“Another sweet pic of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas and I’ll…”
Do you think like that?
I do it.
Because, what is this obsession for an actress and her singer husband in the media, in particular the digital media?
What is driving the online news and entertainment media to fall on each other to report the finer details of this “marriage made in heaven”? Who controls whom? Does the celebrity control Instagram? Is Instagram pulling media strings or is media chasing fame?
And what cultural, social, and other value do these random updates bring?
During the Covid pandemic, several celebrities stuck at home shared snippets of their daily lives as if it would help millions of people in confinement through their miserable days.
Many people saw it and laughed at the celebrities. A “singathon” of “Imagine” led by Gal Gadot was particularly targeted with wild comments about out-of-touch celebrities.
From the first wave of Covid, several commentators wondered if the pandemic would herald the end of celebrity news as we knew it.
The pandemic is receding now, or we’ve learned to live with it, and the celebrity drama is back in full force.
Priyanka – Jonas, Johnny Depp- Amber Heard, Alia Bhatt-Ranbir Kapoor, Britney Spears, and… who is this guy?
Pictured: Singer Britney Spears (L) and her boyfriend Sam Asghari arrive for the premiere of Sony Pictures’ ‘Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’ at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA
Celebrity sharing of mundane aspects of their lives is back.
Every minute detail of Katrine Kaif – Vicky Kaushal’s wedding is scrutinized to the hilt. Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor’s wedding, although very low-key for a Bollywood royalty affair, was among the most searched news for a few days in India. And now all the murky and sickening details of their controversial marriage are being shared in a courtroom by Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
But just how much is celebrity sharing too much sharing? Will all of this ever turn around?
Lessons from the Will Smith family
I had a similar sense of setback when Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith went on a “sharing spree” in recent years on social media.
In picture: American actor Will Smith(L) and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, CA
Everything about them, in particular their private and sexual life, their adventures, their infidelity, their open and polyamorous marriage, has been revealed to you in public.
They have made an art of washing dirty laundry in public.
On ‘Red Table Talk’, three generations of Jada Pinkett’s family discussed their lives, with a slew of sexual topics: from masturbation to adding porn. Obviously, the goal was to go viral, to catch eyeballs, to get clicks.
As this year’s Oscars approach, Will has pulled out all the stops to bring attention to his life and work. Weight loss stunts, daily life vlogs, bio reading sessions, sharing controversial details about his life and his wife, shocking statements like how he wanted to kill his father…
The script was perfect. He kind of felt he deserved an Oscar. And the day he got it, he ruined everything.
He will forever be remembered as the actor who slapped Oscar presenter Chris Rock onstage the day he won the Best Actor Oscar for ‘King Richard.’ All the public relations drivel that was supposed to lead to this momentous occasion fell through, and there was radio silence from
Will after the fateful Oscars night.
As of this writing, his latest Instagram post was an open apology to Chris Rock. Just look at the vibe in previous posts on her Instagram feed and you’ll get an idea of the downfall.
And last heard of, it resurfaced in India. Jada referred to a “healing process” in the latest edition of “Red Table Talk”. Is Will on a spiritual “healing journey” in India?
Celebrity News Is Sawdust, Not Stardust
It is in this context that I wrote the first line of this article. There’s a conscious attempt to create an aura around famous personalities, a carefree life that the average person who buys the gossip magazine at the end of the shopping queue wants to live but can’t. It’s life that, paradoxically, creates a sense of elation and frustration at the same time for those obsessed with celebrity news.
In recent years, it’s also taken another cynical turn: celebrities are sharing their fears, anxieties and stories of depression. While it may help mental health issues come to the fore, fame is front and center, period. At the end of the day, it’s down, a jacuzzi bubble.
Virality: fame is the paparazzi
Celebrities who treat the media like their poodles, thinking their every move will be caught by the paparazzi, is nothing new. But the difference now in the post-social media world is that fame IS the paparazzi.
Once upon a time, for eight days in 2007, the Associated Press news agency decided not to cover anything about Paris Hilton, the socialite who at the time was famous for a sex tape, a reality show and drunken charades in nightclubs.
“It wasn’t based on a vision of what the public should focus on…the editors just wanted to see what would happen if we didn’t cover this media phenomenon, this creature of the internet gossip age. , for an entire week,” AP said at the time.
It was the pre-social media era. Is this still possible today?
Today, it would be derided as “cancel culture.”
But Paris Hilton’s “media boycott” was an attempt at the time to deliberately overlook a celebrity who added value to nothing but herself.
Pictured: American socialite Paris Hilton attends the 6th Annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA
Maybe it worked. Paris was not mainstream for a while, reappearing briefly in 2020 as the protagonist of a documentary about reform school abuses. This, however, hasn’t restored her anywhere near the “royal” celebrity status she once had, although there is still a very strong fandom behind her.
Today, no one does celebrity PA, Priyanka or the Kardashians. The latter at one time were known to be famous. It’s another matter that over the years, thanks to their reality series and individual business empires, the Kardashians are much more accomplished now.
And Kim Karadashian cynically continues to milk her “sex tape” controversy, which she herself admits helped her fame.
Pictured: Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Kris Jenner can be seen with the rest of their family members
So back to the debatable question? Why are we so obsessed? Who is to blame?
It is the dog that eats its own tail. People search for celebrity information on Google, and Google makes it trend, and trend forces news outlets to cover the trending person more.
It’s a vicious circle.
Until the tech giants who control the streams of content in our newsfeeds and minds decide to alter their algorithms to “cancel” the celebrity or the leader, just like they did for a much of the Trump family, this drivel will continue.
Until that happens, your newsfeed will continue to be flooded with more happy photos of Priyanka – Jonas.
(Disclaimer: The views of the author do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. WION or ZMCL also does not endorse the views of the author)