In London, we had Bruce Springsteen, playing so long for his audience and fans that his performance went past the curfew. In Paris, we have Madonna, stiffing paying customers who paid top dollar (“top euro?”) with a 45 minute appearance that was late getting started because the Material Myron couldn’t bother to get to her own concert on time.
Pop and rock music fans have long been more tolerant of unprofessional performers than their parents and grandparents, and to some extent they have created a tradition of tolerance to this kind of blatant disrespect and arrogance that is self-perpetuating. The betrayed fans in Paris rioted over Madonna’s inexcusable conduct, which is a bit much, but still: she disappointed and robbed them. 45 minutes of a star attraction isn’t fair return on tickets that many patrons slept in the street to acquire. Madonna owes everyone a refund, and apology, and a pledge to honor her duties as a performer from now on. For the benefit of her and the shocking number of other singers and recording stars who disappoint and abuse paying concert-goers this way, here are what those duties are, and their underlying ethical foundations:
- Show up on time. (Respect, Responsibility)
- Know your lyrics and choreography. (Competence, Diligence)
- The show must go on, unless the show is all you and you are not in shape to perform at a professional level. (Responsibility, Trustworthiness)
- Be sober, be alert, be healthy, be in possession of your wits and the talent people are paying to experience. (Competence, Fairness, Respect)
- Look and act like you want to be there and are having a good time, whether you are or not. (Respect, Caring)
- Do your best to meet your audience’s reasonable expectations. A performance of less than an hours is not a concert. (Trustworthiness, Fairness)
- Be professional, which means that entertaining the audience is what matters, not your comfort, profit or convenience. (Competence, Diligence, Respect, Caring)
- If you fail to deliver the performance the audience had right to respect, make appropriate amends. (Accountability, Fairness)
In most professions, these are the kinds of professional wisdom veteran practitioners teach to the young stars coming up the ranks. Only in pop music, apparently, do so many professionals come to believe that success and fame justify behaving less professionally the more experienced they are.
Facts: Hollywood Reporter
Graphic: Love Nuke
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