CELEBRITY SCANDALS: CBB and DISHING THE DIRT?
What is a celebrity scandal?
Summer is here and we as a nation in the UK are totally consumed by the personalities scandals and cheating behaviours on ITV2’s Love Island. But we cannot attribute blame exclusively on Love Island, as all reality shows fulfil a basic need in mankind, gratifying many of our sixteen basic desires and drives or motives. Not to mention the associated voyeurism that satisfies the lust of viewers and maintains extortionate viewer ratings. What then do we mean by a scandal?
Scandal derives from a Greek word for “snare,” implying that one is “snared” into moral failure. Scandal was originally a term used to denote a discredit brought upon religion by “unseemly conduct in a religious person,” especially if it encourages a lapse of faith in another’, Other definitions are as follows:
“An action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.
And “rumour or malicious gossip about scandalous events or actions”.
As a broadcaster, TV presenter and TV reality show psychologist, over the years in live telly I have seen the transition from the days when CBB was a basic social experiment imbued with all forms of experts and scientific analysis. But times have changed, our brains have matured much more and it’s within human nature for all of us mortals to enjoy the full repertoire of human emotions from joy to anger to curiosity through intrigue humour jealously and so on. Laughter is the essence for today’s reality tv and more so for this summer’s Celebrity Big Brother. Our brain fuel needs CBB and the predicted exposure of various intimacies and scandals from the housemates leave us filled with curiosity intrigue, arguments as to who did what and for what reason. Who will dish the dirt? The celeb housemates will engage in the most volatile arguments, the muck will fly as each housemate expose their horrid and embarrassing past. This is reality tv, it’s the life oxygen we need and ultimately depend on day by day to keep the nation sane. We are also motivated to not miss one iota of an episode, it’s the “missing out” factor that drives us into an obsessive state emotionally as we ourselves in our cosy homes become the Judge and Jury of the celebrity scandals. Are you taken in by the colourful cover pages of celebrity gossip informing you of the latest celebrity scandal? Wise up guys… do you really think that Stormy Daniels is going into the CBB House? No one knows except the producers and executives and its better that we don’t know just yet. Suspense is good. Can’t see her leaving the dragons den over the pond to spill all in the CBB house Her fee alone could pay for a new CBB series ! But we are not short of scandals in UK . Many of the lesser known mortals with spray tanned chests and a rib cage like circus performing panthers and painted dulux teeth like a piano keyboard have little inside their tiny brain most of the time. Devoid of anything serious in this world socially politically or economically, but coy enough to manipulate the causes of their scandals discounting them as they are debated by the panel on the spin off shows, Bit on the Side. We are all entertainers playing out life like puppets on a string and the Housemates are no different.
What drives them to the scandal?
In my professional TV work with celebrities I’m frequently asked why do celebrities feel the desire to have short lived relationships, and why does the insatiable lust for money sex and cheating behaviour play such a significant part of their daily lives? No one sets out in a relationship even as a celebrity to deliberately cause an international scandal. It’s become the standard norm almost, a very clever little psychological strategy to get world attention, and by jolly it works! Hail the corridors of cathartic power in our beloved studios.
Most but not all celebrities crave attention, their destiny is to be seen and heard and to be centre of controversy. The production and consumption of celebrity scandal has become an international or global network of sharing our intimacies and misdemeanours purely to get attention. The motive is to get it viral within milliseconds and obsessively count the number of hits or likes on Instagram Snapchat or Facebook. Their divorce lawyers are always ready to take that call that sees them falling at their client’s knees in UK or LA to increase their status in the legal fraternity.
Many I know become involved in national or international scandals unintentionally, it’s a professional embarrassment caused by the other party. Sometimes they lack or become victims of poor judgment. They either deceive or are deceived. Celebrity status brings with . But these are celebrities, who have been embroiled in scandals, now wishing to tell their story in the Big Brother House. they are in Love island, TOWIE Corrie Street or CBB, First Dates and so on. Do we as viewers and consumers of celebrity and reality tv permit them to become victims of scandals? Perhaps before the CBB begins in August, you can be your own detective probing the background of these big wig scandals across the pond and here in UK.
Why not get your friends on social media to join you in sussing out the who’s who in these celebrity storms? You may form your own opinions as to who is really responsible and then check it out when you tune into the housemates own accounts each evening. Have fun see if you can catch them out! Are they telling all and will we believe them? We thrive obsessively on being guilty of media gluttony reading periodical covers of the glossies, tabloids red tops revealing the latest celebrity scandals, we love it, these become the talking points of our daily psychological needs, what else can we talk about on social media ? Ironically in defence of CBB, the show meets so many of our needs to maintain our self esteem our sense of understanding, the need to create laughter fun excitement and even to the extent where we will exaggerate the celeb scandals even to seek more attention ourselves.
