When a celebrity sex tape hits the Internet, you almost never hear the star say they filmed and leaked the tape themselves as a means of drumming up publicity. The usual refrain is either "this was taped in a private intimate moment and was obtained illegally and without our consent" or in the case of Hulk Hogan's sex tape, the excuse is being unaware of being taped in the first place. On NBC's "Today," the former wrestling star turned reality TV personality said that the tape was from a "low point in my life."
Hogan went on in the interview to say that he feels the encounter came from "wrong choice" he made, and that the impact of the sex tape leaking has been felt on his new marriage as well. Hulk joins a long list of celebrities who have been caught in compromising situations on tape. The first celebrity sex tape to really make a big impact on pop culture was the tape of Pamela Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee. They were the first two stars to take a potentially embarrassing situation and use the publicity from the ensuing court battle and settlement to catapult their careers to new heights.
Celebs like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have also been the "stars" of such explicit material as well. In both cases Hilton and Kardashian each settled with the person in possession of the tape for reported millions. So the question has to be asked whether or not a new strategy for pumping up flagging celebrity fame has been born out of the era of the sex tape, and there are at least two schools of thought on this.
Yes, A Sex Tape Is A Viable Way To Boost Fame
Clearly the success of tapes like Hilton's and Kardashian's is an easy way to increase your profile and visibility. No more evidence is needed to prove the mainstreaming of celebrity sex tapes than the fact that Kris Jenner, Kim's own mother, helped broker the deal for her daughter's sex tape. Maybe that doesn't prove that everyone in the country or the world approves of this practice, but clearly the entertainment world, or a certain segment of it, is completely fine with this tack.
No, A Sex Tape Won't Help Anyone's Career In The Long Run
There's probably a reason we'll never see a Julia Roberts sex tape. The celebrities who either willingly or unwillingly are caught with their pants down on this issue aren't stars with booming, iconic careers. Additionally, there's a true difference still between notoriety, fame and a lasting career. Sometimes all three can happen at once, but more often than not, the stars who last the longest and shine the brightest for whatever reason don't find themselves in this unique situation to begin with. The simple fact is that it's hard to be bankable in Tinsletown if half of your audience won't take their kids to your movies because you're in a sex tape.
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