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  • Larissa Martin

Celebrities Need a Serious Reality Check, Not Another Paycheck

We’re living in difficult times right now, but some people seem far removed from all of the challenges, especially Hollywood celebrities. Our favorite stars may seem like amazing people in some ways, but many don’t grasp just how privileged they are.

Celebrities often make statements about the general public that are completely off-base.

Many stars have commented on “regular” people’s work ethics, but many have never had to work traditional jobs. When celebrities say things like “Nobody wants to work anymore!” they don’t realize that the reason we vent about our jobs is that our employers significantly underpay us. We show up to work regularly, work until we’re sore and exhausted, and often barely receive enough pay to cover our basic needs. If Hollywood stars had to work “regular” jobs to survive, they probably would complain about the work and pay, too, instead of ranting about other people’s attitudes towards work. The world is a lot rougher when you can’t afford to hire an assistant to do all of the day-to-day tasks you can’t stand

Then, there are the celebrities who buy ridiculously expensive versions of everyday items. Kendall Jenner recently decorated her extravagant new home with a $52,000 couch. Many people who are Jenner’s age rent apartments and may struggle to come up with enough extra money for a couch, much less a brand-new $52,000 couch. But Jenner likely doesn’t think about how ordinary people save up to afford second-hand furniture. And she’s certainly not the only celebrity who spends more on décor than most people spend on down payments on their homes. These celebrities show off their money and likely will never realize how difficult it is for people who aren’t ridiculously wealthy to afford everyday life expenses.

Other celebrities try to act like the rest of us, but they just end up showing that they don’t understand their privilege.

Recently, actress Alyssa Milano set up a GoFundMe and asked for donations for her son’s baseball team. This is something that “sports parents” do all the time — but it’s usually because they can’t afford sports gear and travel expenses for their child’s team. Milano, however, could likely fund all of the team’s expenses herself. She defended her actions, writing on X that she had “paid for uniforms for the entire team and coaches, thrown birthday parties, and sponsored any kid who couldn’t afford monthly dues.” Instead of offering to pay a  more significant portion of the costs, though, she begged for donations despite having millions of dollars in her name. The internet rightfully called her out for her tone-deaf attitude, but Milano is just one of many celebrities who completely deny their privilege.

Celebrities need to stop acting like they know what it’s like to work low-paying jobs and pretend like spending large sums of money is possible for the rest of us. Many people, including teachers, social workers, and nurses, work countless hours for very little pay and in some cases, endure horrible working conditions. They’ll never receive “Hollywood” salaries, have millions of extra dollars to spend, or be able to fully fund their children’s sports team’s expenses. That’s why it’s so important for celebrities to recognize how much privilege they have and use it to help people who don’t have the same resources. Most celebrities need a serious reality check about the “real world…” and it’s long overdue.

Featured Photo via Creative Commons.


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