My Unpopular Opinions #3: Celebrity+ Pop Culture Edition

Time for another edition of my unpopular opinions, where I can fully embrace my curmudgeon self. This time, I’m tackling celebrities and pop culture.

Catch up on my other unpopular opinions here.

I don’t care about podcasts. That’s right: as a millennial, I don’t have a podcast, I’m not thinking about starting a podcast, and I do not listen to podcasts. Sure, once in a while, I’ll listen to an episode of something if there’s a guest I like, but on the whole, podcasts are not my thing. Now that I’ve said this, watch me start a podcast or something. 

I don’t want to join Clubhouse or any other hot new social media apps. No, I don’t want your Clubhouse invites. I don’t want to waste hours of my day watching TikToks. I have things to do.

I don’t like Drake. I respect him as a city ambassador, but since I’m not a fan of his music, I’m going to spill some tea on Drake: he stole our pink balloons. A couple of years ago, I went to a birthday dinner for a friend at a chi-chi restaurant in Toronto, Sotto Sotto. Two of the girls decorated our table with an arch of pink balloons, which took a lot of work for them because they had to transport the balloons around the city in a big Uber. Drake happened to be there that night because he practically lives at the restaurant or something, and he wanted our balloon-clad table. I saw him waiting downstairs at the bar. The maître d’ asked us to move tables for him and Drake would come by to say hi and thank us. Well, guess what? We moved (during dessert, so after the main course), and Drake did NOT come and say hi. They curtained off his table and a bodyguard said he wasn’t to be disturbed. Luckily, the birthday girl wasn’t a Drake fan either and she didn’t care. Maybe I’ll chalk this up to a misunderstanding, but the moral of the story is to never move tables or go out of your way for a celebrity.

Harry Styles only dresses in gender-bending fashion for the attention. He does it to be provocative and to be seen as more interesting, but I don’t feel it comes from an authentic place. He’s going to get more attention for wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue than a boring suit, and he knows it. I do think this is positive for all the young men who do want to play with fashion and break out of gender norms, but I think Harry Styles is trying too hard to be David Bowie, and the clothes just end up wearing him.

I don’t like Lady Gaga’s music. She wore the weirdest outfits but made the blandest pop music. If you’re going to wear a dress made out of raw slabs of meat, at least make the innovative music to back up your image. I haven’t watched her movies. Maybe she’s a good actress, but I’m just not interested enough to find out.

I like the Kardashians. I’ve always enjoyed Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I have a sister, and I think the show captured sister relationships well. (At least, they make me feel that my relationship with my sister is normal and healthy.) I find them refreshingly open on their show, although I wish they were as honest about their fembot plastic surgeries and Photoshopping as well. You can’t deny that they are smart businesswomen and hard working. I’m rooting for Kim to become a lawyer. 

I like Paris Hilton. I saw her documentary and now I understand her motivation to create that dumb-blonde party girl persona and make as much money as possible. Her new career as a DJ is awesome.

Movies starring minorities shouldn’t have to represent that entire race. I had a few people ask me for my opinion on Crazy Rich Asians when it first came out. Well, it’s a fun rom-com about a bunch of obscenely rich people. Who happen to be Asian. Nothing deep here. Does this movie represent me? No, but I enjoyed seeing Asian talent recognized in the mainstream. Some Asian people were upset about the portrayal of their people being seen as vapid and superficial, but why does this movie have to represent them? There are plenty of films/TV shows about serial killers, con artists, and horrible people who are white, and they are never expected to represent white people. Roger Ebert understood this—watch him destroy this other white critic for denouncing the film Better Luck Tomorrow for being an “empty and amoral” representation of Asian-Americans. The problem is that there are so few shows or movies starring an all-Asian, etc., cast that when there are, they have to be everything to everyone in that race. That’s unfair and highly unrealistic. All creators should have the freedom to tell the stories they want without having the burden of representation.

Hollywood movies about anti-racism are condescending and racist. When racial tensions were at a high last year, I saw people recommending movies such as The Help or The Blind Side to learn about racism. What a joke. Those movies are centered on the white saviors, while the black characters are painted as victims and reduced to minor roles. Viola Davis said she regrets taking the role in The Help. While The Blind Side was based on a real story, and they made the Michael character so dumb the white characters were practically speaking to him like a five-year-old. The real Michael Oher was smart and voiced his displeasure with the portrayal of his intelligence in the movie. Watch films actually made by minorities if you want to learn about anti-racism.

