It’s About the Story, Not the Celebrity Voice!

Remember Madonna’s video for “Like a Prayer,” in which she stood apologetically in front of burning crosses?  Or more recently, when Leonardo DiCaprio went on his own “green living”  crusade?  Or how about when Kanye West declared, “George Bush does not care about black people”  during a live benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief?

Celebrities have forever been making controversial remarks about politics, religion, and other matters considered socially improper to discuss in public.

The newest celebrity to cause uproar over his off-the-cuff comments is Liam Neeson, who voices the lion character Aslan in the newest Narnia film.  According to an article found on the National Catholic Register:

C. S. Lewis was clear that the character of Aslan in his Chronicles of Narnia is based on Christ.

But actor Liam Neeson, who voices the lion in the latest Narnia film, has prompted a row after claiming his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.

Don’t worry though– the article’s author, Mark Shea, assuages our concerns.  He writes, “Actors are people who have a knack for a) memorizing things and b) presenting a simulacrum of human emotion so that you believe them when they say the things other people prepare for them to recite.  Sometimes they are able to do other things as well.  But when they go off script, do remember that you are listening to the reflections of somebody who has spent most of their waking life chasing after chances to do a and b, not somebody who has spent a lot of time learning about Christ, Mohammed or Buddha.

A bit condescending towards actors, sure, but mycatholicblog tends to agree with Shea’s sentiment.  Celebrities of course have the right to freedom of speech just like the rest of us, but also just like the rest of us, they should need to make coherent, valid points to earn public support or respect.   Their fame alone does not give their words merit.  Liam Neeson was hired for his voice and notoriety, not for his own personal opinions.