30 Sep

In 1993, former NBA star Charles Barkley famously declared in a Nike commercial that he was not a role model. That stirred up a conversation about the place that professional athletes and other celebrities — movie stars, musicians, etc. — have in our society and, in particular, their influence and effect on impressionable children. Now, just a few days ago, Detroit Pistons great Ben Wallace was pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol and a weapons violation just a few miles from the OCC Highland Lakes campus in Bloomfield Township (Barkley has also been arrested on DUI charges in the past). But this kind of behavior isn’t just a problem with basketball players; certainly, celebrities across the pop culture and mass media spectrum have engaged in activities that have been less than admirable and yet they still continue to get work (for the most part).

And in your next major essay, the fake celebrity obituary, you are presumably picking a celebrity you dislike to shuffle off this mortal coil. But instead of that this week, I want you to focus on the best — not the worst — celebrities in this QOTW response.

So here’s the question: In about 150-200 words and including one source (newspaper or magazine article, website, etc.), tell us who the best celebrity in the world is — not because of their talents, but because of their behavior and/or personality when out of the limelight, a time when most of the bad celebrity actions take place. Let’s hear about the positive things for once, and tell us who you think the best-behaved and most admirable celebrity is, regardless of the field in which that celebrity operates (music, movies, art, athletics, etc….). Your response to this Question of the Week is due by class time on Friday, Oct. 7.


17 Responses to “QUESTION OF THE WEEK – WEEK 5”

  1. Alex Duenas September 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Personally I don’t really take to much interest into the lives of celebrities. Not because I don’t like the idea of todays “entertainment” but rather because I just simply do not care. If I was to choose a celebrity that in my opinion is one of the best role models I might pick someone like Taylor Swift. I don’t know personally too much about her or what she has accomplished but I have heard nothing but positive remarks. Her songs are (even though sometimes filled with negative concepts such as heartbreak) never filled with vulgar speech. She has continually showed the public that she is a positive figure by not releasing any sex tapes, nude photos, scandals, or even drinking for that matter. In my opinion she has got to be one of the “cleanest” celebrities in the entertainment industry today and many others have similar views ( On this blog similar views are expressed that Swift, at only 19, has been one of the best role models for young girls in the present.

  2. Ashlie Detiege October 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I would have to say that Reese Witherspoon is definitely one of the most well-behaved and admirable celebrities out there. All her roles in movies seem to be child friendly and not derogatory. Even in her life outside of the lime light, she projects a positive image. She is actually on the board for the Children’s Defense Fund charity. A charity that helps children live up to their full potential. Reese has never been involved in a sex tape scandal or been caught taking or sending nude pictures. She even took time out of her 2011 MTV Movie Awards speech to slam actress’ about their sex tapes and reality TV show scandals. She said, “I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl, but it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show,” & “When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed.” (
    Reese Witherspoon is a wholesome actress, who maintains a certain image. She doesn’t really seem to care if she makes the front page or not. Which is probably what helps her maintain her role model image.

  3. Ryan Tavarez October 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    In all honesty it was really hard for me to think of a “genuine role model material” celebrity. It took me a while, but I racked my brain and came up with one who I looked up to when I was a child: Jackie Chan. Jackie Chan has always maintained a strict code of honor not only in the practice of the martial arts, but in his way of life as well. He founded the “Jackie Chan charitable foundation” which gives to students in China, offers aid and relief to people afflicted by illness of natural disaster, and helps to fund huge community programs in Hong Kong. He is also known for his role as an ambassador for “UNICIF”, and for supporting “Chrysalis”, a foundation that aids the homeless. He’s listed in “Forbes Magazine” as one of the top 10 most generous celebrities.( Along with a great sense of humor and a charismatic personality, Jackie Chan is easily one of the ‘best celebrities in the world.’

  4. Chad Koenig October 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    I would have to say that Oprah Winfrey is the most charitable celebrity. I understand that she is also one of the wealthiest but even so her level of contributions is admirable. One of the sources I found said she gave away $45 million in 2005 alone. She has a will that donates a billion dollars to charity. She seems to be someone who genuinely wants to help people. Her generosity is really the only thing I know about her. I am not really a fan of her show but I respect anyone as gracious as she seems to be. I am not sure of another celebrity who even compares as far as volume of charitable contributions.

