $11 million stolen from her, which is only a small fraction of her net worth. But money is irrelevant in this kind of situation.

Kim does not deserve any of what she is going through. It doesn’t matter how rich, famous, unsympathetic to mere mortals, or personally hated by you she is. Kim is a human being who was assaulted and traumatized by criminals. I (obviously) wouldn’t wish what she’s going through on any of my loved ones, nor would I wish it on my worst enemy.

The jokes and quips made by generally awful people are part of a bigger problem. Too often, we devalue a celebrity’s humanity and worthby their image. Every time a beloved celebrity dies, I hear jokes that “God should have taken Justin Bieber/Kim Kardashian/a celebrity I dislike” instead. This is wishing death on people. This is trivializing a tragic and serious issue. Nobody deserves to die, and no one deserves to feel afraid for their safety or boundaries.

We don’t know these celebrities personally. We can have valid opinions on their personalities based on their actions, which are naturally highlighted due to their being public figures. However, I doubt the people who make these jokes would say them to Kim Kardashian’s face. I also doubt that they truly believe or realize the intent behind what they’re saying. Certainly, some people are literally The Worst and really are that awful towards other human beings. But mostly, it’s failing to examine what we really stand for and believe about others.

Take accountability for your words. Understand the true intent of what you wish on your fellow human beings. Have compassion when horrible things happen to others, even if they’re people you don’t respect or care for. Everyone deserves sympathy and support after a serious event.