I really do not care about celebrity deaths: I don't want people to die, but people do die. I'm very sad when people I know die, and I feel nothing for celebrities. #myunpopularopinion
That's what I had written, although it felt really too coarse to publish. Terry Teachout says it much better:
Since then, though, I can’t say that the death of any celebrity has “punched me in the gut.” Perhaps this is a function of the fact that I’ve now lived long enough to lose numerous real-life family members and intimate friends, something that was not yet the case in 1983. Whatever the reason, I was unresponsive to the outpouring of social-media sentiment that was triggered by the passing of (among others) Fisher, Reynolds, Edward Albee, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Prince, Alan Rickman, Garry Shandling, and Gene Wilder. Why should this be so? The reason, I think, is that while I admired some of these men and women, one or two greatly, I didn’t know any of them, nor did their lives and work shape my character or taste.
Nevertheless, there is for me an unbridgeable gap between admiration from a distance, however strong, and the more personal sentiment that for me is inextricably tied up with personal acquaintance.