I’m always shocked when broadcasters and celebrities “behave badly” both on air and on social media. Not because of what is said or implied, but because they seem not to know any better (though they clearly should).
Public figures have to accountable for what they post online. They are their own brand, and making posts with specific political, racial, or any sort of implication reflects on the brand. Everyone monitors his or her posts; there is no privacy. Shouldn’t they know better?
The obvious example is Kanye West. West post what he wants, when he wants, making vast generalizations and accusations. However, his brand is stronger than ever. Has the novelty of the inappropriate celebrity worn off? Or is this just what we have come to expect from certain public figures?
Another example is Donald Trump, who uses Twitter to air grievances and basically talk smack about other celebrities. Is it even news anymore when he rants and raves? Or is it just enough publicity to keep him relevant when nothing else is going on in his career.
It surprises me that more celebrities aren’t locked into ethical contracts with their management, record label, TV station, etc. I would enforce such a contract with specific guidelines about what hot button topics can be discussed, and how to handle when asked about them. Social media should help build the individual brand, and add to the reach of the governing body (TV station, record label, etc.). Repeat abuse of the policy should result in suspension of airtime and pay, as it would with any other career.
I think we all learned this when we were young, but it rings true today: If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.