The amount of influence celebrities have on the public is not up for debate. We’ll always look to them for our next trend whether we like it or not. To them, the most recent trend has been encouraging the public to be safe and follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Only, they often aren’t even following their own advice.
Back in March, celebrities began retreating to their second homes at first sign of a mandated quarantine. Immediately looking for a way to “help” the people that remained helpless in their one and only home, many stars took to social media to share a video of themselves singing a second or two of “Imagine” by John Lennon. Well, you might remember, that didn’t go over well.
To some, it was patronizing, and to others, it was just funny. But what is the significance of all this? Yes, it’s quite hilarious to receive encouragement about social distancing from people with multiple homes and the means to survive years without seeing another soul, but isn’t it also kind of refreshing to see that the most powerful people in the world can sometimes be the most clueless?
What followed the “Imagine” debacle was a string of similar instances. Celebrities posting insensitive messages on social media became somewhat of a norm. In April, Ellen DeGeneres started off the month by comparing quarantine in her multi-million dollar home to being in jail. Post after post and cancelation after cancelation remind us that, no, celebrities are not perfect, especially not under strenuous circumstances.
What is less understandable, though, is when celebrities preach to us about the importance of the rules and then break the rules themselves. Among the list of celebrities who have broken social distancing and gathering rules are Kylie Jenner, Tom Brady, Josh Brolin, Madonna and many more. Jenner even begged her fans to stay at home on her Instagram story just before a visit from a friend. Between parties in Los Angeles and extensive trips to see friends and families, they’re making it very hard to trust anybody.
There is an exception to this rule of celebrities believing they are invincible: the occasional successful attempt at being a good influence. Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, actor John Krasinski started a parody news show called “Some Good News.” While it wasn’t hard to like Krasinski for a lot of other reasons, now it was even easier. Other celebrities made actual attempts at encouraging people to stay home, many of them mocking other celebrities while doing it. Actor Will Smith managed to support Dr. Anthony Fauci and encourage his followers to stay home when he invited him on his “Will From Home” show. And more recently, Paul Rudd teamed up with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get through to “young people” in a humorous ad.
There might be the occasional heartwarming message from a celebrity or funny ad on YouTube, but when it comes down to it, famous people should not be the main factor driving life decisions. Most of the time, they know just as much as we do. In fact, if we’re talking about who knows more about what to do in a global pandemic, I don’t think anyone but scientists could claim fame in that department.
Edited by George Frey | email@example.com