Posted by: keepfishing | March 6, 2008

Role model reponsibility

A few weeks ago was the annual showcase for British music, the Brit awards. In the world of music , they remain the patriotic awards, having more awards specifically for British artists than anyone else. It may seem a little biased, but it seems that the logic asserts that the rest of the world has the Grammys and MTV awards, so they can be left out for a while. The awards are largely famous for two things: Jarvis Cocker’s intrusion on stage and arse wiggle during Michael Jackson’s performance of Earthsong, and the raft of artists who happen to be currently boycotting it. This year it was Craig David and in the past it’s been the Arctic Monkeys (who interestingly reappeared when they allowed alcohol at the event again).This years event was hosted by our favourite reality TV exports, the Osbourne family, and was highly anticipated by many for the return of the rather bonkers and unfortunate, Amy Winehouse.  

Ultimately, rather than being a fun, family-centric affair, where Britain’s fineset acts were applauded and the night was made complete by the triumphant return of our favourite dive, fresh and squeeky clean from rehab, resplendent with her majestic voice, the night descended into not much more than car crash TV. Almost everyone was trolleyed. Sharon Osbourne, got all tiddly and resorted to screaming her improvised lewd introductions and had to be repeatedly rescued by her daughter, half the folk giving out the awards couldn’t open the envelopes and when the Arctic Monkeys came to collect their awards (twice), they didn’t bother with a speech and stumbled around the stage until they were kicked off. Amy Winehouse sounded pretty ropey (although some people are blaming the sound technicians) and most certainly wasn’t clean yet.

This little observation isn’t a moral tirade against the evils of drinking. Rather, it’s about the moral obligation celebrities and ITV have to consider the people who are watching. Rock stars get drunk and take drunks. It’s not the wisest way to live a life, but it’s a reality, it’s what they do. Unfortunately, drink and drugs have the potential to cause lifestyle problems (see Amy Winehouse). Whether they like it or not, musicians are role models, and in a nation with chronic problems of binge drinking (apparently the number of drunk under-8s are on the rise), a whole load of the country’s most popular people stumbling around incoherently on prime time telly, is not the best example to be setting. Where does the responsibility lie? It’s a music awards ceremony – people are likely to get drunk. Therefore, don’t put it on the telly (like the NME awards). Or, if you want to sell some more records, put it on the telly, and take away the alcohol again. Most the artists are big boys and girls and can wait a few hours until the after party. Really, I think most of the responsibility lies with the musicians (and the other famous people who embarrassed themselves). I don’t care if they never asked to be role models – they certainly wanted to be famous with their music, and with great power, comes great responsibility. You can’t have your cake and eat it. Is a little professionalism too much to ask for?



  1. I thought the Brit Awards snubbed Craig David rather than it being the other way round

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