Why I don’t want to be famous: Starsuckers

I like to think I am not a victim to the media’s tricks. I’ve grown into someone who spots product placement a mile off – Rufus used Bing search in last week’s Gossip Girl – but Starsuckers told me a lot more about this vicious industry.

“It’s a parent’s best dream isn’t it? Having their kids on TV?” These are the words from a father in a shopping mall where a TV Crew had set up a fake casting call for a company called X-Ploit. (Get it?!) They managed to get parents to sign disclaimers that basically allowed their kids to appear in any form of media advertising any product. Parents and kids alike want the elusive ‘fame’. And it seems that many will do anything for it.

Throughout the documentary, a young American boy is followed, willingly, with cameras documenting his popularity. His parents seemed more grounded than I would have expected so I must give them some credit, however seeing a five year old auditioning day in day out, appearing on ads for just about anything, doesn’t entertain me. It worries me. It sounds clichéd, but society is evolving too quickly. And who knows what the future will bring…

The power of association is also worrying. Simply by changing an infamous villain in history’s birthday made a group of students write about him in a positive light as a misunderstood man. Thinking that you have something in common with someone who’s ‘known’ can lead people to do stupid things.

There’s a Hannah Montana alarm clock in the States that genuinely tells kids to go and buy her products at Wallmart. Ok, not directly, but it might as well do so. I guess you can argue the ‘supply and demand’ thing, but ultimately, I find it hard to see how you can say that this is not wrong. If kids are being forcefed advertising and celebrity, then it can’t come as a suprise that the majority of them will raise their hands when asked “Who wants to be famous?”

As soon as the programme started, in my head all I could think about was one name: Max Clifford. And just after one hour, the infamous personality appeared. He is the PR agent. He did not appear in the film in the form of interviews (he didn’t want to be in the programme), instead, clips from other documentaries were used to give an insight into his delightful profession.

Do you know what I’ve realised from this programme? I don’t want fame. I never have done. I just want to work in the media industry. Because I enjoy it. That’s why I promote this blog, to improve my writing and for the tiny chance that someone might read this who can help me out careerwise. If it ever comes across that I want something more, can I please make it clear that I do not. I, quite simply, want to work in an industry that’s often overshadowed by the traumas of ‘celebrity’.

Watch it here.

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2 comments so far

  1. Rachael on

    Brilliant post. I watched starsuckers after posting the Max Clifford viral on my blog. I’m an ex PR whose turned journalist and I can tell you once you see the inside of these industries it does make you stop and think. I can’t for the life of me think why so many people want to be famous, look where it get’s them? In the end the majority end up sad and lonely because you never know whom your friends are and whether they want you for the perks or because they’re genuine – why would any parent want this for their child?
    Brilliant blog post and best of luck in your writing career!! ☺

  2. […] that Chris Atkins, the creator of Starsuckers, was taking the session. And if you’ve read my blog about that documentary, you’ll know why I’d have loved to meet the brains behind it all. I get […]


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