I love celebrities. Bit of a silly thing to become an entertainment journalist if I didn’t, I suppose. But this was the year that my favourite people proved they had absolutely no ability to read the room.
I sure enjoyed seeing Jessica Simpson doing her own groceries in those ‘Stars! They’re just like us!’ tabloid pieces back in the day. But then 2020 came along and crapped all over those warm and fuzzy memories by rubbing it in our little poor faces just how canyon-esque the divide between the famous and not-so-famous was.
I’ve spent the year writing about celebrities, as, you know, per my job description, and while we love to look on in aspirational fascination at the lives these stars lead, this year was the first time I noticed we were kind of over it.
It wasn’t encouraging at all to see an A-list roll call sing us John Lennon from their estates, or to hear about another celebrity spending wads of cash in order to dodge the kind of rules we’ve been beholden to, guilted by the Government to stick to to within an inch of our isolated existences.
Or to see then the others having a ‘quarantine breakdown’ on their doorstep.
2020 was the year we realised celebrities really are nothing like us and, while we want to be all in this together, it’s clear we’re all on different levels here.
Let me start with everyone’s favourite ensemble cast – Gal Gadot’s Imagine video – which really got us off to a bad start with our elite pals.
Our eye-rolling was strong seeing the very best of apathetic celebrity carefactor on show, and what happens when all the sets close in Hollywood and our favourite actors are forced to entertain themselves.
The video, which counted Zoe Kravitz, Mark Ruffalo and Natalie Portman as guests, ruffled all collective feathers, as they sang a wistful rendition (of a banger, I’ll admit) with the aim of doing…what? Give us something to listen to on our exhausting daily quest for toilet paper and pasta?
Jamie Dornan, who sang from his toilet to make it look as simple as possible (thanks mate), did address the palaver and apologised after realising perhaps seeing a bunch of stars with access to coronavirus testing (which was near impossible to obtain back then) have a little moment from their second homes will have the opposite effect on our morale Gal may have hoped.
It was entertaining though, I’ll give them that.
On the whole, seeing celebrities shuffle off to their palacial second houses and tell us to namaste in our homes from their hot tubs worry-free (their films might have been delayed but they still had millions in the bank), when we just wanted to sit in a park without being hustled away by the police was a real buzzkill. On top of the general buzz-kill-ness of everything.
If I had a second house with ocean views and a pool would I have sauntered on down the motorway in a heartbeat? Probably.
We hate them, coz we ain’t them (I don’t hate them, but it rhymed better).
Special mention does go to Arnold Schwarzenegger who told us off for sitting in outdoor cafes ‘having a good time’ as he literally smoked a cigar in his jacuzzi.
Then Ellen DeGeneres compared her $27million (£19m) house to prison and the divide grew.
In April, while filming her series from said home, Ellen attempted a joke when she said: ‘One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is.
‘It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.’
And that was even before the whole ‘toxic workplace’ thing came out.
I’m no comedian (clearly) but who thought, in this climate, that would sit right? A celebrity, of course. So closed off from the real world it hurts.
Then there were the stars who flexed the rules in order to not miss out on their birthdays, like the millions of others around the world who had to cancel their own festivities from the inability to hire out an entire closed restaurant in a lockdown, a la Rita Ora.
Kendall Jenner also didn’t mind shoving tens of people into a room, without masks, in order to make sure she didn’t miss out on a rip-roaring, crowded 25th birthday.
To make it seem more palatable to everyone else, she made everyone take a test and banned anyone who didn’t test negative (good idea). And proceeded to blow her candles out over a cake to be eaten by others. Which was held by a terrified-looking waiter whose job depends on them testing negative for the disease. A disease that has a wow of a time in the very kind of droplets spread by blowing on a birthday cake *wheezes*.
But Kendall is famous so it’s fiiiiine.
The big one that stung was Kim Kardashian flying her nearest and dearest to a private island for her 40th. Can’t miss that 40th, apparently.
She insisted it was done safely, much like Kendall’s shindig, with people being tested before getting to enjoy their swanky, tropical break.
While I previously suggested in the past we’re all just wildly jealous of Kim’s ability to do this (read: cash money), I understand the anger – just because a celebrity can do something like this, does it mean they have to?
And, even worse, rub it in our faces on social media.
It’s all just a bit ‘read the room’ for me.
Even now, as we deal with tier four and the shutting of every pub that has the ability to save our sanity right now, every influencer and their little dog has flown to Dubai, because they can.
If they weren’t in Dubai, they are celebrating Christmas and New Year in Barbados, while we’re here, watching some sort of 2020 highlights package (honestly?) because even the London fireworks has been cancelled.
It doesn’t get much more spirit-destroying than being mistably cold and pint-less when you see reality stars having the absolutely ruddy time of their life because they’re, what, travelling for ‘work’?
Now, I may have just spent 1,000 words sharing my annoyance at all the ways celebrities have totally bungled the ‘relatability’ thing, and I get that might not be a totally fair assumption. This pandemic has ruined the year for most of us in one way or another and it’s all relative.
Just because a celebrity has a mansion in which to make their banana bread, it doesn’t mean it’s been a cakewalk for them either. And I recognise that. I suppose, I’m more agitated from a ‘how can’t you see your fans don’t want this sort of content’ POV.
Plus, for every ignorant famous person, there is one who has done a truckload of good this year and I don’t want that to go ignored.
Early on the likes of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Ciara and Russell Wilson and Rihanna all put their money where their Imagine songs were not, by aiding the fight.
Jameela Jamil and Piers Morgan used their platforms for good, as they re-tweeted and highlighted the issues of Real People and the NHS amid all this turmoil.
Even pre-lockdown, when Australia was taken over by devastating bushfires, comedian Celeste Barber raised millions for firefighting efforts, and then wrangled the Hemsworth brothers, Chris and Liam, to flex their biceps and profiles for a good cause.
Stars including Lewis Hamilton and John Boyega were up front and centre among many, many others to use their profiles highlighting the Black Lives Matter movement and the constant racial injustices.
Joe Wicks also kept us fit and Marcus Rashford and his free school meals campaign showed us how amazing people with profiles can really be.
Heck, Dolly Parton was also a shining ruddy beacon for good when she donated $1m (£733k) to the coronavirus vaccine.
So, while I may moan about the famous people who are better than us and, this year, showed it, there is still hope yet.
Credit: Original article published here.