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How COVID-19 Has Already Changed Celebrity Culture


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is currently dominating the conversation on social media. Various celebrities have chimed in, but some have ended up becoming the subject of backlash for their reactions.

For example, Wonder Woman 1984‘s Gal Gadot received considerably negative press after posting a video on Instagram of her and a slew of other big-name actors such as Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, and Will Ferrell singing the John Lennon song “Imagine.” The video was panned for being poorly composed and tone-deaf at a time when people are suffering. For many, the video showed wealthy people acting insensitively towards the millions of people who are jobless due to social distancing precautions. Response to the video was quick to point out that this group of Hollywood’s elite should have pooled their resources together  to donate to health care, or less fortunate populations, instead of making a video of them singing.

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Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen on Lost

Ant-Man and the Wasp star Evangeline Lilly also caused issues after revealing she’s continuing to take her children to gymnastics camp. She almost immediately received a hailstorm of grievances regarding this, both from the general populace, as well as fellow celebrities like Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, and even her former Lost co-star Maggie Grace. Vanderpump Rules star Scheana Shay received similar scorn after tweeting: “Any of my friends working from home this week should come join me for a Palm Springs quarantine!”

While some of the response has been a bit harsh at times, there is something to be said about how the wide gaps between the upper- and lower- classes comes out in these approaches to the pandemic. While millions of people around the world are struggling with a ruptured economy and a health care system that isn’t willing to give them a quick and affordable diagnosis, super-rich celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow are still flaunting expensive clothing on social media.

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That said, this isn’t the first time that big-name celebrities have made out-of-line comments about world disasters. Gilbert Gottfried and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson both received large amounts of flak after making thoughtless comments about the devastating tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, but these transgressions have been more-or-less forgotten now. In the coming weeks, with confirmed cases escalating, perhaps people just won’t have the fortitude to pay attention to, or care about, celebrity gossip. It’s understandable why people are upset: Millions of lives worldwide are at stake, and these celebrities don’t seem to be treating the situation appropriately. Still, it’s likely this anger at celebrities for their tone-deaf comments will be forgotten with time.

It’s impossible to predict just how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last. Right now is a historically grim time. So whether you only stay home to deter the virus’ spread or can afford to help both the sick and less wealthy, the only way we can truly beat COVID-19 is working together.

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