Pinoy Big Brother alumnus, Jameson Blake, has sparked controversy on Twitter.
Jameson Blake had made a public request Twitter account for a cover photo. This doesn’t seem harmful or problematic in any way. However, the payment for the service he proposed was unforgettable, or even unforgivable.
The now-deleted tweet was supposedly for fans to show their dedication and support for the celebrity.
The fans come in defense of Jameson. For them, it’s not problematic for him to publicly ask for a graphic design. Since it’s for the fans, there is an assumption that a recognition from their idol would suffice as a reward. Jameson, himself, have the same sentiment as apparent by his public apology on Instagram. However, to anyone reading it, it still doesn’t seem like a remorseful statement.
“I wasn’t obligating anyone to make one. It was just a favor. Probably a shout out would have done nothing but I could have returned the favor by promoting the artwork…,” Jameson includes in his apology post.
However, despite its intention, shout outs aren’t enough as payment for something that takes time, effort, and money to accomplish.
What this does is it removes accountability from the original poster of the tweet. While the graphic designers do still have the choice to participate in Jameson’s “competition,” the motivation and reason behind the tweet itself is something to take into account. There is still this reality that a shoutout should be enough as payment for something that takes time, effort, and money to accomplish just like any other sort of service. That there is someone out there, with the money and resource to pay for the graphic design. And that there are also people supporting this sentiment. The underlying implication that comes with this perpetuates the mindset still apparent in the majority of people.
Creatives can’t and shouldn’t be paid with something as small and invaluable as a shoutout.
The humanities are perceived as the lesser field of study and career. This is apparent simply from the treatment of the output of artists, as well as the process behind it. It doesn’t involve numbers as heavily as in mathematics, or experiments such as in the sciences. Thus, since the humanities do not require processes that are necessary for other fields, it’s perceived as something that is not worth the same recognition (and payment) as the others.
It downgrades a real profession to a mere hobby that’s expected to be inexpensive and accessible. Sure, exposure is a possible push towards success. However, that’s not always the case. Creatives don’t just create art from thin air. Materials to complete an artwork aren’t always accessible and cheap. These outputs are similar to those of the food cooked for us by chefs, gadgets we buy constructed by a whole team of programmers and developers, and the clothes we wear created by designers and tailors and producers. They all take time, effort, and money. It’s an offense and degradation of an entire field of career and study to equate their work to an intangible payment.
Fortunately, there are more people that have retaliated against the tweet leading to its inevitable deletion.
There has been a number of parodies of Jameson’s request circulating the internet. Despite its humorous take, we should also be reminded that these parodies of artworks represent the justice that should be given to our artists. That the end product will have the same quality as its payment.