Celebrities really don’t get a break. When they’re working, they’re placed under a microscope and are criticized for the smallest things. When they’re taking a break, fans don’t respect their privacy.
This was the case for beauty vlogger Bretman Rock who recently flew home to the Philippines to attend his father’s funeral. He announced this on Instagram Stories, noting that he’ll be in the country for a week to be with family and to also give his followers a heads up as to why he might not post regularly on social media.
When we heard about this, we decided not to report on his arrival for a couple reasons: 1) Bretman’s not coming home for a makeup workshop, a vacation, or anything similar; 2) We didn’t want fans to get too excited and think it’s okay to hunt him down while he’s in the province attending to a personal matter.
True enough, we saw several fans asking if Bretman can do a collab with internet star Mimiyuuuh when news came out that he was back in the PH.
— pelino (@FEEEELICITY) November 21, 2019
Sure, Bretman was updating followers on IG Stories by showing them the private plane they rode going to Cagayan De Oro, and even some of his activities with his family and boyfriend. His sister Princess Mae was also posting on her IG Stories. However, these aren’t excuses for fans to suddenly show up at the funeral to try and meet Bretman and his family.
The beauty vlogger expressed his frustration and disappointment on Twitter, saying that random people kept going up to him at the funeral to ask for a photo. “I just don’t understand why people think it’s okay to ask me for pictures when my eyes are literally swollen from crying. How you gonna say, ‘condolences, can we take a picture?'”
I just don’t understand why people think it’s okay to ask me for pictures when my eyes are literally swollen from crying … how you you gonna say “condolences , can we take a picture ?”
— Bretman Rock ? (@bretmanrock) November 21, 2019
Um, what happened to boundaries and respecting personal space, people?
This has been an ongoing fandom problem—not just in the Philippines, but even in other countries. When a celebrity is in a public space, people think it’s okay to just demand for selfies. If they decline, they are bashed for not being accommodating.
The common argument I’ve seen online is that celebrities should stop for photos and be nice to fans because they wouldn’t be here without them. What people don’t seem to understand is that celebrities are human beings too, not robots who would follow their fans’ every whim just because they owe it to them.
What’s worse is there are some instances wherein fans follow celebrities and even low-key harass them in public. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season seven alum Katya said during a panel that a fan once charged inside a store she was in, grabbed her by the arms, and shouted at her face.
Another example of fans not respecting a celebrity’s privacy was during the funeral of Nadine Lustre’s younger brother. She had to ask fans via IG Stories to stop posting/reposting photos and videos of her at the funeral.
Celebrities are free to say “no” to photos and even hugs in public, and no one should hold that against them. How will you understand the importance of consent if you yourself won’t take “no” for an answer? We know it’s exciting to meet your idols, but it’s also important to be considerate.
Bretman Rock and the other names we mentioned aren’t the first, nor the last, celebrities who’ve experienced this type of fan treatment. Remember: If your first response to “no” is hostility and annoyance, you better rethink if you view your idol as a human being or just someone who exists for your entertainment.
Art by Tricia Guevara
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