Cara Delevingne Addresses Paparazzi Photos and Reveals She Is Four Months Sober

Cara Delevingne revealed that she checked herself into rehab late last year after a period of heavy substance abuse and deep inner turmoil. The reckless lifestyle led to her concerning paparazzi photos in September 2022.


Kim Kardashian Outraged Over Balenciaga Ads Featuring Children Holding Bondage Bears

Kim Kardashian put pressure on fashion brand Balenciaga to take action over their latest controversial ad campaign, which featured children holding teddy bear handbags dressed in what appeared to be bondage gear.

Another campaign for a black and white purse that retails at $3,000 sparked controversy when it was revealed that the photographs purporting to be of a “business environment” included genuine legal documents from a court case about child pornography scattered on a desk.

After receiving tremendous backlash, the high-end fashion label swiftly deleted the offending marketing photos and issued an apology on Instagram. Many people felt it fell short of taking proper accountability. As a well-known face of the brand, Kardashian received criticism for not responding to the controversy as soon as it broke. The brand continued to trend on Twitter for days amid calls for celebrities such as Kardashian, Bella Hadid, and Nicole Kidman to sever ties with the company. On Sunday, Kardashian issued a statement on Twitter addressing the campaigns.

“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened.”

She said she was “shaken by the disturbing images,” as a mother of four. Kardashian also added that “any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society—period.”

Kardashian acknowledged that the brand removed the campaigns and apologized and believes “they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.”

Talking about her future with the company, she said that she was currently re-evaluating her relationship with Balenciaga and will take into account “their willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with — & the actions I am expecting to see them take to protect children.”  

Embed from Getty Images

After Kardashian’s tweets, Balenciaga reiterated its apology in an Instagram post but partially blamed external vendors for controversial elements of the campaign.

“The second, separate campaign for Spring 2023, which was meant to replicate a business office environment, included a photo with a page in the background from a Supreme Court ruling ‘United States v. Williams’ 2008 which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography. All the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama. The inclusion of these unapproved documents was the result of reckless negligence for which Balenciaga has filed a complaint. We take full accountability for our lack of oversight and control of the documents in the background and we could have done things differently.”

A few days prior, Balenciaga filed a lawsuit against North Six and Nicholas des Jardins, the production company and set designer of the Spring 2023 campaign. Balenciaga’s suit stated that the production company’s “inexplicable acts and omissions [were] malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless.” They were also done without the brand’s knowledge. Balenciaga says it will seek $25 million in damages or more for the “false association” between Balenciaga and the “repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision.”

As for the first campaign, the brand said Balenciaga “made the wrong choice” in featuring children.

“The first campaign, the Gift Collection campaign, featured children with plush bear bags dressed in what some have labeled BDSM-inspired outfits. Our Plush Bear bags and the Gift Collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone.”

Embed from Getty Images

The fashion house also listed actions it would take due to what it called “a series of grievous errors.”

“While internal and external investigations are ongoing, we are taking the following actions:

– We are closely revising our organization and collective ways of working

– We are reinforcing the structures around our creative processes and validation steps. We want to ensure that new controls mark a pivot and will prevent this from happening again.

– We are laying the groundwork with organizations who specialize in child protection and aims at ending child abuse and exploitation.”

The agent for North Six and Nicholas des Jardins, Gabriela Moussaieff, told the Washington Post that his client was “being used as a scapegoat,” and that “everyone from Balenciaga was on the shoot and was present on every shot and worked on the edit of every image in post production.” 

Gabriele Galimberti, the photographer who shot the brand’s campaign, took to Instagram to address the “hundreds of hate mails and messages” he received as a result of the photos he took.

“I am not in a position to comment Balenciaga’s choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same. As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style. As usual for a commercial shooting, the direction of the campaign and the choice of the objects displayed are not in the hands of the photographer.”

Galimberti went on to say that he suspects that “any person prone to pedophilia searches on the web and has unfortunately a too easy access to images completely different than mine, absolutely explicit in their awful content.”

“Accusations like these are addressed against wrong targets, and distract from the real problem, and criminals.”

In response to the photo containing the Supreme Court case papers, Galimberti said it was taken on another set by other people and “was falsely associated” with his photos.

The brand has been at the center of several controversies, with the latest surrounding rapper Ye, who was formerly known as Kanye West. Last month Ye, who has collaborated with the brand throughout the years, made antisemitic remarks, causing the brand to cut ties with the musician. 


James Corden Breaks Silence on Restaurant Ban and Makes Things Worse

In an interview with The New York Times to promote his new Prime Video series “Mammals,” the 44-year-old host of the Late Late Show, James Corden, finally addressed the comments made by Balthazar owner Keith McNally after he banned Corden from his restaurant.

