Here at Accounting Today, we love celebrities. We quote obscure movie scenes, forward each other links to pop-culture news, take IMDB.com lunch breaks, and refine our Christopher Walken impressions. But we like celebrities even more on AccountingToday.com, where, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, we vibe with the rest of the TMZ-devouring public in delighting in their imperfections. The Celebrity Tax Foibles section of the site is also popular with readers, who have undoubtedly become accustomed to certain faces accompanying endless stories on tax liens, lawsuits, and unsolicited thoughts on tax policy via Twitter.
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In our office, writing about the actors, musicians or athletes at the center of these scandals awakens a secret delight that I'm convinced exists in even the most high-brow, serious journalist. It is, in short, an opportunity to pun!
If you're familiar with R. Kelly's epic, 22-chapter song series "Trapped in the Closet," you understand the need to work that saga into every headline accompanying a new multi-million-dollar bundle owed the IRS. The news of Flavor Flav's back taxes required a mere two-worded tweet of "No boy!" and Stephen King's published piece supporting taxing the wealthy earned the IRS the dubious distinction of not being so scary, after all.
It's not an attack on what, in some cases, are serious legal troubles, but a chance to nod at a celebrity-saturated culture and performers we admire.
Our readers have even gotten in on the action. My favorite response to our Facebook post about Rihanna suing her accountants: "Her accountants did not treat her like she was the only client in the world."
Love of wordplay is not limited to the publishing world. The next time we post or tweet a celebrity tax foible, feel free to join in and top our attempt at a witty headline. I'll tweet my favorites @ATomorrow!