Celebrities: Friends or Foes in the Wake of COVID-19

While most of us have been adhering to the laws of social distancing, it’s left us with an opportune amount of time to be on our phones and watch the crash-and-burn of a new celebrity. The anxious atmosphere derived from the pandemic coupled with the maddening attempts from celebrities to “connect” with the general public have seemed to backfire on the elites.

In a time where the internet has become increasingly more talkative about concepts that do not “exist” anymore, such as money and time, the existence of celebrities only stirs feelings of resentment. Fight-or-flight response mode has been activated.

In an ironic twist, actress Gal Gadot had the opposite effect of Wonder Woman when she assembled a group of stars, alongside herself, to sing a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” In a song that talks about imagining a world without possessions, the delivery left a bitter taste in viewers’ mouths after they noted the hypocrisy of the stars’ lavish lifestyles.

Needless to say, Twitter exploded with fury over the video.

“Every time I’ve felt bad about myself for the past two weeks I’ve turned on Gal Gadot and Co.’s cover of ‘Imagine’ to remind me that at least I’m not a tone-deaf socialite with delusions of grandeur who thinks I’m going to heal the world through the power of song…. and it helps,” said Twitter user @JonSolo.

Many critics thought it was futile and naïve for the stars to sing about an idyllic fantasy rather than use their wealth and power to manifest tangible change in efforts toward managing life during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vanessa Hudgens also came under fire when she made insensitive remarks about the COVID-19 situation in an Instagram Live video.

“I’m sorry, but like, it’s a virus,” Hudgens said. “I get it, like, I respect it, but at the same time I’m like, even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die, which is terrible but like, inevitable?”

Again, these detached comments come from a place of privilege that society has become increasingly more intolerant of during these stressful times when money, homes and even lives are at risk.

Even celebrities that have tried different tactics, such as highlighting the difficulties of abiding social distancing regulations, as a method to connect are losing their audiences. Ellen DeGeneres did her first show from home, and her comments about quarantine were met with backlash.

“Being in quarantine is like being in jail,” DeGeneres said. “It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.”

In response, people pointed out that her remarks were obtuse.

“People so far from being impacted by the criminal justice system love to use it as free labor and punch lines. F—you Ellen. Quarantine isn’t jail. Fame isn’t jail. Jail is jail,” said Twitter user @missgiagiagia.

Certain concepts of society have already begun to phase out, and it seems celebrities are quickly becoming regarded as “nonessential workers.”