To the editors:

Contrary to Bill Wyman’s column in last week’s Reader [October 23], the recent controversy created by Sinead O’Connor is not evidence that celebrities are prevented by the media and public criticism from making political statements.

Wyman said, “The backlash against Sinead O’Connor . . . demonstrates yet again that celebrities in America can say any damn thing they want to as long as it doesn’t actually mean anything.”

Rather, the episode, initiated when O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II, illustrates O’Connor’s inability to deal with the consequences of such a “thought-provoking” act.

While deeply offended by O’Connor’s performance, I acknowledge her dedication to social causes, and I respect her freedom to voice her political beliefs as part of her performance.

However, O’Connor should realize that such actions produce a response. And that those actions carry with them a responsibility to deal maturely with the consequences.

She received that response when she was booed off the stage at a recent concert. For someone given to such bold statements, O’Connor dealt with the criticism poorly, walking offstage in tears.

O’Connor’s reaction made me wonder what she expected when she tore up that picture of the Pope. Did she really expect people to accept her political statement without a word of dissent?

Well, the people have spoken, and O’Connor would do well to observe an old maxim: If you can’t stand the heat, don’t start the fire.

Alex Agosti

N. State