Maybe Celebrities Need To STFU
Except for those who really have something to say
Okay that’s kinda harsh. Like it or not, celebrities are human beings who possess the same range of emotions as those of us who aren’t so lucky to be stuck in sprawling, palatial sanctuaries, with oceanside views and acres of meditative quarters.
But if there’s anything to be gathered from these harrowing few weeks of self-isolation, and the national mandate of social distancing in an effort to minimize the deadly effects of COVID-19, it has to be the glaring disparities between the haves and have nots.
Before the prolific arrival of social media, we got our glimpses of how A-listers hang out from the glossy pages of tabloids, and because the exposure was limited to the adventurousness of probing paparazzi, readers were able to retain a level of fascination that didn’t elicit resentment.
That was then and this is now.
The current status of over-sharing and leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination for the sake of earning viability of blue checks, has inevitably blurred the lines of reason and convinced those who are blessed with abundance to relentlessly dramatize the exact opposite of less is more.
Even on a good day, insufferable celebs and D-list influencers who parade their fanciful tools of engagement to emphasize their above average existence are a challenging bunch to accommodate.
But when the world that revolves around them hits a snag with the ongoing global pandemic that’s exacting death and destruction, and erasing evidence of how life used to be when some of us were barely functioning, the transparency of tone-deafness within privileged communities evolves into a sobering reality.
We are being deluged with rampant displays of unoriginality that run the gamut from celeb to celeb check-ins via Skype, to the daily updates that capture how the out-of-touch cry are slumming it in mansions with many rooms.
And after the captured dramatics of actress Naomi Watts, who is struggling to find peace in her art-deco kitchen, filled with high-end appliances that keep letting her down, it’s quite clear that there has always been a major disconnect that used to separate two vastly different universes, that are now forced into a bitter collision.
This is magnified with the recent controversy centered around Daytime Queen and veteran comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who left fans baffled by her attempt to relate her quarantine status to the woes of being in jail, based on the similar regimen of never changing clothes and how “everyone in here is gay.”
Aside from the pathetically flat joke, there’s the jarring realization of how completely unaware DeGeneres is of her seemingly self-righteous stance, when it comes to delivering monologues that don’t comfort and reassure her viewers that they aren’t alone in this fierce fight for survival.
DeGeneres like many of her equally showy comrades in Hollywood, has relied heavily on social media as the main outlet for maximizing this unprecedented climate of uncertainty, that hits everyone differently, depending on where you were when the orders to remain inside, indefinitely, were activated.
And while we can acknowledge the fact that we each have the right to freely express ourselves, according to inspiration and style, there’s also the immense responsibility that comes with authoring massive platforms that boast millions of followers, who don’t love you enough to leave you off that shared list of cancellations.
Maybe during this intensely stressful and harrowing episode of biblical turmoil, that has brought us to our knees in fear and frustration with the pain of those who are planning funerals instead of birthdays, it might be a good idea for celebs to STFU!
Unless, of course they have something tangible to add to the conversation about serious issues affecting the vulnerable and oppressed.
We know that Black and Brown communities are disproportionately targeted and hit hardest by societal ills of police brutality and the bigoted rulebook of the justice system.
And now we’re getting the damning information that confirms how the fractured healthcare system in America should be aggressively condemned for once again failing citizens, by criminally playing a vital role in the increasing death toll that’s befalling Black populations stationed in cities like Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia at a rapid rate.
The accumulated data is still being configured with the promise of an upcoming analysis that details the exact number of cities that are experiencing this disturbing trend, as well as identified culprits, that are very likely tied to how the poor are historically the ones who pay the high price for not being able to afford their lives.
Which brings us back to those who are fortunate enough to seamlessly transition from glitzy studios to spacious fortresses, that provide the comfort of business as usual, that absolutely doesn’t resemble the precariousness of being stuck in jail, especially during the rabid spread of coronavirus.
The jolting newsflash about how federal prisons across the country are being ravaged by this unwavering pandemic is a sobering reminder of how those who’ve been violently tossed away, often times for crimes they didn’t commit, or low level offenses, are handed a death sentence without a fair trial or access to survivability.
The heartrending testimonies from frightened inmates and their inconsolable family members are falling on deaf ears, as the national emergency that’s threatening lives that should still matter regardless of where they’re positioned under lock and key, continues to persist without governmental interference.
The inhumane treatment being exacted on helpless inmates who have no choice but to remain isolated, waiting to die from coronavirus is the exact reason why the ill-advised jail reference by Ellen DeGeneres rubbed folks the wrong way.
The only way to slightly appease the maddened crowd is to take the solid advice from Charlamagne tha God, cohost of the widely popular syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club, who recommends a reality check for DeGeneres in the form of investigating why she was dead wrong through informative channels that will permit her problem solving skills.
His “Donkey of the Day” segment is reserved for celebs and regular folks who royally fuck up in ways that can’t be ignored. And while there are notable past recipients like iconic comedian and Oscar-winner, Mo’Nique who made the cut for reasons that don’t add up, it’s hard to argue how and why DeGeneres has earned her spot.
We also have to agree that she’s not the only well-sheltered A-lister who is showcasing blatant ignorance with daily depictions of a charmed existence, and versions of “challenges,” that aren’t remotely relatable to triggered observers, who are defiantly shaming and cursing out their tormentors for not appropriately adjusting to the end of times.
The rich and famous need to either speak truth to power by leading the charge with the goal of helping to reduce the consequential effects of this unfolding nightmare, with the assistance of that mighty star power, or cautiously refrain from creating the messiness that exaggerates stereotypes of their storied self-absorbedness.
It’s never ideal to resort to censorship, particularly on expansive platforms that thrive from the lawlessness that’s eating away at our humanness.
But for those of us who want to stay engaged, from the post of modest spaces that aren’t worthy of the brief, elongated shots that instantly make the little people feel even smaller, we demand the swift return of sense and sensibility as a courtesy of basic human decency.
And to be quite blunt, if the world is still revolving around you despite the horrors that are staggeringly close in proximity — it might be the opportune time to quietly recline in luxurious tranquillity and STFU.
Unless you really do have something to say.