This is a very important question, as the modern culture is heavenly influenced by celebrities, and their actions do change the way people see certain things, and I feel that this question is more relevant now than at any other time.
There are now so many instances of famous people’s actions drastically changing the future, two good examples are these. Elon Musk, you most likely have heard of him by now, as he is a very influential and powerful man, so powerful in fact, that just by tweeting, he is able to drastically change the stock market, another good example is Will Smith, with his famous slap at the Oscars, when comedian Chris Rock was making jokes at the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith’s wife didn’t like one of the jokes, and Will Smith thought that he should solve the problem, so he got up, walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face. Now I don’t know if an open-handed slap is considered assault, but that was not the main problem, the after-effects are what have caused the most damage, now many people see it acceptable to walk on stage and assault comedians if they dislike the joke, it happened again to comedian Dave Chappelle, he was doing his act, when a man ran on stage and full-on through himself at him, and tackled him to the ground.
So you now have two examples of how a celebrity’s actions can influence the future, and now let us apply them to crimes. Let us say that Dwane the Rock Johnson filmed himself breaking into a gas pump and stealing loads of gas. Then posted it on Twitter saying “The gas prices are too high, so this shouldn’t be illegal”. That would cause a lot of problems, The Rock has many followers and is liked by a lot of people, now many people would lose their respect for him, but many more extreme fans, and people that think the same thing as him, would use the opportunity to steal some gas in hoping that everyone else doing it with them would be too much for the police to handle and that they would be let off easy.
So how should The Rock be punished? Well since he lives in America, he has to follow American law, and there are set punishments for stealing things, based on the price, in many cases, the punishments vary, an example is my mom who has eight charges for holding freedom rallies and the punishments are from ten thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars, and a year in jail for each, but we are taking it to court because under the Canadian charter we are allowed freedom of assembly. ANY WAY. Most petty thieves would not get the maximum punishment, and there are varying reasons I will not get into, but in the case of celebrities, they would most likely get punished on the highest end of the scale, and would probably be punished for many other things, like “destruction of property” and on top of that, celebrity’s are likely to get sued, let us say that one gas station company got attacked far more than others because of their higher prices, they would most likely sue The Rock because he would have caused them a lot of damage.
So in total let us see the punishment that our example would give: Maximum, or close to a max fine, many smaller charges, possible suing, loss of followers and respect, and most likely since he is an actor, the loss of several jobs because production companies wouldn’t want to be associated with him. If you added all of those up, including the possible sue, it would have cost him millions. So he would already have been punished more, than some random person stealing gas. Who would have gotten a fine, a little jail time and probably probation.
So I don’t think that we need to add to the punishments, as in, adding fines to the law books for celebrities, there is enough wiggle room in the law to be able to punish others more severely. So I don’t think that there is anything we should add, because they already are punished more than the average Joe. But I do think that the fines should not be the same. Like, let us say the fine was ten thousand dollars and two months in jail but ended up being two weeks because of good behaviour. That would do very little to The Rock, as he probably makes more money than that in one day from royalties.