In a post on Instagram, McNally said that Corden was “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.” It led him to “86” Corden, barring him from the eatery on Monday.

He lifted the ban hours later after Corden called McNally to apologize.  Corden said he was comfortable speaking about the situation while being interviewed a few days later.

“I haven’t done anything wrong on any level. So why would I ever cancel this [interview]? I was there. I get it. I feel so Zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly…I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication.”

When asked if he was aware of the conversation McNally’s posts ignited on the internet, Corden said he had not “really read anything” and asked, “should we not all be a little grown-up about this?”

“It’s strange. It’s strange when you were there. I think I’m probably going to have to talk about it on Monday’s show. My feeling, often, is, never explain, never complain. But I’ll probably have to talk about it…I promise you, ask around this restaurant. They don’t know about this. Maybe 15% of people. I’ve been here, been walking around New York, not one person’s come up to me. We’re dealing in two worlds here.”

During the interview, which was conducted at a restaurant, another customer happened to send back a dish nearby. Corden pointed out that incidents like this happen “every day” and they are “happening in 55,000 restaurants as we speak.” He asked the journalist, “Can you imagine now if we just blasted her on Twitter? Would that be fair? This is my point. It’s insane.”

Embed from Getty Images

According to McNally, Corden treated his employees poorly both times he visited his restaurant and also at another establishment named Café Luxembourg.

One of the incidents happened in June when Corden found a hair in his lunch while dining at Balthazar.

McNally said that “although this is diabolical, it happens very occasionally in all restaurants.” Corden showed the hair to the manager after he finished his meal. The manager was apologetic. Corden then said, “Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far. This way I don’t write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that.”

In another incident, McNally said that Corden was upset about his wife’s meal and lashed out at a server.

“James Corden was at Balthazar with his wife on Oct. 9 for brunch. He asked for a table outside. Brunch Maitre D’ Allie Wolters took the party to table 301. Mr. Corden’s wife ordered an egg yolk omelet with Gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food, James called their server, M. K. and told her there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk. M. K. informed the floor manager, G. The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad. That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: ‘You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelet myself!’ M.K. was very apologetic and brought G. over to the table. He returned the dish, and after that, everything was fine. He gave them promo Champagne glasses to smooth things out. G. said that Corden was pleasant to him but nasty to the server.’ M.K. was very shaken, but professional that she is, continued to finish her shift.”

Embed from Getty Images

After publicly calling out Corden on social media and banning and then unbanning him from his renowned NYC restaurant, McNally shared with his Instagram followers that he was “feeling strange.”

“On the one hand, he was definitely abusive to my staff, on the other hand, I feel really sorry for him right now. Like most cowards I want it both ways, F— it, I’m going to get drunk.”

However, upon seeing the published NYTimes interview, McNally made another post on Instagram expressing his disappointment in Corden’s comments.

“I’ve no wish to kick a man when he’s down. Especially one who’s worth $100 Million, but when James Corden said in yesterday’s N.Y. Times that he hadn’t done “anything wrong, on any level,” was he joking? Or was he denying being abusive to my servers? Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it. Although I didn’t witness the incident, lots of my restaurant’s floor staff did. They had nothing to gain by lying. Corden did. I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean. If the supremely talented actor wants to retrieve the respect he had from all his fans (all 4 of them) before this incident, then he should at least admit he did wrong. If he goes one step further and apologizes to the 2 servers he insulted, I’ll let him eat for free at Balthazar for the next 10 years.”


Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Accused of Cheating on Pregnant Wife

Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine is facing allegations that he cheated on his wife. One woman claims to have dated him for a year, while three others allege Levine privately sent them inappropriate messages.

Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters Drummer, Found Dead At 50 

The Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room on Friday afternoon, just hours before the band was set to perform at Colombia’s Estéreo Picnic festival as part of its South American tour. Preliminary toxicology reports show that Hawkins had at least 10 substances in his body when he died. 

Colombia’s attorney general’s office said that “an analysis of Hawkins’ urine found traces of marijuana, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, and benzodiazepines. The office stated that Hawkins died after experiencing cardiac arrest caused by an overdose. Forensic medical experts were shocked by how swollen the musician’s heart had become. 

Embed from Getty Images

Hawkin’s sudden death has devastated fans and concertgoers who have been following the Foo Fighters since their beginning. Festival Goers who were waiting for the Foo Fighters to perform had the news broken to them by Black Pumas singer Eric Burton, who asked the tearful crowd to have a moment of silence. 

Fans then gathered outside of the hotel where Hawkins passed to light candles, leave flowers, and sing some of the band’s songs in his honor. Many other well-known musicians took to social media to express their devastation over the sudden passing. 

 Queen guitarist Brian May wrote on Instagram: “No. It cannot be, I’m heartbroken. Taylor, you were family to us. Our friend, our brother, our beloved child. Bless you. We will miss you so bad.”

“So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Taylor Hawkins. My thoughts are with his family and the band at this time,” tweeted Mick Jagger.

Embed from Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne called Hawkins “a truly a great person and an amazing musician. My heart, my love and my condolences go out to his wife, his children, his family, his band and his fans. See you on the other side.”

In a statement, the Foo Fighters said they were devastated “by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us forever. Our hearts go out to his wife, children, and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”

Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters lead singer, spoke very highly about the loving relationship he had with Hawkins: “Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we played together. I am not afraid to say that our chance meeting was a kind of love at first sight … Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find.”

Singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus broke down on stage during her Lollapalooza set and she took a moment to honor Hawkins memory: “We lost a legend in rock music, and I just want to send my most peaceful wishes to the Foo Fighters family and the Hawkins family.”

Retail Therapy

Celebrities Are Selling Their Clothes To Keep Up With Second-Hand Retail Trends 

Pop and reality stars have begun selling clothes that they’ve actually worn online as a means of keeping up with a growing retail market that is heavily based on second-hand shopping. Generation Z specifically has taken to websites like Depop and Etsy to buy certain clothing and accessories second-hand and maintain that “vintage” look. 

Singer Olivia Rodrigo, who has been charting tremendously within the past month thanks to her debut album SOUR, has recently announced the creation of the SOURshop, a microsite on the clothing resale site Depop. 

Embed from Getty Images

SOURshop features tons of now sold out clothing items that Rodrigo wore in her now iconic music videos for Driver’s License, Good 4 U, and Deja Vu; including silk scarves, platform shoes, and romper suits. 

Etsy recently purchased Depop to continue to support this new market. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman called Depop “the resale home of Gen Z consumers, I mean 90% of its consumers are under the age of 26, so it’s a demographic that’s very valuable for current retailers coming out of this pandemic. 

That demographic also perfectly aligns with the age of people who listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s music, hence the decision to put her own clothing on Depop. 

Embed from Getty Images

The Kardashian-Jenner family is somewhat responsible for this trend of celebrities getting into the second-hand shopping market. Their online store Kardashian Kloset launched back in October 2019, and has since offered clothing items worn by everyone in the family during some of their most mainstream moments. 

According to the company, Kardashian Kloset has made “9,000 sales and will open its first bricks and mortar shop in Las Vegas later this month.”

“Eighty-one percent of 16- to 24-year-olds say that buying pre-owned has become more common in the last year,”  says Emma Grant, head of Pre-Loved items at eBay.

“With many artists now selling some of their personal items, it’s given fans something new to covet and collect. Three-hundred-and-sixty degree merchandising is a big deal, and the pull for fans is getting closer to their idols. It’s brought (them) closer knowing they can afford something that an artist they idolised personally touched,” says Darren Julien, the owner of auction house Julien’s, which deals exclusively with celebrity-related products. 

Holiday Cookies

Next Season Of The Great Celebrity Bake Off Hailed As ‘Best Ever’ From Fans 

Every summer the Great British Bake Off hosts a celebrity bake off event in which famous individuals come into the tent and show off their skills in the name of charity. Last year the “Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off” was one of the most popular programs released throughout the UK and US as well, and this year will likely be no different. 

The Great Celebrity British Bake Off will be returning to Channel 4 in the UK next week in what is being seen as a “wonderful celebration of people being terrible at baking.” This year’s series will also be raising money for Stand Up To Cancer, and will feature stars like Tom Allen, Daisy Ridley, Philippa Perry, and more!

Embed from Getty Images

In the recently released trailer Tom Allen is seen getting his bake temporarily stuck in the bottom of the freezer while Daisy Ridley is seen sculpting what looks like a dessert toilet. Philippa Perry is then shown piping the word “help” on top of her creation, proving that the series is all about having fun, baking some questionable desserts, and raising money for a great charity. 

Robert Beckett is then shown talking about a technical challenge and referring to his as a “cow pat,” the camera then quickly pans to Allen who says: “I’m so embarrassed I could die.” 

The trailer alone has British Bake Off fans anticipating an amazing season of one of their favorite shows. One fan claims that this trailer could’ve shown our celebrity guests as dealing with a lot worse when compared to last year: “In a previous series, YouTuber and presenter Joe Sugg fainted after cutting his finger in the opening minutes of a challenge.”

Embed from Getty Images

“This Morning presenter Alison Hammond thought that her oven door had gone missing (when it had retracted into the oven itself) and One Show presenter Alex Jones smashed a bowl after failing to attach it correctly to her KitchenAid, resulting in stitches. Incredibly, all of these incidents took place in the same episode.”

The pandemic has worked in the programs favor, as more celebrities had more time available to quarantine and be tested for the competition. The series will have five stand alone episodes as well that will not connect, so fans can watch whichever, whenever. 

