A public relations look behind the glitz and the glam


Entertainment Guru or Unethical Jerk?

Sean P. Diddy Combs

Sean P. Diddy Combs has evolved into a powerful business man throughout the entertainment industry. His career matured after the 1993 establishment of Bad Boy Entertainment. The legendary rapper Notorious B.I.G. signed to Bad Boy, began creating singles and gained success from B.I.G.’s Ready to Die album.  Together they ran the East Coast.  Diddy signed other big names like Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Usher, Lil’ Kim, Boys II Men and Mariah Carey just to name a few.

But not just a musical genius, Diddy has a successful clothing line. He has learned how reality television can increase his total revenue. In recent years, Diddy signed a multi-million dollar deal with Ciroc and has revamped his own music career while continuing an acting career.

But in the midst of his success he has experienced several incidents from Biggie’s death, to possible gun charges, break-ups and the birth of numerous children. One can conclude that these events and his childhood in Harlem, N.Y., could both be relative to his success. A success that may have led to greed and the need to make his employees slaves of  “his” American Dream.

If so, is Sean Puff, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy Combs (the man of many names, lol..) allowed to use his trials and tribulations to motivate his staff?  Has his success given him the title of an entertainment guru or just a greedy, self-centered unethical jerk?

In January 2010, Ebony Jones season winner of  “I want to work for Diddy,” never received the job she was promised. Hip  Hop News Daily quoted an interview of what happened after Jones won the show:

Interviewer: Have you been working for Diddy?

Ebony: No.

Interviewer: I talked to Mike and Suzanne at this point last season and they hadn’t started yet either. Are you worried?

Ebony: Yeah! I’m unemployed! I lost my job. I taught algebra and coached basketball and football. They said a teacher is a public servant, and the thing that got me was the profanity. That was a violation against our code of conduct, per our teacher handbook. I didn’t find this out until they fired me, but they did so Friday, October 30, which was a few days before the show came on. They said it was bad PR for the school. So I’ve been unemployed ever since, and they also denied my unemployment. This is the most broke I’ve ever been in my life.

Interviewer: That’s terrible.

Ebony: It’s been tough.

Interviewer: Has anything good come from the show at this point?

Ebony: Now I’m not afraid to step out and do what I love. I don’t regret it. No matter how broke I get, I don’t regret it. Nothing huge besides that. People want to pay you a couple hundred dollars to show up at a club. I haven’t gotten a team together yet. I’m hoping to have a job at Bad Boy.

Interviewer: How did they leave it?

Ebony: “Don’t contact us, you’ll be contacted.”

Here is a case where reality television turned into profit for Diddy’s brand. This leads me to believe that Sean Combs himself may be involved with unethical behavior and it is not the first time. For example, how about rising pop sensation girl group Danity Kane. I mean who didn’t like them. They made wonderful music, seemed to get along great and it all went down the drain. Instead of firing the problem, he dropped the entire group. I hope I wasn’t the only person devastated. Not to mention the drop of long time friend Mase, several artist leaving the label and drama with Lil’ Kim after the release of the Notorious the film about B.I.G.’s life.

This poses a PR problem. Is Diddy unethical because he uses people’s talents to get as much money out of them as possible, or are they just not talented? Either way, it shows bad judgment on his behave. It is not fair to exploit people, to only pocket all the cash. This could be the reason why many people love and hate Sean Combs. Some may look at him as a businessman with clear objectives. If you fail to meet them with him, you obviously have got to go.

My perception is simple.. (I love the way that sounds. Haha.) Diddy is a business man that may have made his own laws of ethics. He is very credible in the entertainment industry and he does it all. What man is capable of filming a movie, work on a music project and run businesses all at the same time? Does he sleep? Though his respect for others is questionable (I have never met him so I am stating this from what is shown on television). Could I work for him? Proably not. He demands a lot from his employees which is extremely understandable. I am sure he had to do a lot of work to get to where he is today. Until someone takes action, we can only assume that Diddy is following ethical standards through his business ventures.

Okay, that wasn’t very simple. Simply put, despite of the negativity, I love Diddy :).

Please comment. I would love your opinion..



Rihanna vs. Kim Kardashian

"Are distorted images ethical?"

Actual photos vs. Distorted photos

Image distortion is an ongoing topic throughout the entertainment world. Changing women’s waistlines or using photo shop to change flaws is now widely accepted. The question is whether or not it is okay for any major magazine to alter the look of any celebrity. Rihanna was just featured on the July cover of Elle Magazine and she looks sufficiently slimmer compared to photos from her current tour “Last Girl on Earth.” A few months ago, there was a big dilemma with Kim Kardashian and the released photos of her cellulite. Kardashian felt the need to defend herself by saying “I have cellulite, so what” but is now a big promoter for Quick Trim.

As public relations professionals, we have to ask ourselves, “Is distorting images ethical?” There is merely no difference in Elle Magazine sizing down Rihanna than Kim Kardashian having her cellulite photo shopped, but should high-fashion magazine refrain  from distorting images?

As a society, we place great emphasize on the need to be beautiful. In America, beauty is not skin deep, it is what is on the outside and some ‘brainiac’ said beauty is skinny or not having any cellulite. Ironically, what celebrities don’t realize is although many Americans look at what they wear and try to mimic their outer appearance, Americans are also the ones who scrutinize their every move.

In recent years, there have been several issues regarding distorted images so it is important for entertainment PR professionals to address these dilemmas by:

  • Consulting their client to decide whether or not they are affected by the situation
  • Address the publication about the photographs to understand their stance behind the situation
  • Try to resolve the issue if it becomes more than your client can handle

My perception is simple; make changes when necessary. Distorted images are like false advertising, show me what is real, not what you believe I want to see.

Let me know what you all think… Please comment!