Ellis Cashmore

Ellis Cashmore is the author of "Elizabeth Taylor," "Beyond Black" and "Celebrity Culture." He is an honorary professor of sociology at Aston University and has previously worked at the universities of Hong Kong and Tampa.

Will the Azeem Rafiq Case Purge Britain of Racism?

November 19, 2021

Britain is in purgatory. Its latest racial crisis is as grave, urgent and compelling as the upheaval that followed the urban riots of the 1980s and the soul-searching over the report on the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1999. But the latest scandal that has engulfed one of Britain’s favorite...

Can Football Find a Way Out of a Moral Maze?

October 11, 2021

Are we freighting football with too much responsibility? After all, the game we recognize today started as a frivolous competition for English factory workers to let off steam at the end of a miserable, emotionally unrewarding and ungratifying work week in the 19th century. Yet this futile ball game in...

Is Oprah the Most Influential Person Ever?

September 03, 2021

When Oprah Winfrey tells people, “I am here to ask you to think seriously,” apparently they do. She really did say this, in 2007, and her audience duly thought about who was the best person for the US presidency. It was Barack Obama, America’s first black president. Oprah was, and...

The Prince, the Financier, the Henchwoman and the Girl

August 11, 2021

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, adding that she “did not come to the decision lightly.” Now 38, she claims she was forced to have sex with a member of the British royal family while under duress and still a...

MTV at 40: Did Video Kill the Radio Star?

July 30, 2021

On August 1, 1981, rock music’s second revolution started. The first didn’t have an official starting point, but Elvis Presley’s first number-one single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was released on January 27, 1956, and caused barely imaginable changes in music and beyond. There was mayhem, panic and fears of cultural regression when...

Bill Cosby Is Free: Is It Perversion of Justice or Divine Providence?

July 01, 2021

On May 9, 1985, John J. O’Connor wrote a story for The New York Times under the headline, “Bill Cosby’s Triumph.” It was the kind of accolade the comedian had become used to: “You look at ‘The Cosby Show’ and you feel, most of the time, just plain good. Television...

Will Transgender Athletes Bring the End of Women’s Sport as We Know It?

June 29, 2021

The progress of women in sport has been handicapped, not by their own frailty or bodily deficiencies but by myths about their physical abilities. For nearly a century, women’s relative inferiority in sport was attributable to one thing: men. Unenlightened Victorian doctors perpetuated so many myths about the horrific effects...

The Afterlife of Michael Jackson

June 23, 2021

Dear Michael Jackson, This is the first letter I’ve written to a dead person, though you’re still alive in a sense, aren’t you? There were always two Michael Jacksons: one, the flesh-and-blood mortal who succumbed 12 years ago; the other, a product of countless people’s imaginations, a creation freed of...

Why Do So Many Athletes Have Mental Health Issues?

June 16, 2021

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche didn’t have the afflictions of athletes in mind when he wrote this, though many athletes who have surfaced from depression actually appear to be fortified by the ordeal. Others suffer, often in silence, and never fully...

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, 50 Years On

May 20, 2021

What is it about some great artists that makes them want to be someone else? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the father of Sherlock Holmes, aspired to be a historical novelist like Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoyevsky, neglecting that he created some of the finest detective fiction of all time. François...

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