For years, people have come from all over the world to visit the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles to follow in the footsteps of celebrities and snap photos of the plaques dedicated to some of the greatest artists of our time. (Then they hop over to Grauman’s Chinese Theater to discover how many of them have shockingly tiny or unreasonably large hands.) But might future generations step right over the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe and wonder where The Situation and Kim Kardashian are? In other words, youths are horrible, horrible people and we are doomed.
Thankfully, the Hollywood Walk of Fame isn’t having any of that. At least, for now. On Monday, the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s Facebook page posted, “Someone asked if we give reality show characters stars? Hell to the No!” (Hmm, I wonder what Jackée or Calvin Tran would have to say about this? Probably this.)
Since then, a debate has been brewing on whether that’s fair to the medium (it has its own Emmy category, after all) or the people who have been massively successful in the genre. (Some of them, for better or worse, are legitimate television stars). And how exactly do you define a reality star? After all, Judge Judy has a plaque. And how would a reality star ban impact those who arguably became famous from their reality television stints, like, say, Bethenny Frankel or Jessica Simpson? Or would that simply imply they were even famous to begin with? ZZZIIIING! (Okay, if we’re being totally honest here, I would probably visit Zingbot’s star.)
Ana Martinez, vice president for media relations and producer for the Hollywood Walk of Fame, responded to EW in a statement which read, “Reality stars are not on our radar for Walk of Fame honors. Who knows what the future will bring? Some may move on to have great careers in one of our five categories which include Motion Pictures, Television, Radio, Recording and Live Theatre/Performance. They would have to have 5 years longevity in their chosen entertainment field. We do have 2 producers who have built up their careers in the reality show genre, Mark Burnett and John Langley. Ryan Seacrest, who has a radio star, later went on to work on reality shows, as did Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons, who were honored for their work in music. What our Walk of Fame-rs do after they are honored with stars is totally up to them.”
It’s pretty safe to say at this juncture that most reality stars have a much shorter shelf life than well-regarded actors, actresses, writers, musicians, and the lot. Our fascination with them, if anything, is fleeting, and certainly not set in stone (or, in this case, cement). Still, as Martinez points out, they are not closed off to the idea of including reality stars who turned to bigger and better things (Methinks possible future candidates in this category could include Jennifer Hudson and Jeff Probst.)
But, what do you think, PopWatchers? Is it unfair that reality stars aren’t on the radar of the Walk of Fame or do they have no place being there whatsoever? What constitutes a reality star from being a real, viable star? What would they have to do to earn a spot on the Walk? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!