Chris Pine may be in court to plead guilty for driving while drunk but hey, it’s Hollywood. E! News still reports that they think he looks hot anyway.
E! News showed considerable bad taste in a March 17 story on Pine, best known as an actor in Star Trek, who was photographed and seen on his way to a DUI hearing in New Zealand.
Instead of straight reporting the news that the actor pleaded guilty to a DUI charge, E! News put the focus on his appearance.
The tone-deaf E! News headline is “Chris Pine Looks Hot During DUI Appearance, Poses for Pics With Fans Outside New Zealand Court.”
A DUI charge is a serious matter, not one to be made light of, or even made secondary to how “hot” the accused is. And yet, the E! News story states:
“Lookin’ good, Chris Pine!
“While appearing at a New Zealand court to plead guilty to a DUI charge on Monday, the 33-year-old Star Trek stud looked super-sexy while sporting a rugged beard. Pine was cool, calm and collected while arriving at an Ashburton courthouse in blue jeans, a white shirt and a blue sweater with dark sunglasses. The scruffy star sported a slicked-back hairdo with some new long facial hair.”
Commenters on the article also found E! News’ approach to the Pine story distasteful. “Melinda” put it best:
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“E, you are the worst! There is nothing ‘super hot’ about driving under the influence. Celebrities and your definition of beautiful people are not exempt from ethical and moral laws that keep us all safe. You should be condemning his past decision and writing wishes for better decision making. Articles like this should also always contain statistics about DUI deaths and information on recovering from addiction.”
Other readers agreed with the sentiment.
As a contrast to the E! News report, look to the Associated Press’s story on Pine’s day in court. The AP focused on the night Pine was arrested, what his blood alcohol level was (0.11) and what happened in the court hearing. In one brief sentence, the AP wrote, “Pine appeared relaxed as he left the courtroom, stopping to sign a couple of autographs for fans who had gathered outside before being driven away.”
iMediaEthics has written to E! News asking for a response to the criticism that the article is in poor taste. We’ll update with any response.
Earlier this year, as you may remember, E! News got a lot of attention for its poor choice in calling Michael J. Fox’s 1991 Parkinson’s disease diagnosis a “fun fact” at the Golden Globes.
E! News also deleted a blogpost saying actress Ellen Page dresses “like a massive man” after Page criticized the article during her February coming out speech at a conference for LGBTQ group Time to Thrive.