IF someone were to write Anne Curtis’ biography 30 years from now, he’d probably devote a chapter or two to the week that was. From being dubbed as the “Philippines’ Sweetheart,” the actress and reigning “Queen of Endorsers” suddenly found herself in an unflattering light, as she became the subject of mainstream and social media for allegedly slapping several people, including colleague John Lloyd Cruz, in an “exclusive” club at the Fort. Worse, she even called JL an “addict.”
Although the alleged incident happened more than two weeks ago, it only caused quite a stir earlier this week when an on-line showbiz magazine broke the news. To complicate matters, Anne reportedly taunted fellow celebrity Phoemela Baranda with her now infamous quote: “I can buy you, your friends and this club!” Talaga? Magkano tawad mo?
In less than an hour after the news broke out, the quote generated a slew of rib-tickling memes starring Anne and such real-life characters as Janet Napoles, Jean Napoles, Nora Aunor and a poker-faced BIR Commissioner Kim Henares.
Hands down, I found the last one featuring Henares the funniest. Kim’s “ah, ganun ba...(ah, is that so)” retort is pregnant with meaning. Now that BIR is squeezing every last centavo from supposedly delinquent tax payers like Manny Pacquiao, Anne should brace herself if she suddenly hears from Kim’s boys one of these days. Mamalengke ba tayo ng mga tao? (Must we shop for people?) In this day and age? Tsk, tsk, tsk!!! She must have earned a fortune from all those endorsements to embolden her to say something like that.
In her supposed public apology, Anne reportedly attributed her boorish behavior to the fact that she mistakenly drank alcohol while on a so-called juice-cleansing diet. I know it sounds flimsy, but don’t ask me what it was. The link I posted on Facebook about the controversy the actress found herself embroiled in drew all sorts of reactions from friends. Here’s a sampling.
“One’s true character surfaces when one is drunk.” –Friend 1
To which I retorted, “excuse me, I’m sweet when I’m drunk.”
“It only goes to show, Alex Vergara, what your true character is. You’re sweet (whether drunk or not).” –Friend 1
One came out in defense of Anne, and attributed her actuations to her youth. I agree, but…
“Come on, we are old and straight. When one gets drunk, one becomes either a kisser or a slapper. Obviously, she becomes the latter. When I was young, I also made wala (lost myself), but I would throw up! So, let’s leave her alone. She’s still pretty.” –Friend 2
My friend did have a point. I would have left Anne to her own devices, too, if only she’s as invisible as the girl next door. The problem is, the owner of those trademark lips is omnipresent–on TV, magazines, billboards and the silver screen. Like many of her contemporaries in showbiz, she may appear eternally young, even underage, but the woman is already pushing 30. In short, she knew very well what she was getting herself into.
My reaction: “Yeah, she can do anything she wants during her private time, but the onus is always on her as a public figure to act responsibly in public. Like I said before, referring to celebrities, as a public figure who’s paid handsomely for it, it is a privilege as well as a responsibility not to make an ass of yourself in public. In private, you can do anything you want.”
Come to think of it, we wouldn’t even have this discussion had the principal players in this real-life drama were unknowns. Screaming and slapping incidents involving characters under the influence of alcohol and various other substances happen everyday. Unless someone gets killed, no one, apart from people who know them, would be interested in their stories.
But the entire equation changes once the main characters involved are famous people. And if you’re someone like Anne, whose popularity and bank account are fueled by the sweet, fun and relatively wholesome image her handlers peddle to the public, then you can’t get away that easily, can you?
Public expectations are high, and stars’ fortunes rise and fall based on these expectations. Surely, before signing on the dotted line, Anne Curtis knew the trade-offs. She just couldn’t take the money and run.