I will admit up front that I actually enjoyed Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid Love. In fact, I have enjoyed Emma Stone’s performances in most of the movies I’ve seen her in (Superbad, the House Bunny) and she was actually tolerable in that gawd-awful Amazing Spiderman reboot from earlier this year. I avoided The Help like the plague. However, if I was a super-duper fan of Emma’s I’d want to read interviews about her, see her when she was on Jimmy Kimmel and yes, I’d want to see her sex tape. Which is why the revelation yesterday that Emma Stone, the rising romantic comedy starlet has a sex tape floating around with her and a previous boyfriend (not her current boo Andrew Garfield) shouldn’t be seen as a problem, but more as the next consumable good that will add to her career resume.
No, I’m not about to make some hackneyed argument that the revelation of Sex Tapes is good for your career …. “Look at Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian blah blah blah.” Those women don’t work for a living. They are famous for having famous or wealthy parents and being anachronistic examples of financial excess in a recessionary era that both loves and secretly loathes wealthy people. Their sex tapes were just part of their overall image as nasty bad-girls (or in Kardasian’s case that she was down with black guys). But when you eliminate them as outliers the Sex Tape really no longer has an impact on the success or failure of anyone in Hollywood anymore and hasn’t for quite some time.
The reason is because we are in the “Post-Oprah” culture. It is okay for everyone to share everything. In some respects this is a good thing, celebrities being about to speak out about sexual abuse in their pasts, or come out of the closet, or mental illness or disabilities can help people across the nation, when in the past these things might’ve been kept in the closet. On the bad side it makes everything about you a commodity to be sold. Spent the 80s hooked on drugs? Book yourself on Dr. Drew and talk about it while promoting your new action film. Cheated on your wife and knocked up your housekeeper? Write a best – selling book about and make a new movie. Sex tapes have just become the newest thing about a celebrity that people can consume. There is no real shock or shame anymore, Sex Tapes just don’t matter to the public unless they reveal something about the celebrity that is offensive to the general public (like Screech) or completely at odds with their Hollywood image (waiting for that gay sex tape from some male celebrity any day now!).
The Emma Stone story will hover around the edges of the internet for a few days before either A.) Stone and her team manage to buy the video and keep it from ever hitting the internet or B.) The movie gets released and nobody cares because Emma Stone is already popular and it was her and a consenting partner. The gossip sites of the world needn’t spent a lot of pixels on this story because in the end it won’t really matter. Besides, can anyone really name the last time that a released sex tape actually damaged someone’s career?
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.