  5. Julie Blattler October 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    Besides being a really talented actress, I’d have to say Natalie Portman is one of the best behaved celebrities in Hollywood. She’s been around since Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and she’s never had a freak out so bad that she shaved her head (although she did do it for a fantastic role in V for Vendetta) and she’s never had a drug and alcohol problem and had to go to rehab. She went to Harvard and got a B.A. degree in psychology and was quoted to have said, “I don’t care if college ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star.” Of course, she accomplished both. She’s an advocate for animal rights and besides being a vegan, she also launched her own vegan footwear brand. She’s an ambassador of Hope for FINCA, which helps women owned businesses in developing countries. She’s done a lot politically and socially while being in the movie making business without having a reality show or doing drugs or ditching her good girl behavior for a less classy act to get herself more noticed. She has a good head on her shoulders and doesn’t let the limelight affect her behavior.

  6. ryanzzz7 October 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    If I had to pick a good stand up role model I would have to pick Tom Brady of the NewEngland patriots. Tom Brady is a classy stand up individual in many ways of the field. Tom Brady is well known for his work supporting Best Buddies Internationals work- in may, 2009, he led a charity bike challenge for the organization, and in the previous year he donated $24000 to the charity. Best buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing friends and jobs for people with intellectual disabilities. Tom Brady has never been the conversation of having a bad image. He’s a very likable guy all around. One of the main reasons of his success is his ability to stay focused on his profession. This guy also handles him self very well in public, he always says the right things and comes across very respectful to others. Another thing I love about terrific Tom is he has fashion but his own arrogance of classy appearances. He does not follow the other gaudy show offs. This guy is a true all around guy on the field and off. Hats off to Tom Brady he makes a great role model –

  7. Ginger Minock October 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Angelina Jolie isn’t exactly my favorite person but I have to admit she does amazing things for the country not only ours but ohters. She has helped all the children she has adopted have a better life.Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) in Cambodia. She contacted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for information on international trouble spots.[54] To learn more about the conditions in these areas, Jolie began visiting refugee camps around the world. In February 2001, she went on her first field visit, an 18-day mission to Sierra Leone and Tanzania; she later expressed her shock at what she had witnessed.[54] In the following months, she returned to Cambodia for two weeks and met with Afghan refugees in Pakistan.[55][56]fielstaff on all of her visits. She insist on paying for her trips her self. she is always donating her money to good casues. She still makes many trips to cambodia.

  8. Briana Lack October 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    I would have to say that the best celebrity out there would have to be Sandra Bullock. She’s had the acting bug for quite some time now. Not only is she an amazing actress, but she has been through so much such as her mom dying, and her husband of many years was cheating on her, she showed us that you have to be strong to keep going. She also is in many charities, and had adopted a child from another country. She cares more about her fans then she does about the money. She’s never let the fame get to her head.
    “Sandra Bullock is usually one of the first celebrities to make donations after natural disasters strike. She uses her career success to help people in crisis. That is truly admirable.” After one hurricane Katrina Sanbra Bullock donated to help out and re-build a high school that was badly damaged in the hurricane.

  9. Cora Grimaldi October 7, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Thinking about some of the best influenced celebrity’s, I would have to say Oprah Winfrey is the best influence amongst the American culture. Oprah is a big, brassy, loud, aggressive, hyper, laughable, lovable, soulful, tender, and down to earth woman. Oprah has donated millions of dollars to charity. She has even created her own charity that helps single women who have children, and who are just trying to make it by. More importantly Oprah has influenced many people, mainly women. She has encouraged women to stand on their own, believe in themselves, and improve their lives. She shows how it has, encourages them, and embraces them to the world for everyone to see. For example she invited the survivors of The Little Rock Nine, Michael Jackson discussing his disease, and Charla Nash. Oprah is never seen out drinking, inappropriate pictures, or nasty love affairs. Oprah is a down to earth woman and encourages women and children to see peoples inner beauty and to give back to those less fortunate

  10. Eunishia Hooks October 7, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    I would say Beyonce Knowles is a well bahaved celebrity. Since I was a little girl, I’ve never seen Beyonce in any position to be in the “negative spotlight”. Never heard of any sex tapes or ghetto brawls that she was involved in. She’s a singing sensation that gains alot of respect. I respected her even more during the MTV awards in 2009 when she gave Taylor Swift her moments on the stage after rapper Kanye West infamously ruined her moment stating that Beyonce shoud receive the award instead. Beyonce is all about “girl power”, especially in her new hit song “Run the World (Girls)”). She is well known for keeping her personal life with her family and relationships quiet, and for that to I praise her. In the New York times this October stated she’s an Solo Pop Icon, a queen of pop music. http/
    She brought New York’s busy Herald Square to a stop when she arrived at Macy’s to promote the launch of her third signiture fragrance “Pulse”. Along with her seccessful clothing line “House of Derion”

  11. Norm Vernier October 7, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Oprah Winfrey is a great role model for kids growing up that want to be successful in live.. She grew up in Kosciusko Mississippi in a small framing community, where she was sexually abused by a number of male relatives ahd friends of her mother.She entered Tennesse State University in 1971 and began working in radio and television broadcasting in Nashville. Oprah has a internationlly popular talk show since 1986.When she has guest on the show and talk about real life hard core issues she gives advice that comes from the heart and truly wants people to achieve a better live style. This is a lady who is proof that a poor abused child can grew up and rise above it and become a very successfull billionaire. Oprah is aiways donated money to many different charities. She can encourage women to better their lives, and give them hope and desire to achieve a higher level of life.
    Oprah Winfrey has not ever had bad publicity or done anything unusal or problematic causing other grief and misery. You have to believe that the media has tried hard to get some dirt on Winfrey with no success.

