Celebrities are Gods to masses, mythical figures that loom large over adoring millions.
So one way to establish dominance over the multitude is to cast down their Gods. In the ancient world, it was very common to consolidate victory by publicly crushing the idols of the defeated before them to conclusively demonstrate the truth of their superior power and legitimacy.
Let us imagine, for example, a typical arrogant, loud, foul-mouthed singer who teaches millions of young men to be violent and greedy. He acts tough and powerful on camera and society heaps its best rewards on him, giving credence to his claims. Because he is successful, millions want to imitate him. Enabling such a person to become a God in the heaven of apex social status demoralizes and corrupts society.
The correct heavenly order is re-established when the rulers show themselves as the True Gods. Because our example idol is built on being tough and rebellious, he needs only to be humiliated.
Imagine this swaggering tough guy celebrity forced to wear a pink tutu on national television, forced to kneel humbly on the ground while whipped with rods by hysterically laughing clowns mocking him with boastful lyrics from his songs. Then, humbled and bloodied, he might be made to crawl to the feet of an official and have to kiss his ring and beg for forgiveness. And afterwards, pictures of the fallen God’s tear-streaked defeated face spread all across the internet.
The fallen God could never recover his aura of invincibility and prestige. Though people might understand intellectually no one person can stand against the state, their primal lizard brains couldn’t unsee their God scraping on the ground in ridiculous clothing, getting beaten down by ridiculous people.
I think back on some MMA fights I saw on youtube and recall how even the most hulking warrior could appear small and weak while on his back, scrunched up defensively against the attacks of the guy on top. Though I understand intellectually the shabbiest of these fighters could destroy 99.9% of people within a few seconds, instinctual gut perceptions of bodily positions of submission and dominance are as strong in the deep human psyche as they are in dogs.
It is not without reason that statues and stelae since ancient times depict the conquering ruler on top and the defeated crushed underneath to illustrate the outcome in the most visceral way possible.
Because human animals deal in symbolic systems like language the impact is greatest of all when the person ceremonially dominated is no mere human but a powerful symbol.
Celebrities are like traditional folk-heroes, pagan anthropomorphic Gods, or modern comic book heroes. Their larger-than-life powers and exploits are combined with an abundance of human vanities so they can provide moral examples to the common people. In their proper place they are a positive influence in a vital mid to lower caste culture.
Celebrities, stars, and idols are folk heroes that have risen beyond their proper place. When they become Gods of the entire social order, the earthly flaws that make them appopriate symbols for simple souls drags down the entire culture. Without greater values to guide them from further up, they soon promote vice as virtue and rot society from within.
When Hercules commits a murder, he has to perform labors, when Zeus cheats his wife gets revenge on his mistress, Iron Man pays for his pride and recklessness by accidentally creating Ultron, King Arthur accidentally creates his arch-nemesis, Mordred, by cheating with Morgan Le Fay.
Each hero, while powerful, is steered back on course by a greater moral universe, so when Hercules is made the supreme power, he can murder all he likes. The force that corrects him and completes the story is removed.
It becomes necessary for the wise ruler to systematically out-alpha usurper celebrities and cast them down where they belong.
The former stars respond by just going underground and that is where they should be, out of sight of the higher echelons, known only to their proper audience, never to stand in society’s limelight.