Tag Archives: Celebrities

The Private Suite at LAX

Should celebrities be treated differently than the rest of us?

Yes, because we insist that they be different! People complain about celebrities preferential treatment, yet the same people would have a negative impression. If a celebrity was seen traveling in coach instead of first class— e.g. “they’re broke,” or even worse “they’re cheap!”

A couple of weeks ago I was treated to a sneak peek at The Private Suite. The new private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for celebrities/VIPs. When this terminal was first announced I remember seeing a flurry of complaints. Examples like “Why should celebrities get preferential treatment over the rest of us?” “How dare they (city of LA) use our tax payer dollars to pay for spoiled celebrity privileges!”  The irony is that it’s the public’s insatiable appetite for the private lives of celebrities that drives the paparazzi machine. This in turn created a need for a special private terminal like this.

The Private Suite

As I see it, The Private Suite benefits us all as it allows for fewer distractions and interruptions for police when celebrities are followed at the airport by both paparazzi acelebrities1nd fans alike–and less commotion means it’s safer for the rest of us “normal” people. For the record The Private Suite is privately owned, so no tax dollars are used and celebrities/VIPs pay a hefty price for this elite service.

NBC4 News in Los Angeles recently shared a different take on the issue, having done a story about special treatment celebrities get at hospitals. The concern here, of course, is how this preferential treatment might negatively affect the lives of other patients.

In New York City, a mother told the investigative reporter that her medical care and access to her newborn twins was compromised because she had the misfortune of delivering her babies at the same time as Beyoncé was giving birth to Blue Ivy in 2011.

celebrities2“We saw that the cameras in the maternity ward had been covered in cardboard, and we thought that was strange,” Rozz Nash said.  “We saw men walking around in suits and they had badges that said ‘special event,’ and they were in a maternity ward. So it was really weird.”

Celebrities and Hospitals

While there is no question that everyone should have equal rights to quality hospital care there is also no question that a celebrity sometimes need to take drastic measures, and pay for it, just to get the same quality hospital care and privacy that everyone else is afforded, for no additional fee. Unfortunately, as long as there is unscrupulous media willing to pay big bucks for private hospital photos and the public is willing to buy it, celebrities are going to continue to do whatever they need to protect their own privacy and security, and hospitals will need to comply if they want their business.

No, celebrities are not just like us. They live very different lives, ones that are very public, come with wealth and privilege, and also the loss of their privacy and potential security.

Yes, celebrities should be treated differently than the rest of us, as long as the rest of us have a need to maintain our perceptions and intrude in their privacy.

The Celebrity Meaning of Mensch

I work with a lot of celebrities, mostly nice, but some not so nice.  It wasn’t until the other day, however, when I had an experience that made me realize that among the “nice” are those who also excel to “mensch.”

Mensch is the Yiddish word for a good person of the highest order.  According to Wikipedia it’s “a person of integrity and honor.”

As the celebrity coordinator for an event I was working, I knew to move the celebrities who were standing in the buffet line to the front, a gesture most celebs would appreciate.  But when I approached one of our famous attendees to offer the courtesy he refused.

The event volunteers, who were lined up ahead of him, would have gladly let him cut in front of them, and in fact would have expected it!  But instead, Mr. B decided to subtly acknowledge the hard work of the volunteers by this simple mensch-like gesture of staying put.

This may not be a big deal to the casual observer, but to me this was one of the most sincere, grounded and mensch-like gestures I’ve seen a celebrity do in a long time!

It’s important to note that we talent coordinators make these front-of-the-line type moves for good reason.  There are issues of security, getting celebs to where they need to be quickly, avoiding uncomfortable fan conversational entrapment and just plain public image expectation among other things.

The first two reasons were not in play with this recent circumstance with Mr. B.  However, what makes him a mensch is that he could have easily chosen to follow suit with the rest of the celebs in attendance, but he chose not to.

I know better than to tell you who Mr. B is, but I just want to say to him, you’re a true mensch!