“Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self.” –Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster recently blasted modern media while defending her Panic Room co-star Kristin Stewart: “If I had to grow up in this media culture, I don’t think I could survive it emotionally,” Foster said. Jodie was of course referring to Stewart’s recent tryst captured by much-obliged paparazzi with Snow White And The Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. Although an affair is not a capital crime, Hollywood can be an unforgiving place and Stewart’s career could be adversely affected. In response, Foster wrote an open letter to the industry detailing the ongoing battle modern actors must fight to maintain even the slightest shred of privacy. “If I were a young actor today I would quit before I started.” Foster challenges the assumption that Stewart–and other high-profile actors whose mistakes are made public–will survive unscathed by such public scrutiny. She questions if those in similar situations will eventually buckle under the pressure and resort to overdosing or other self-inflicted harm, emphasizing all human beings are vulnerable.

Let’s face it, there’s no way to get through this life mistake free. And errors in judgment are a great way to learn the important lessons in a world of competition and corruption. But mistakes made in such a public industry can be costly, and a young actor would be wise to take note. We all should be entitled to our desires and to our personal lives, but it’s important to consider the consequences before you do anything that could be captured by a zoom lens lying in wait or the ever-present iPhone. And fortify yourself with a heavy cushion of healthy self-esteem and plenty of strong friendships. This is a high-stakes game, and you want to give yourself every opportunity to succeed. Let’s be honest, when it comes to show business, the media seems to relish a dirty story, and is a bit bored with virtue.

What do you think about Jodie’s open letter? Do you agree with her?

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