Picture Source: Lili Reinhart – Instagram (@lilireinhart)

Celebrity relationships are the fan-favourite fodder of gossip mags and tabloids; for some reason, human beings have an innate interest in who is sleeping with whom, even if we’ve never met the folks in question. However, what happens when the celebrity doesn’t want this public attention?

To really break this down, we first must unpack it. Everybody understands that celebrities are just people like us, but seems to forget that they really are just people like us. Can you imagine the intimate details of your every move plastered for the world to see? Yes, it’s ‘the business’ and they knew what they’re getting into – but that doesn’t mean nothing should be allowed to be private.

As your resident Riverdale writer, I am, of course, referring to the relationship between Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse. For ages these two dodged the question of their dating, and even now that it’s confirmed have strived to be as private as they can about it – even both going on record saying how they wish to keep the personal details personal. However, despite this, tabloids and fans will not leave it alone; harassing them at panels or on social media about it, threats from jilted fans who disagree with the pairing, speculation about what they’re doing or why are just a few instances they have to endure.

For some reason, this obsessive interest increases when people ‘ship’ characters in a show the actors share, as if chemistry on-screen MUST translate to real-life love, even if the actors are nothing like their characters. Can you imagine how difficult it must be to publicly announce you are dating someone when the fans ‘ship’ you with someone else? How much unwarranted hate that new partner must get? Why is it okay to treat people this way for who they love?

So here’s my question: why do celebrities lose the right to privacy and dignity? Is it because they choose to act or sing or create for the public at large? If their job is to entertain us, and they do a good job of that, should we not be more respectful of their wishes or privacy? Or does their job to entertain not end with their craft, and their lives have become our source of entertainment?

I know I’m not going to take down the celebrity gossip empire with this piece. I know I’m not going to change many minds. But I do hope that I can remind a few souls: these are human beings, not Sims. They don’t live and breathe and die for your entertainment. If they indicate that they would like their privacy in a matter, let respecting that wish start with you.