Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Entertainers Do We Trust?

Americans trust celebrities.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Americans worship celebrities.  They live to watch them, read about them, and spot them in a crowd.  They want to be with them – even be them.  And they trust them more than anyone.

According to a poll taken by Reader’s Digest, seven of the top 10 spots on a list of “100 Most Trusted People in America” are actors.  Yes, people who make a living playing other people and exhibiting a fantasy life, are the most trusted.

Judge Judy outranked all nine Supreme Court justices on a trust scale.  People prefer fake over real.  Tom Hanks, according to this list, is the most trusted person in America.  The first non-actor on the list is poet and writer Maya Angelou, at number five.

Of those that made the list, but just barely, were #99 Paul Krugman and #100 Shepard Smith.

Sandra Bullock is the most trusted woman.  Denzel Washington is the most trusted African American.

Robin Roberts of GMA is the most trusted TV news personality.  Next is Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Katie Couric, and Barbara Walters.

Reader’s Digest noted that 77% of respondents said actors, as a profession, are the most respected, followed by spiritual advisors and their children’s teachers.  Authors and book publicists didn’t make the cut.

So what does this mean, other than the obvious?
·         People are idiots.
·         We trust people who make us feel good.
·         We trust those who are likeable.
·         We trust those who are famous.

If you want a testimonial for your book, choose an actor.  They apparently have more street credibility than entrepreneurs, politicians, authors, sports heroes, and other types of leaders.

On the other hand, what does it mean to trust another?  Does it mean you believe others will be truthful and honest with you?  Does it mean you trust they will do what’s in your best interest?  Does it mean they embody values you can support?  If so, how do you say actors, who spend most of their time reading lines or snorting them, are the most trustworthy?

Clearly, good actors are great at lying – they can convince you of anything.

I would think actors are the least trustworthy.  But in an upside-down world, our fame-seekers are viewed as trust-worthy saviors.  I wish more faith would be placed onto our authors.  Writers seek the truth, so they should be deemed as trustworthy.  On the other hand, writers make words dance to their own tunes.  They manipulate words to meet their needs.  Maybe writers are no more trustworthy than anyone else.  Truth is, no one is trustworthy.

We all live our lives.  None of us are selfless martyrs.  Maybe we trust actors simply because it completes our willingness to be deluded.  We want to believe in someone or something.  Some choose religion, others money, but most seem to have faith in actors.

In Hollywood, we trust.

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