If you are unaware of the current story involving the rapper Jay-Z, his wife Beyoncé and her younger sister Solange Knowles, then you have quite clearly been living under a rock... or in an internet free zone. Regardless of whether you're interested in the story or not, thanks to our obsession with social networking platforms it is a piece of coverage that you simply cannot ignore.
CCTV footage was submitted online after the MET gala in New York last week. The footage is of Jay-Z, Beyoncé and her sister Solange standing in a lift. The footage is in black and white and as standard CCTV quality goes, it isn't particularly clear. As always, there's no audio either. (Taking all this into consideration it's a wonder why this is still our accepted form of 'security surveillance').
The footage appears to show Solange physically attacking Jay-Z. Solange kicks him several times and appears to spit at him as Beyoncé looks on calmly and appears to remain totally composed and unfazed by what's going on around her. It's almost as though it's a scene she's witnessed several times before.
The internet has almost combusted due to speculation as to what the rapper could have done to provoke the younger sister. There's the theory that she may have been under the influence, there's the rumour that Solange had verbally attacked several others during the night for no apparent reason, or the preferred exposition; that Jay-Z had cheated on Beyoncé. It seems that people are clawing their eyeballs out at the possibility that we may never know the real answer. But lo and behold, Jay-Z and his 'attacker' were spotted shopping for jewellery in New York together the following morning. In addition to this, in a (failed and desperate) attempt at displaying some solidarity, Beyoncé has been uploading photos of her sister and herself in happier times. But bizarrely; Solange has deleted all photos where she is pictured with her sister, bar one.
Moving on, I'm torn between two things concerning the coverage that the story has received: are we invading their privacy? Should they, as human beings be entitled to a certain level of privacy and therefore, the footage should never have been allowed to be released? Or, as the megastars that they are (both Beyoncé and Jay-Z made £180 million each last year alone, making them one of the most influential couples in the world) should they expect this sort of attention? As a celebrity, you can't pick and choose what of your 'private' lives is shared with the world. If you are to be admired worldwide, you have to accept that your followers will demand to know everything there is to know about you. It comes with the job.
People are saying whoever submitted the footage to the press is 'sick'. But isn't our obsession with celebrity what's really the sick thing here? Statistically we're more likely to share a video of a cat running into a door, than the latest on what's happening in Syria.
The most recent revelation regarding the Jay-Z/Solange war story is that the hotel worker guilty of stealing the CCTV footage and then leaking it to the press was paid the huge sum of $250,000. He/she has since lost their job, and the money.
Let's assume you were struggling financially. Would you have done the same if you knew you wouldn't get caught? Or do your morals disagree with doing something like this? It's definitely a tricky one.
As we know, in this day in age nothing is private. If Beyoncé is going to share her marriage, her husband, her pregnancy, (remember she announced it during her performance on stage at the MTV awards) and her holiday photos with the world then you can't blame people for any further interest. People feel like they have the right to know these things about public figures. If you allow people access to 70% of your life, then where's the barrier? Unfortunately you can't pick and choose.
Let's also consider one thing: it could be a very good publicity stunt. As the quote goes, there's no such thing as bad press and everyone knows Solange hasn't had the best career.