This story appeared on PopEater.com on Tuesday, and it got me thinking. (one of the thoughts was, “what the heck am I doing on PopEater.com?)
Here’s the deal. A couple days before this article appeared, Perez Hilton (shudder) posted a picture of Miley Cyrus, 17, on his blog. She was getting out of a car and appeared to not be wearing any undergarments. Whether the picture was doctored or not is under speculation, but initial perception was that it was authentic. Hilton took the picture down later that evening, but not before many people saw the picture, and likely downloaded it themselves. There now is a controversy brewing – a group of people is calling for the prosecution of Hilton for Child Pornography, which would carry a 10-year prison sentence and a lifetime on the Sexual Predator Registry.
Here’s my problem with all of this.
Setting aside for the moment the fact that Perez Hilton is the King of Slime and should never have been in “business” in the first place, this is what he does. I suppose, based on the wording of the law, that he could be in trouble for Child Pornography, however, I also believe that with something this serious, an entire situation must be assessed, rather than operating in a vacuum by considering a single action. Hilton is a scum, yes. He’s a freak of nature, a creep, arrogant, narcissistic, petulant, and ugly. But a criminal? For a single picture which is no different from dozens of others which he has run on his site? The only difference is that Miss Cyrus is 17 years old, and therefore a minor. To prosecute him and force him to be listed on the Sexual Predator Registry would simply further dilute the already nearly ineffective List.
And now we come to what I believe is a major issue in this whole sordid situation, and one that very few people are considering, because it is decidedly politically UN-correct.
Miss Cyrus’s behavior.
Yes, Miley Cyrus is, technically, a minor. She is 17 years old, which makes her a child in the eyes of the law. I understand that a line must be drawn somewhere in order to define laws. However, this is where the Grey Area comes in. When do we consider the behavior of the “victim”? And I put the word ‘victim’ in quotes for a reason – a woman who is assaulted and raped is a victim. Miley Cyrus is not a victim. For years, we have watched her prostitute herself. Yes, she portrayed the squeaky-clean Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel (and I have to assume that Hannah Montana was squeaky clean, because, honestly, I’ve never even seen an ad for the show. I have only marketing and merchandise that I see in the stores to go by), but that’s where “squeaky clean” ends. In her real life, she has been anything but innocent. Beginning with a questionable photo shoot in Vanity Fair when she was 15, and continuing through the next two years, which saw her living with her 20-year-old boyfriend, lap-dancing in YouTube Videos, and exhibiting frankly questionable taste in clothing when appearing in concert and awards shows, I fail to understand why suddenly this particular photo is an issue.
Why are so many jumping on Mr. Hilton for publishing the photo when Miss Cyrus is out there, daily, stirring the pot and sexing it up at every turn? Why is nobody holding her responsible for her own behavior? After all, she is old enough to live on her own, in her own house, drive her own car, own her own line of clothing, and presumably, have some sort of voice in her singing and television career. Suddenly, she’s an innocent who doesn’t realize that you shouldn’t go undie-less when wearing a skirt and exiting a car in front of the paparazzi? Really? As I said before, Perez Hilton is pond scum, but one picture does not make a man (and I use that term loosely) a pedophile. Especially a picture that he didn’t take – he simply reproduced it on his site… a move which was stupid, careless, boneheaded and morally reprehensible. But I don’t believe it’s criminal. There are plenty of things to bury Hilton for. This is not one of them.
I cannot believe that I’m actually defending Perez Hilton. I need a shower.