It is painful when someone points out your shortfalls to the public. Very painful! In fact, being told the bitter truth hurts than being wrongly accused of an act.
For the past eight (8) years I have worked as an arts journalist on radio, on TV and in newspaper, I have come to terms with the fact that no one loves to be criticised. Principal among the people that hate criticism are critics.
I worked at Flex newspaper for 8 years and my ‘Say it Loud’ column was particularly created to step on toes or better still put people in the entertainment industry on their toes. From day one, I was that faceless guy that feared no one in the industry.
I told the ugly truth most times in an ugly way. I had been mischievous a few times but it was for a good purpose. Even though some people thought I was doing a good job by helping sanitise the system, those I bashed got angry with me. Some personally called or sent me threatening messages. But that radio presenter ‘firing’ from a ghetto in Koforidua was unfazed by threats and insults.
On Vision FM, Pluzz FM and Care TV, I was me. In fact, it is part of my being to say things as they are. I love to express my opinion on issues. I love to provoke thoughts on subjects. But anytime I get bashed, I feel it too even though most times I try to be composed; after all I also do it to others.
That notwithstanding, I have done a lot of write-ups to commend people but interestingly you are likely to get one you bashed react to your article than the one you praised. Human nature! They won’t even call to say ‘thank you.’
Well, enough of the narcissism! The fulcrum of this post is a series of observations I have made in the arts industry with regard to how industry stakeholder take criticism.
Hypocrisy or egoism?
My balls have not shrunk yet but for a particular reason, I will restrain myself from mentioning names. Without the names, this piece still serves its purpose.
Some people’s posture on issues change when they affect them – and that reeks of hypocrisy. Someone who on a usual day condemns payola, soon runs the payola race faster than Usain Bolt when they become DJs or presenters.
Someone who rubbishes people’s opinions and calls them ‘nonsensical’ shudders to hear others refer to his opinions as such.
Somebody who goes on to a music reality show as a judge, tells contestants all manner of brutish things gets mad when a writer also assesses him and points out his flaws. Yes! They have the right to judge others and use dehumanizing words on them but they don’t think others also have the right to do same to them.
We have had a lot of radio presenters criticise people’s songs and artistes on their shows but when they start managing artistes and other media people lash them for what is not being done right, they call it hatred or a deliberate attempt to bring them down.
I agree that everybody becomes biased at a point in time but in dealing with the bias, it must be tactically handled not to contradict worldviews of the individual which are public knowledge, especially when they have defended those virtues on several occasions.
A lot of critics have ego problems. This is because anybody that is opinionated believes in their abilities and what they know; they hate to be contested on matters. In fact, because perhaps their views and opinions have earned them some prestige, they would not want anyone ‘murder’ them in any discourse. So they are always right! Critics see themselves as perfectionists.
Who polices the police?
Can we learn to appreciate people’s opinion about us even if they are negative? Yes, I agree sometimes, some people may do that out of hatred but must we rather not capitalise on the negativity to reach on to positivity.
I don’t think every critic that points out negatives is a hater. If we want the entertainment industry to function well, we must be bold to tell people when they are going wrong, irrespective of whether they are our friends or family.
If you feel it was right when you did it to Mr. A, then deem it as expedient if someone else does it to you. It may not be to destroy you. It may just be to make you strong.
I have learnt that people who boldly tell the truth are hated in public but are admired in the hearts of the people they criticise.
If critics can be tolerant with others’ opinions and know that there is no absolute knowledge in the world, it will do the arts and entertainment industry a lot of good.
By: Kwame Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana