Celebrity Hypocrisy Over COVID-19
November 2, 2020
It’s Nov. 2, 2020, and in the last week alone, more than 99,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported. The United States continues to follow government guidelines of social distancing and mask-wearing, and celebrities are no exceptions. Throughout the beginning of March, they have used their platforms to promote that people adhere to guidelines while also speaking out about the dangers of this disease. However, some of these same public figures are not abiding by COVID-19 guidelines themselves by hosting parties and attending events with large crowds.
On September 26, for example, Noah Cyrus posted a picture on Instagram telling her 5.9 million followers to just “wear the [explicit] mask,” but hours later she was spotted at a party with YouTubers Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul as well as other celebrity personnel, not wearing a mask.
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Another influencer, Claudia Conway, daughter of Kelly Ann Conway —political consultant to the President — is only 16 years-old but has amassed a huge following on TikTok as well as Instagram. Unlike her well-known conservative parents, Conway has been making headlines over her very liberal views as she publicly confronts her parents’ beliefs on social media. In several videos, she urges her fans not only to vote for Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden but also to obey social distancing guidelines/follow safe COVID-19 procedures.
On October 2, Conway and her mother tested positive for COVID-19, yet Conway threw a party for her sixteenth birthday on October 24.
*COVID PARTY ALERT* Claudia Conway throws massive pro-COVID spreading party. Her mother and former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway was present. Claudia and Kellyanne had COVID in the last month. The pro-COVID movement continues working hard to reach their infection goals. pic.twitter.com/z5leHdzxIb
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) October 25, 2020
Paige Gonzalez (‘23) said, “I think that someone with such a platform should definitely try to practice what they preach, especially during this pandemic. Many people speculate that unwanted people came to the party and they were promptly removed, but I think it’s hard to say since I wasn’t actually there myself. Even if proper precautions were taken, someone with such status should be trying extra hard to be a good influence on others.”
Nevertheless, other celebrities have been cautious about keeping themselves and others safe. Selena Gomez has been a model example, celebrating her album and makeup releases at home with her close family. Just as Gomez, Taylor Swift has spent her quarantine writing and releasing her album, “Folklore,” while also celebrating its success at home.
Another celebrity who has been very vocal about maintaining these guidelines is Comedian Kumai Nanjiani. His wife Emily V. Gordon is high risk and due to this, he and his family have been in quarantine for eight months. Nanjiani said, “I’m sorry. I’m generally a very optimistic person and have fought to keep positive these last few months. But today is hard. We are heading into a massive Covid spike & the people who are supposed to protect us are doing nothing & blaming us for being concerned.”
Wearing masks is a sign of weakness. Protecting your friends, family, neighbors is a sign of weakness. Getting your heart broken every day by rising cases is a sign of weakness. Worrying that the next text will contain unthinkable news is a sign of weakness.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) October 25, 2020
Celebrities and influencers all around the world have a huge following and the things they do affects the way we think even when it comes to our health. Research conducted by Systematic Reviews Journal found that, “With social media, it is now easier than ever for celebrities, journalists, and amateur bloggers to communicate directly with the public to influence their knowledge, attitudes, and/or behaviors; as technology further develops, this ability of non-experts to reach the masses will only increase and become more important to understand.”
Sofia Girgenti (‘23) said, “I think that many of us feel a strong connection to certain celebrities — people we look up to, who make us laugh, that produce music that we enjoy, or inspire us through their talents. So when you see that a celebrity you admire has a weak moral code, that they believe they can fool the general public, it can be disappointing and frustrating at best. When you learn of the real character that lies beneath their facade, it causes you to lose all respect that you once had for that person.”