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Sophia Bush Shares a Powerful Take on the Dehumanisation of the Celebrity

Sophia Bush is reflecting on society’s dehumanisation of celebrities, reminding us all that those who bring joy to our lives through film and television are people, not objects and deserve to be treated as such.

And at CelebrityKind, you know we’re cheering her on, loudly!

Speaking to Podcrushed hosts Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin and Sophie Ansari who, side note, are some of the most thoughtful and empathetic interviewers of our time, the actor and activist described a scary incident with a fan which clarified just how exposed she is as a public figure:

“I had a beer and there was a guy at the table next to me and all my friends who walked right up to me and stuck his camera, like, in my face to take a picture… And I was like, ‘please don’t do that.'”

The One Tree Hill alum says the man kept videoing and taking pictures of her without her consent, making her feel like a “zoo animal”. And despite a polite attempt to get him to stop by introducing herself and letting him know that he was making her feel uncomfortable, the situation escalated:

“He was like, ‘I don’t have to stop, you’re in public.’ And I said, ‘ok, but is there no world in which you can understand you are making me feel… like a piece of meat? Like I’m not human?’ He said, ‘I watch your shows so I pay your f***ing salary. You are a piece of meat to me.”


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She adds that the man referred to her as a “TV prostitute” and the situation became physical with those around her coming to her defence.

“They say, you’re a performer, perform for me,” Sophia tells Podcrushed. “They treat you like an object or a commodity. They believe they’re entitled to details about your life. They believe they’re entitled to details about how you build your family. They believe they’re entitled to criticise how you built your family. They believe they’re entitled to criticise whom you’ve dated and when you’ve dated and what you’ve ever said and if you’ve ever left a bar drunk.”

And she’s right – the constant message consumers are fed through the media, intrusive paparazzi shots, invasive tabloid articles and fabricated narratives is that there are no boundaries when it comes to celebs. They are fair game simply because they chose a career in the spotlight. They are objects for consumption.

But this mindset completely strips them of their human-ness. It disregards the very serious mental health impacts of fame, constant scrutiny and pressure, and the lack of privacy.

“It’s such an insane heaping pile of sh** that we throw onto people,” Sophia continues, “and we do it because we also work in an industry that presents this false notion of wealth, privilege beauty and success. And that’s just not what most people experience and I think it’s deeply toxic.”

During the episode, Sophia also speaks about the importance of taking on causes that are important to her, having friends at school but still feeling like an outsider, the ups and downs of working in the entertainment industry and the importance of love and connection.

You can listen to the full chat HERE.

(Feature Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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