#Guillotine2020 - Is Celebrity Losing Its Mojo?
Wonderful article in The New York Times about how celebrities are starting to piss people off with their platitudes over the Covid-19 pandemic.
The "common man" appeal is losing its currency. Some celebs are trying to spread the message through social media that "hey, we're all in this together." It's a message that's falling flat.
I heard a fine retort to this the other day. Yes, we're all in the same stormy seas but that's where the togetherness ends. Some are riding out the breakers comfortably aboard their mega yachts. Others are bobbing around in their skiffs, too busy bailing out the bilges for anything else. Others still have no boat and are treading water.
When JLo sends a message of solidarity from her palatial compound it can rub people the wrong way - people who don't have manicured yards, swimming pools, screening rooms in their cribs. People who had no money to give their kids presents at Christmas. People who are just one step away from eviction.
“Staying home is my superpower,” the “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot reported from her walk-in closet. Ryan Reynolds urged his fans to “work together to flatten the curve” from within his rustic loft. When Jennifer Lopez posted a video of her family sheltering in the backyard of Alex Rodriguez’s vast Miami compound, the public snapped.
“We all hate you,” was one representative response.
Among the social impacts of the coronavirus is its swift dismantling of the cult of celebrity. The famous are ambassadors of the meritocracy; they represent the American pursuit of wealth through talent, charm and hard work. But the dream of class mobility dissipates when society locks down, the economy stalls, the death count mounts and everyone’s future is frozen inside their own crowded apartment or palatial mansion. The difference between the two has never been more obvious. The #guillotine2020 hashtag is jumping. As grocery aisles turn bare, some have suggested that perhaps they ought to eat the rich.
One of the ironies of this moment is that though we feel less like stars than ever, they seem to feel more like us — or at least, what they think it must feel like to be us. DeGeneres is going “stir-crazy” from having to stay inside her enormous home; Katy Perry has lost track of the days she’s spent inside her enormous home.
Madonna has elevated celebrity delusion to a kind of performance art. In a series of oddly professional Instagram videos suggesting a perhaps dangerous concentration of staff members in her home, she can be seen undergoing a bizarre healing procedure at her personal health clinic and bending over a typewriter in a kimono, pontificating about the social effects of the virus.
For Madonna, performing for the public and holding fans in her thrall is yet “another luxury gone, for now,” she says in one video. In its place is the disturbing sensation of normalcy. “The audience in my house is not amused by me,” she says. Later, from the bath, she concludes that Covid-19 is “the great equalizer.”