“Does it really mean anything if [Ryan] Seacrest can have a star?” – Howard Stern, 2006.

Paul McCartney was finally given his star on the Hollywood walk of fame recently and it has been announced that this week Jennifer Aniston will be receiving her star. One cannot help but notice the HUGE difference in the effect that these two entertainers have had on popular culture. This isn’t just being written to criticise Jennifer Aniston (or Ryan Seacrest) but Paul McCartney was a member of the most iconic band in history and remains today one of the most talented entertainers in the music industry, whilst Jennifer Aniston starred in Friends (which I cannot criticise at all) and inspired a haircut (which I can criticise), does her Friends status make her worthy of a star in itself when the rest of her career is full of excrement?

E.M. Stuart is credited with the creation of the walk of fame, citing it as a means to “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners or the world”. The first eight stars were unveiled in 1958 and the famous walk is now home to over 2400 people, or groups, within the entertainment industry. On average, twenty new additions are made to the famous tourist attraction each year; each new addition is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. With so many people being inducted into the walk is it as exclusive as Stuart hoped it would be when he first had the idea?

Every new addition has to have a nomination sent in to the Chamber of Commerce and the nominee has to agree to be nominated. If the nomination is approved the nominee themselves, or the group/person who did the nominating will have to pay for it out of their own pocket; essentially that person is buying their way into this ‘prestigious’ walk. This surely negates some of the validity of such a commemoration.

Over the years there have been actors, directors, musicians and producers added to Hollywood’s walk of fame but alongside these there have also been some fictional characters; Mickey Mouse, Woody Woodpecker and the Rugrats all have their own stars. Do animated characters really deserve a star? Surely, as fictional beings they do not contribute anything real to life. On the other hand, however, is this simply recognition for the creative team behind the character, as a star for each mind behind the creation (voice artist, animator, creator etc.) may not be plausible?

But really, think about this: is it right that Hollywood’s most honourable gift has been bestowed upon the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Woody Woodpecker and Jennifer Aniston when it has not respected Clint Eastwood, Jane Fonda or Robert Redford, all Hollywood legends in their own right. A star on the Hollywood walk of fame should be something that only the pinnacle of human talent is recognised with; nowadays the announcements do not seem to carry as much significance as perhaps they should.

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