  12. Sean Williams October 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    I have a hard time talking and discussing celebrities positively in conversation. The reasons for this are that I really have more important and realitve things to occupy my thoughts that dwelling on the shallow decadent lives of others and when I do talk about them it is usually in response to a question raised from a recent negative stunt taken by a celebrities latest episode. However, if I had to describe a celebrity in a postive light, I would say that there are many celebrities who I would consider good celebrities, all of whom are too numerous and in some cases too obscure to list and name off. These celebrities perform well on stage or on film, make their considerable income, spend their time in the spotlight, and lead respectable and responsible lives when not within a camera lens. They don’t have rooftop parties, get busted for DUIs, shed their clothes for debased attention, or post every personal detail of their lives in the media as if they are desperately trying to make citizens hang on their every tweet for fear that if no one is watching them then their lives do not exist. The good celebrities are the ones you only hear about when they are promoting or performing their latest project professionally, actually doing their job instead of living crazy lifestyles to blow their money and get high off of drugs and media attention. Among these responsible celebrities tend to be the older ones, but some younger celebrities also manage to make this list. People like Justin Timberlake, Shiah Lebuff (guy from Transformers, sorry don’t know how to speel his name), and Taylor Swfit, young performers who don’t conform to the crazed alcoholic drug addict washed out tornado that is Lindsay Lohan.

  13. Stephen Packett October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    A postive role model for todays society, in the clelbrity world, I feel is Adam Sandler. He’s just one of those people they can make you laugh. No matter how old he has become, I havent really ever heard a negative thing that he has done. He hosts golf tournaments for charity, and is a huge participant in other actors chairty events. He embodies what an actor/comedian is. Other friends and cast members of the early SNL in the 90’s have not done particularly well, or are a still alive like Adam is. This has a greater revelence to me now thinking about it because he didnt abuse alcohol/drugs and go down that road like so many other wasted talented people did. He isnt in the tabloids 24/7 or on the news about what “stunt” he has pulled off- hes a quiet person who uses his job to benefit himeself and others.

  14. Mary Collier October 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I think that Oprah Winfrey is a very great role model and very well behaved on and off camera. She is always putting others first and always trying to help everyone. She is always positivly looked at even when all the other celebrities are acting crazy shes always been level headed and she worked hard for what she has and has accomplished. Lots of people aspire to be her and she does a great deal of giving back. She is very talented and one of my favorite celerbrities not only for who she is but for what she does.

  15. melina vervane October 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    though i do now watch her show i think that opra winfrey has the most positive impact on people. she has dedicated her life to helping others and while she may be the highest paid woman in Hollywood she doesn’t really let that show. she helps the unfortunate and even the non-unfortunate with their life problems. i think that she is a good role model for kids and adults alike. reading through peoples responses to this question of the week it seems that we have a almost unanimous opinion the that she is very influenial in a very good way.

  16. Gina Zamora October 7, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    If I could choose any celebrity I would choose Beyonce Knowles. She is my biggest role model. Never once has she ever been publicized for doing something wrong, she gives girls a good name. While most women celebrities have their infamous “crotch shot” when they’re not wearing underwear or, the nights when they’re too blackout drunk and make out with other girls, Beyonce keeps it classy. An independent woman she is, and She has been with Jay-z since 2002. In those nine years Beyonce has never put Jay-Z on blast while they’re having an argument like most others do with their significant other. I look up to Beyonce because she reaches out to all ages in her audience, She’s very family oriented, She helps out organizations, and she gives back as much as she can.

  17. Matt Knedgen October 7, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    I believe one of the best celebrities is Serj Tankian, from System of a Down. He often writes songs about problems in society to bring social change. And they are often things people do not realize or even know about. Often he will write songs about innocent people being treated wrongly or even killed. People can learn a lot from him, like standing up against unjust things or even speaking your mind if you do not believe something is right. He sometimes, in some ways, poke fun at or satirize society. Most people think his band is vulgar and inappropriate and some times even controversial,but he speaks the truth. I believe most celebrities should try to be more like Serj in my opinion.

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