There have been many milestones in the recent years—a pandemic, several social movements, one of the biggest election years, just to name a few. With all these, there have been numerous accusations against celebrities and internet figures.

This is not petty drama, such as an adored celebrity couple breaking up. Rather, these accusations are about how disgusting some of these big names are. This includes sexual harassment, rape, and one of the biggest ones: pedophilia.

It seems like every other day I see a new accusation of some celebrity or internet personality grooming a minor. Almost everything has to do with pedophilia.

These accusations gained traction with the #MeToo movement, which is a movement that began in 2006. MeToo became more widespread in 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano tweeted about her harassment/assault that involved Harvey Weinstein.

The movement is obviously far from over because accusations are still coming forth. That being said, there will always be people that take advantage of these movements for selfish gains.

For example, some people during the Black Lives Matter movement that saw the protests as an opportunity to loot.

There have been cases that have been proven false, and in some cases, the victim was actually the perpetrator. One of these cases is with Nairoby Quezada (Nairo) and Zack (CaptainZack) of the Super Smash Brother’s community.

The entire accusation has gone back and forth; the only people that truly know what happened are Nairo and Zack.

All I’ve learned is to take all these things with a grain of salt. More often than not, people will take the first side (which is typically the victim’s side) as the correct side, but there are always two sides of every story.

This being said, I’m not saying anyone should undermine sexual assault accusations. This is a very disturbing problem that often results in trauma on behalf of the people involved.

While some survivors speak about their experiences, many go unsaid. It takes a great deal of strength and time to come forth and speak out against a person, especially if that person has a large following.

If I’ve learned anything from these instances, it is that you shouldn’t idolize anyone, especially celebrities.

Putting someone on a pedestal holds them to an unrealistic standard that no one can achieve. They are seen as these “perfect” people that can’t do anything wrong. It makes it difficult to hold influencers accountable when they are idolized. 

Fans begin to believe they truly know the person and who they really are. When the celebrity is caught in a scandal, the fan is devastated, and oftentimes the fan is the victim.

These fans try to connect with the person and build a relationship. That could be strictly platonic, but even in that case, an adult conversing with a teenager is questionable.

It’s very easy to take advantage of these fans because they’re starstruck. They believe the celebrity chose “only” them, which makes them especially vulnerable.

Celebrities have a platform, and they must understand when to not cross the line. They have the mental capacity to see this is wrong and shouldn’t be happening. More often than not, they are in the wrong.

There shouldn’t be any private interactions with any underage fans. Even private interactions with adult fans could pose a risk. Both parties have a responsibility to know when things have gone too far.

Overall, no one should be idolized. I realize it’s said a lot, but celebrities are just like other people. They go to work, eat cereal at two in the morning, and forget their phone is in their hand. The only difference is celebrities have a platform.

Personally, I’m going to be just as socially awkward to the cashier in the grocery store as I am to Ryan Reynolds because, at the end of the day, they’re both just people.