Ethics of celebrities and their increasing influence in 21st century society

Journal of Business Ethics 91 (3):313 - 318 (2010)
The influence of celebrities in the 21st century extends far beyond the traditional domain of the entertainment sector of society. During the recent Palestinian presidential elections, the Hollywood actor Richard Gere broadcast a televised message to voters in the region and stated, “Hi, I’m Richard Gere, and I’m speaking for the entire world”. Celebrities in the 21st century have expanded from simple product endorsements to global political and international diplomacy. The celebrities industry is undergoing, “mission creep”, or the expansion of an enterprise beyond its original goals (Hyde, 2009 ). The global internet is one of the major drivers of this phenomenon. The contribution of this paper is to analyse this global phenomenon and the potential implications for business ethics research.
Keywords ethics  celebrities  mission creep  fame  addiction  internet
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