What Alec Baldwin’s ‘I’m Done’ Letter Is Showing Us About Media (and Ourselves)


Why are we all part of Alec Baldwin’s public good-bye?

Whether you agree or disagree with Alec Baldwin is irrelevant.

The shallow media has had a dazzling run slashing actor Alec Baldwin. Following his altercation with a TMZ paparazzi, Baldwin has been hit with an outcry of criticisms and cold shoulders from the public, and the media and entertainment industries. His personal New York Magazine article published yesterday was a lay-it-all-on-the-line account of his life over the last few years, and why that was the last time he will “talk about [his] personal life in an American publication ever again.”

But why should we really care?

Alec Baldwin’s daily life — coffee runs, bike rides — all the things you and I do outside of our four walls without interruption, is literally someone’s job to document and sell. Baldwin (and all celebrities) has been trailed by photographers and videographers, just to capture an inside snapshot. And the worse the image, the better the story, the higher the paycheck.

His public ‘I’m Done’ statement speaks beyond him and his career. Between the lines of the essay, a power struggle of human dignity vs. entertainment lurks.

As fun as it may be sometimes to get an inside human glimpse of celebrity life of these beautiful, talented and wealthy individuals, it is nothing but entertainment. And yet, isn’t it ethically wrong for someone’s personal life to be entertainment? Their lives are filled with as much a mixture of doubt and joy as anyone’s.

For all the mindfulness that has entered our culture, so has the degradation of respect for privacy.

Think about it. The shallow media (which has grown to include most major media outlets that used to focus more on straight news) lives off celebrities’ personal, often sacred moments. Like when Valentino issued a press release promoting the designer’s handbag that Amy Adams was spotted carrying into Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral.

People, just like you and me, are experiencing their most hurtful human events, not only internally, but throughout news feeds around the globe.

Moreover, this form of media is distracting us from what is really news, like pivotal events that are happening around the world, such as the uprising on the streets of Kiev.

Rather than informing ourselves on how to create a better world we are matching ourselves up to people. It’s petty. So, no wonder why people are saying our generation needs a good ass kicking, and Alec Baldwin is saying good-bye to public life. We are criticizing rather than encouraging. Degrading rather than supporting.

“The heart, the arteries of the country are now clogged with hate,” says Baldwin in his statement.

And in today’s viral society the exposure happens quicker and more often.

You’re out there in a world where if you do make a mistake, it echoes in a digital canyon forever,” said Baldwin.

Luckily, the truth is, we all have a choice as to which voice we will let resonate.

Related on Ecosalon

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Celebrity Kids Vs. Paparazzi: A Bystander Tells All


image: Wikicommons

Juliette Donatelli

Working in the field of sustainability for over seven years, Juliette is passionate about its intersection within the fashion industry. Juliette began studying ecological conservation, and led consumer awareness campaigns around the world from water usage in southern California, riparian restoration in South Africa, food distribution in Paris and bison habitat in the Great Plains. She has launched her passion--consumerism and sustainability--into a place where it hits home--fashion. Juliette is the founder and editor-in-chief of spadesandsilk.com, Director of Sustainability at Manufacture NY, and loves to read, dance, swim and enjoy the occasional glass of champagne.