Imagine All the Celebrities…

Celebrities and influencers are living on a different planet!


Jinny Kim, Staff Writer

Workers are getting laid off, healthcare workers are risking their lives, and far too many people are losing their loved ones to COVID-19. Fortunately for us, celebrities have found the solution!

In March of this year, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot blessed us all with a celebrity rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as a response to the pandemic. Gadot, along with other big names in Hollywood (Natalie Portman, Amy Adams, and Will Ferrell to name a few), sang to us with hope in their eyes and acres of land in their background. “Imagine all the people living life in peace,” they croon.

Thank you, multi-millionaire who lives in a Beverly Hills mansion. Thanks to your inspiring cover of “Imagine,” all my fears about COVID-19 are gone. Coronavirus is no more. Peace has been restored to the world.

It doesn’t stop at an out-of-tune cover of “Imagine.” Priyanka Chopra Jones, one of India’s highest paid actresses, posted herself standing and clapping on her large empty balcony, dedicating the video to first responders around the world. Grammy nominated singer Sia posted some incredible words of wisdom on Twitter: “VIR[US].” Thank you, Sia!

Grammy nominated singer Sia tweeted this inspiring graphic in March.

Now, this might all seem a bit harsh; after all, are celebrities obligated to solve all the world’s issues? Is it fair for us to expect them to have the “correct” responses to everything? Obviously not. Evidently, Gal Gadot can’t be Wonder Woman in real life. But one thing is very clear: a little self-awareness and empathy is not a lot to ask for.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to bring a little more positivity and hope into the world — a lot of people could use that right now. But this pandemic has truly exposed the fact that many celebrities lack the ability to simply read. the. room. They post words of encouragement (“We’re in this together!”) while failing to acknowledge the immense privilege they have.

This extends past just celebrities; in July (while California had the most recorded Covid cases in the U.S.), a TikTok star held a massive birthday party at the infamous “Hype House” in L.A. with at least 67 influencers in attendance and no masks in sight. Among these influencers were names such as James Charles, Charli & Dixie D’Amelio, and Emma Chamberlain, who each have millions of followers on multiple social media platforms. The idea that social media influencers are on the same level as Hollywood celebrities is debatable, but it’s safe to say that they have a lot of, well, influence on their mostly young audiences. And posting fun party pictures on Instagram is not the best way to influence teenagers in a time like this; as content creators with large followings (and simply as people), they have a moral obligation to follow safety guidelines during a pandemic.

Celebrity and influencer responses to the pandemic — or lack thereof — are baffling, to say the least. Are we living in the same reality right now? Is the pandemic over and I just haven’t been notified? Are celebrities immune to the coronavirus? Obviously, the answer to all of these questions is no. No, the pandemic is not over. No, celebrities aren’t immune to the coronavirus. And no, we don’t live in the same reality as A-list celebrities and successful YouTubers. I think I’ve figured it out: celebrities and influencers must be living on a different planet. It’s the only explanation!

Frankly, financial help speaks louder than words and hashtags. Using your platform to raise ‘awareness’ in your audience isn’t enough when you sit upon millions.

However, upon further thought, there is another viable explanation. Honestly, our worlds are very different from the world of a rich, powerful A-list celebrity. They can get away with such obvious displays of privilege and not bat an eye because they know that there isn’t much that can truly negatively affect them. Sure, some celebrities and influencers genuinely want to give back to their community and make a difference, but honestly? The best thing they can do is simply open their purses. Frankly, financial help speaks louder than words and hashtags. Using your platform to raise “awareness” in your audience isn’t enough when you sit upon millions. I’m talking to you, multi-millionaire actor! Your money’s getting bored sitting in your bank account — there are better places it could be! Of course, there are celebrities out there who have donated to coronavirus relief efforts and simply have not broadcasted it (for good reason). This should be the norm for them, not something rare and extraordinary.

Ultimately, no one is expecting an Instagram model or an award-winning singer to find the COVID-19 vaccine and “solve” the pandemic, but promoting social distancing, wearing masks, and holding back on the corny posts is the bare minimum.

“You may say I’m a dreamer…but I know I’m not the only one” who would prefer for successful celebrities and influencers to use their platform for something other than meaningless words of encouragement.