Thursday, December 6, 2007

An Award for What?

The Grammy nominations have come out. Amy Whinehouse is in the running for multiple awards after her big year of hits including the fan favorite "Rehab". My question, however, is this: Should we be celebrating someone who has made a career out of doing drugs? Think about it. Part of "Rehab"'s popularity was the fact that it mimicked Whinehouse's real life. I am not saying that she is not a talented musician. Barry Bonds is a talented baseball player. But should he be inducted in the hall of fame and given award after award if he used steroids and in effect cheated? Should we, as a society, celebrate someone who achieved greatness even if they did so only because they broke the rules? I would never want my children looking up to someone like Whinehouse. Musicians do drugs. It's a cliche that unfortunately is often too true. But is it right?
Let's look at this situation on a smaller scale. I know of a high school student who was caught drinking alcohol at her senior party. The day before she had been named the school's "All Around Senior", the most prestigious of her high school's awards. As a result she was stripped of that title. I don't think that was unfair. High school athletes caught drinking and/or doing drugs are suspended, many lose the chance at college scholarships. Why shouldn't these same principles extend to Hollywood and celebrity culture?
I am not saying that Amy Whinehouse should/could never be awarded for her work. Let's say years down the road she has proven her sobriety, and the work she was going to be awarded for was produced without the influence of drugs or alcohol, then that would be acceptable. It just makes me sick to think that she will most likely walk away from this with one, if not more, of music's most coveted prizes over someone who has put together equally good material and is equally talented who doesn't do drugs.

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