July 21, 2009 at 02:24 PM EDT

Jeffrey Donovan’s arrest on suspicion of DUI results in something that really annoys me: the celebrity mug shot. The Burn Notice star’s picture is pretty mild as these things go, I suppose, and I know that public figures leave themselves open to this sort of thing: They’re famous, people are curious, blah, blah, blah.

But it still seems unnecessarily mean-spirited to laugh at and joke about someone at a vulnerable moment in his or her life. The famous Nick Nolte mug shot was the one that solidified this opinion in me; I disliked the jeering pleasure so many people took in gawping at a police photograph of this excellent actor. That’s what’s so insidious about the celebrity mug shot: It ends up influencing the way people think about a performer and his work. If you’re an entertainer who becomes a national joke due to this, it takes a while to recover and set your career aright.

Maybe you feel differently? Do Jeffrey Donovan and other celebrities get what they deserve in such humiliation, or should we just pass these things by, especially when no one else is hurt by the factor that got them arrested?

For more:

Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan arrested on suspicion of DUI

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