Adults Know Better: A Discussion on Accountability

It has become apparent to me in recent years that adults love to insinuate that they know more than children until it comes time for them to own up to their mistakes. When most adults make a mistake, it somehow becomes someone else’s fault for not teaching them any different. In short, adults are pretty terrible at taking accountability. This is a major issue when it comes to parenting, but it also has hazardous effects when seen in the media, which has become an increasingly prominent issue. 

Whoopi Goldberg practically disappointed the entire world recently with her offhand and offensive comments regarding the Holocaust. To summarize, Goldberg stated on her ABC talk show, “The View,” that the Holocaust was not about race; rather, humanity. She said that the genocide was a white versus other whites issue and was then swiftly cut off by a commercial to silence these comments. Judaism is an ethnic religion, meaning not only is it an ethnicity or race, but it is also a religion. The Holocaust was a white-supremacist act against the Jewish race as a whole, which, to reiterate, is not another white race. Jews were seen as an inferior race to the Nazis, which is the primary reason that Goldberg’s comments were incredibly misinformed. 

While Goldberg did quickly apologize for these comments, there is an underlying issue with the fact that she felt inclined to say them in the first place. This begs the question, why are we giving presumably uneducated adults platforms to spread this misinformation?

Joe Rogan, a former wrestler and TV show host, now has one of the most streamed podcasts in the world. He was recently involved in the Spotify controversy, as he is known to spread Covid misinformation. More than that, Joe Rogan spreads false information and has shown no interest in fact-checking until recently. To add fuel to this fire, Rogan has been known to casually use offensive slurs in conversation as well. 

Now that he has been called out and harshly reprimanded, Rogan has vowed to provide fact-checkers at the end of his podcast to correct all the misinformation he spreads, which is extremely ironic, in my opinion. Rather than actually educating himself and spreading real news, Rogan continues to knowingly spread falsehoods because that is what he gets paid to do. Oh, and he took to Instagram recently to apologize for his repeated use of racial slurs. Accountability at its finest.  

The common ground between these two differing celebrities is that they are both grown adults with massive influence in the media with completely different audiences. News consumption is shifting, and we are now digitally acquiring our knowledge through influencers. Now, this may not be a bad change; however, it comes with a new set of needs. Our society needs education—whole, well-rounded, decolonized education. We need media personalities who do not speak on topics they are not educated on and people who are not afraid to take accountability—real, authentic, reeducated, accountability—for their wrongs. Adults know better. No more, “But that was ten years ago!” Ten years ago was 2012, and you were a full-grown adult then, too. What our society truly needs is some accountability. 

Adult celebrities have a unique influence on the media nowadays, as their target audience reaches a different demographic than those famous in teens’ eyes. There has become a shift in celebrity culture, as we now have two completely different groups of people influencing different generations on various forms of media. While we may be getting our news from Tik Tok leftists, our parents are tuning in to Joe Rogan’s podcast. I believe that this shift in media consumption has led to an increasing divide in the news and shifts our opinions greatly compared to our parent’s or teachers. Times are changing, and we need people who reflect that, rather than deflect their problematic or ignorant pasts… and presents.