Emily in Paris is not a harmless and fun escapist show—it’s ignorant and problematic. This is like a kid’s show made for adults, but I’m sure there are episodes of Lizzie McGuire better than this. I couldn’t get past the third episode, so I just read spoilers for the rest of the season and can confirm that this is patronizing garbage. The premise is that a pretty American girl moves to Paris and blows up on Instagram. I’m pretty sure the screenwriters are all white Americans over fifty. First of all, their concept of how social media works dates back ten years. Second, they use every French stereotype in the book. The two minority characters, Mindy, the Chinese best friend, and Julien, the gay black co-worker, are there to check off diversity boxes. They have no character arcs of their own and merely exist to hype up the white girl, who is really selfish, amoral, and disrespectful of French culture, yet somehow gets praised for every mediocre idea. American fantasy much? Darren Star and Patricia Field are shells of their former glory. When this show got nominated for Golden Globes (due to bribery), one of the writers quit and wrote this Guardian piece on why it didn’t deserve them. It’s that bad. If you genuinely like this show, we will not be friends.

Update 5/21: NBC cancelled The Golden Globes for 2022 due to corruption and lack of diversity. The headscratching nominations for Emily in Paris prompted these investigations, haha, so something good did come out of this show.

Celebs only care about doing the right thing when it’s socially required. Um, hello. Woody Allen married his teenage step-daughter and made countless movies with huge age discrepancies between love interests, such as Mariel’s Hemingway’s 17-year-old Tracy and Woody Allen’s 44-year old Isaac in Manhattan. In 2015, Mariel Hemmingyway even said he tried to seduce her as soon as she turned 18. So is it such a stretch that Woody Allen could be a child molester? But even the #MeToo movement didn’t help Dylan Farrow get support from celebrities at first. Why do all these Hollywood actors who’d happily worked with Woody suddenly grow a conscience? Look at Roman Polanski, who’s still a fugitive in the States for raping a thirteen-year-old. He’s still making films and won César awards as recently as 2019.

Sexual predators are still roaming around in Hollywood. For every predator in the entertainment industry who faced consequences for sexual assault/rape/harassment following the #MeToo movement, there are others who are still gainfully employed, especially those who are good-looking and famous. *Cough* James Franco *cough* Ed Westwick.

The Grammys are irrelevant. Is this an unpopular opinion? I think most award shows —The Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.—are boring and I don’t watch them. They can be useful to draw attention to underrated artists and creators, but I find the Grammys particularly archaic because I don’t think anyone’s looking at the winners to see what’s hot in music. So many of my favourite new musicians will not get Grammy recognition.

Parasite is an overrated film. I get it. It’s a well-made film, good script, actors, cinematography. I’m happy for its success. Is it the best film ever made? No. I actually found it pretty depressing, and I suppose that’s the point. There is such a hunger for good original screenplays, movies that are not remakes of remakes, adaptations of books, etc. The movie industry is not giving enough support to auteurs compared to a couple of decades ago. Is it a surprise that a foreign-language film is miles better than all the drivel coming out of Hollywood in recent years?

Some family vloggers/influencers should be demonetized or thrown in jail for exploiting their children. I don’t know why there aren’t more laws protecting children on social media the way there are for child actors. Some parents are terrible people and will exploit their own children for clicks and views. Will the children ever get a cut of the money? Photos and videos of these kids in vulnerable situations, such as potty training or being explained what a period is, will follow them into adulthood. Posting half-nude pictures of babies or young children on the Internet for every pedophile to see is just plain irresponsible to say the least. Even just filming the kids going about their daily routines like The Truman Show and invading their privacy is not okay. They’re children, and they can’t say no. Sometimes they do say no, and the parents keep filming anyway. Instead of penalizing these parents, YouTube actually puts money in their pockets.

Update 5/21: Youtuber Smokey Glow uploaded a video on family vloggers, and I feel validated! Go check it out.

Social media should be banned for everyone under 16. Cell phones should be banned from school. I can’t imagine going through puberty, trying to learn at school, and also having to brand yourself online. Give these kids a break. We don’t know the long-term effects of social media addiction, but it doesn’t look good. Kids should be given the space to have fun, meet each other organically, and enjoy their childhoods while they can.

This kind of got dark fast, but hey, that’s showbiz for ya.

Again, these are my personal opinions so feel free to disagree. I hope this gave you new perspectives to consider. If you want me to continue this series with other topics, be sure to let me know.

Catch up on my other unpopular opinions here

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