Even celebrities have a right to privacy

By Dennis Topakov

Kanye West has been one of the most controversial celebrities over the past few years. He’s cocky, talented and outspoken. Whenever it gets a chance, the media jumps all over him. Numerous viral videos have surfaced showing Kanye fighting with paparazzi. If we examined exactly what Kanye is yelling at the paparazzi for, however, we would see a whole different story. Maybe he has a point about respecting everyone’s right to privacy.

David Wolf/Flickr

Throughout most of Kanye’s rants, he focuses on lack of privacy when it comes to media attention. In interviews and on-the-street confrontations, his main message has always been to leave him alone, to let him be with his family and to respect his privacy.

Regardless of how we feel about Kanye, can we really condemn him for pleading to be left alone? Many will argue that because individuals such as Kanye are famous, they chose to forfeit their right to privacy. But privacy is an intrinsic social value that is the right of every human being. Therefore, why should the paparazzi and media keep pushing the envelope when it comes to upholding this value?

This week, Adrian Peterson, the running back for the Minnesota Vikings, lost his son. News of the tragedy quickly spread, and as the week progressed, many people posted false accounts of what had happened on social media. Peterson, a very private individual, asked for all of the pictures and false stories to be taken down.

During Sunday’s post-game interview, Peterson was not asked about the game, but was instead grilled about the details of his tragedy. Peterson did not ask to become famous; he simply excelled at the game that he loved to play as a child. His privacy should not be taken away, especially about such a sensitive subject, even with his celebrity status.

Both West and Peterson understand that the paparazzi, the media and major publicity are aspects of their everyday lives. But is it not one step too far when the media ask about one’s family issues and disrupts one’s daily life? I feel that regardless of social class or esteem, an individual must always be treated with respect. Next time you read a controversial story such as Peterson’s on social media, consider whether you would like the world to know about your hardships or losses before you decide to share it further.

Dennis Topakov is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]