Credit: via IMDB

On Game of Thrones, King Joffrey covets the adoration and devotion of his subjects, but the actor who portrays him, Jack Gleeson, could do without it.

While visiting famed debating society, the Oxford Union, Jack got onto the topic of celebrity worship, and he basically tore the subject to shreds. During his half hour lecture, Jack says, “Tabloids, talk shows, and subsequently reality television, all became obsessed with the commodification of the celebrity image, making it consumable and then ultimately disposable. What's ironic is that you see a celebrity endorsing things like musical tampons, and appearing in advertisements for lavender scented teeth whiteners or something, you know, wielding goods whose sell-by dates will ironically, outlast theirs.”

Jack goes on to explain why he shies away from the public eye, believing it to have a damaging effect upon the subject. He says, “Having one’s image, and effectively life, democratized dehumanizes and sometimes objectifies it into an entertainment product.”

He also believes celebrity worship is damaging to the worshippers as well, stating, “Just as the object of our attention can become rendered hollow and externally directed with too much worship, so too I feel can the worshipers sacrifice their own individual self or autonomy in favor of giving it up to a higher power. We need to fight against our human instinct to deify our role models, but also fight against the instinct to subjugate our own individuality in the process.”

Jack gets pretty deep into the subject, delving into society’s reasons for celebrity obsession and even linking it to evolutionary theory. If you’d like to hear Jack wax intellectual on the subject, you can watch the entire lecture below.


Source: Oxford Union