The coronavirus pandemic has forced the entire world to self-isolate. In many countries, people in lockdown are trying to keep themselves entertained or worrying about rent, jobs, and other things. On social media, celebrities have offered us entertainment, graduation parties, DJs, and words of affirmation to ensure that we are all in this together. It is easy for celebrities to be locked away in their mansions and lofts. They are not worrying about paying rent, buying essential products for their families, or worrying about jobs.
Are we really in this together, after all? There’s one thing in the world that everyone agrees on: we as a society have come to understand that we have moved past the need for celebrities. We have come to understand that most celebrities and their activism is just a performance they put on to connect with the rest of the world. Sometimes, when we think of celebrities, they are not seen as leaders or activists. They are the symbols of change, and they exemplify peaceful solutions by boasting their activism online.
What is the point of a celebrity in a pandemic?
The difference between us and celebrities is that while we stay at homes with our families and worry about buying the essentials, celebrities are singing “Imagine” and publishing public service announcements to flatten the curve in their mansions and lofts. This includes clapping on an empty balcony, crying about being locked at home, and asking people to donate to charities to help essential workers.
While the grocery aisles are empty, nurses and doctors do not have the necessary protective gear, and the death count is increasing every day, we slowly see the true image of the celebrity. They represented wealth, talent, and charm. Many of us do not have the kind of luxuries that celebrities have, and this is where they are turning a blind eye. Their unwillingness to understand that the pandemic affects essential workers, graduate students, disabled people, and many more who depend on their income to stay alive. Their actions are narcissistic, and their influence is declining.
No, we are not all in this together. There is an enormous gap between us and the celebrity. While hundreds and thousands of people have lost their jobs, and they are not sure whether they can support themselves or their families. While healthcare workers are risking their lives every day, celebrities are asking people to donate money to charities. I’m not sure whether they understand how performative and stupid that request is considering celebrities should be the ones donating.
These celebrity antics have been publicly shamed on social media. We know that the pandemic is not going to be overcome by star power and words of positivity from them. Their urgent cries are delusional and coming from a place of privilege and safety. It is easier for them to live their lives without any worry about the seriousness of a global virus, knowing that they would have more accessibility to test kits than other ordinary people. They would be able to afford healthcare and other expenses while other people are not able to pay for them at all.
Why do we need to support celebrities when they can only donate $50 to a charity? It is extremely laughable and pathetic. “Staying at home and flatten the curve together” is only just half of the actual job. Healthcare professionals, essential workers, supermarket staff, public transport workers, and delivery drivers are risking their lives while celebrities sing songs in the comfort of their homes. It has become so obvious that the people who earn the most in the world contribute so less when people are in need.
It is the amount of self-awareness and privilege that makes celebrities carry on the way that they do. This pandemic is not an equalizer. They will never be affected by this financially because it is nothing compared to the innocent lives that have been lost. It is incomparable to the amount of time and energy that healthcare professionals have put themselves saving people’s lives. Celebrities are larger-than-life personalities who share their thoughts on social media and attract a lot of attention. Yet, they are unaware of how irrelevant their influence is to the entire world now. They are disconnected from reality to a level that not even they can comprehend.