Emotional tsunami and celeb scandals in the CBB House
Celebrity gossip does more than satisfy an innate human instinct, however — it actually brings us true enjoyment. Its escapism at its very best. For some people, learning about the secret lives of celebrities, what happens behind the scenes, is a way to escape from their daily routine. The juicier the news, the better. Once all the new housemates enter the House, evaluations begin but watch out ! There will be ONE new celebrity that will be the most narcissistic of all the housemates, and who will trigger off the emotional STORM, He or she will cause absolute mayhem by confronting another housemate, perhaps Stormy
Daniels or the volatile big mouth Samantha Markle, if she’s in the house. The suspense is now mounting until mid August, no shortage of explosive celebrity scandals that will have you looking for an extra oxygen supply! The exciting aspect of CBB is that we either love it or hate it. As an ex CBB Psychologist, those who become “addicted” to it summer and winter tell me it makes them feel good. Dump the herbal remedies and St John’s Wort …..you don’t need these when the best antidote to depression is viewers bonding with the housemates. Fun psychology means that we can use this natural remedy to boost our endorphins and serotonin levels. The pure excitement in the Housemates is reflected in the banter with Rylan Clark-Neal and Emma Wills in the spin off show Bit on the Side. The preoccupation with the lives of celebrities isn’t exactly unhealthy. In some cases, it can actually be beneficial to our psychology. People who lack social skills, for example, can use celebrity gossip as a base to bond with others with the same interests. Studio audience and panel guests will disagree vehemently with the nature of the storms and celebrity scandals and who was to blame.
What makes Scandals so fascinating to see and hear?
What makes scandals so interesting? A good scandal can be titillating, outrageous, entertaining, satisfying and edifying—it allows us to feel superior, to pity or despise the transgressor and to get vicarious pleasure, all at the same time. It becomes a “feeding frenzy.” People can’t get enough of it—every morsel will be chewed and devoured like delicious rich cake. As CBB Housemates play to camera, the exaggeration will increase as everyone lies and the situational context of the show will increase the potential for exaggeration between the housemates as their personal lives traumas and storms are exposed. Celebrity scandals allows us to fantasize about high status lives we will never have and here is the dichotomy. Our lives are much in parallel, the boring or reasonably happy lives we live in each day contrasted to the extreme wealthy lifestyles and relationships of the Hollywood A Listers or the realty tv star brigade from TOWIE, Corrie, First Dates, LoveIsland…
Scandal is relative. What causes a scandal at one time or in one place might not in another. There can be no scandal without a scandalized public. Former Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi’s solicitation of underage prostitutes resulted in his arrest, but apparently, no significant scandal. According to Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, that is because, in Italy everyone loves parties.
Susan Kolod Ph.D and I take the same view about why people LOVE scandals and in the 18th Birthday edition of CBB. Here’s her take and mine:
1 Vicarious pleasure in the rule-breaking of another. Transgression is titillating. Every person is tempted to break rules and boundaries but for the most part, resists. The scandalous person has given into temptation.
2.Pleasure at the punishment of the transgressor. There is a sense of moral satisfaction when the scandalous person is humiliated or punished. It restores faith in the orderliness of the moral universe. Scandals exaggerate the sense that there are good and bad people.
3.Pleasure at watching someone “get away with it.” In Missing Out, Phillips writes that “getting away with it” occurs when you obtain the forbidden object of desire without paying penalty. The unpunished transgressor allows us to imagine this (potentially thrilling) experience.
4.Pleasure at being asked to forgive. This elicits a feeling of power and triumph in the person to whom the request is made. The transgressor has to grovel, and forgiveness can either be granted or denied. This provides the non-transgressor a feeling of superiority, however fleeting.
5. And perhaps most importantly, distraction from the tedium of one’s own difficult everyday problems. Reading about the scandals that have beset others is a great distraction. Not only does it take our minds off our problems, it also assures us that our problems are small and manageable in comparison.
In summary then. We have no idea who the Celebrity Housemates will be, but one sure thing. There WILL BE SCANDAL and over the time they are in Big Brother House I want you to watch my You tube videos and twitter updates as to who is conning who with the cause of and impact of the scandal and the Storms in their lives. Everyone is a psychologist , so here’s your chance to play forensic psychologists with Big Brothers Housemates. Have fun each night, spread the word on social media, be interactive with the show, tell them what you think and get the fireworks cracking.
The Celebrity Doctor