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Post-Weinstein, Lauer: A reckoning for fans of fallen heroes

14 3 18

When it comes to fandom, it's reckoning time for Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor and scores of other men accused of sexual wrongdoing.

Hero celebrities have fallen before — Bill Cosby's career ended after assault allegations in 2014 — but never in the rapid succession that has rocked so many worlds since revelations about Harvey Weinstein exploded in October. Accusers of politicians, actors, comedians, singers, producers, directors, other media powerhouses and assorted business moguls have taken the power and fans of the disgraced have largely stood with the wronged.

But for some, giving up heroes isn't easy.

Savannah Guthrie, in breaking the news Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show about Lauer's firing over "inappropriate sexual behavior" with a colleague, appeared to be on the verge of tears.

"How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly, and I don't know the answer to that," she said. "But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it's long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected."

Paul Booth, an associate professor of media and cinema studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago, said some fans derive a piece of their identity from those they admire.

"Certainly to a lot of fans, fandom feels like something that you almost don't have control over, that what you're a fan of is part of who you are as a person," he said.

On social media and around the dinner table, many fans........

© Japan Today