Other celebrities projected to appear on this season include Dizzee Rascal, internet star KSI, James McAvoy, Katherine Ryan, Little Mix singer Jade Thirwall, and Dame Kelly Holmes. Ridley was recently interviewed regarding her experience in which she claimed that she had “the best time, I didn’t do a great job but I didn’t cry, it was so much fun.” 

For individuals in the UK The Great Celebrity Bake Off for SU2C starts on Tuesday, 9pm on Channel 4. For US watchers, they likely will have to wait for the series to be uploaded onto Netflix once it’s finished premiering in the UK; this is how the seasons are typically updated for the US.

Living Room Decor

Marie Kondo Launches New Online Home Deco Store

With December only a few days away, the holiday season is clearly already here making now the perfect time to clear out your old clutter to make room for new goodies. Right? But what should you keep and what should you throw away?

Many Americans have this dilemma and have turned to professional advice on how to decide what stays and what goes. It may seem slightly odd to ask a stranger how you feel about your own belongings but there is a highly profitable market for advice on de-cluttering.

In 2015 Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo felt her first brush with fame. The release of her book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ soon became a favorite in many homes across the country, making it a hit on the best-selling lists. Full of advice on how to clear out your spare room, closet, basement or garage, Kondo inspired readers everywhere to clear out their trash.

This was followed up in 2019 with ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ airing on Netflix and again showed homeowners how they could streamline their homes using the ‘KonMari’ method.

This month Kondo announced her latest venture. But if you were imagining more details on whether an item brings you joy, or how to achieve the domestic bliss you have been craving you will be sadly disappointed.

Finally content that she has emptied the nation’s closets Kondo wants to fill them back up!

Embed from Getty Images

Although you have been able to buy storage boxes since 2018 you can now buy more items thanks to her new online store. However you do not have to worry that her items will make your home feel cluttered again, as Kondo’s design has opted for a minimalist look, with many items in neutral shades as well as a calming dove-gray.

But however arrogant it may seem to spend years encouraging Americans to get rid of their belongings followed by a blatant attempt to capitalize on filling the empty spaces, Kondo is merely jumping onto her celebrity status, and in America being a celebrity means making money.

Look at any celebrity in recent times and you will see that they have more than one string to their bow. There was a time when starring in movies and being interviewed or photographed was a full time position, yet there are few celebrities who stay in their ‘genre’ any more.

Actors are always appearing in advertisements for some sort of beauty or fragrance products while many others are creating their own companies.

Think of Gwyneth Paltrow. Not content with being a hugely successful actor in her own right, Paltrow went on to create Goop which is promoted as a ‘modern lifestyle brand’, promoting everything and anything they believe can make your life better.

The Kardashian/Jenner family is another example of curating multiple professions. Playing off the back of a sex-tape scandal, Kim Kardashian managed to create one of the most successful reality shows of all time, paving the way for not only herself but her entire family to create careers for themselves. Alongside Kim’s growing empire her siblings have also created businesses with half-sister Kylie Jenner recently selling 51% of her makeup empire for $600 million, making her one of the youngest self-made billionaires at only 22.

Embed from Getty Images

It is not only the female stars that are branching into other sectors either. Whilst lifestyle products predominantly target women, men are also being targeted with Kanye West, Will & Jaden Smith, and even Paul Newman finding considerable success via their own brands.

Paul Newman’s salad dressings were created as a Paul Newman ‘brand’ rather than an endorsement and was one of the first success stories. Since then we have had singer P.Diddy’s ‘Sean John’ clothing line as well as Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin, a product he not only owns but cleverly promotes via a ‘war’ with Hugh Jackman, resulting in great sales for both his gin and Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee.

One of the biggest success stories however is that of Jessica Simpson. Back in 2005 Simpson used her public image to attract customers to her new shoe business. Becoming one of the very first social media ‘influencers’ Simpson found herself in a position where she could utilize her image to a greater goal. Through promoting herself and her lifestyle through her social media pages, Simpson has created a business attracting an annual revenue of $1 billion.

With social media continuing to grow more social media stars emerged and many have ‘YouTuber’ listed as their occupation. Many of the younger generation have turned their backs on mainstream television, getting their entertainment from such channels, ensuring social media stars’ bank balances are growing each day thanks to a line of ‘merch’ that compliment their channel.

Kondo’s latest venture’s success will surely depend on how well she can convince people that there really is not any irony in telling people to clear their homes then fill it with her items, in fact she was recently quoted as saying ‘my tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things – it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy’.

Silhouette of Singer

Suffering from Sinus Infection, Ariana Grande Cancels Performance

Recently, pop singer Ariana Grande took to social media to share that she is undergoing an illness serious enough to force her to cancel an upcoming show. The artist has been suffering from a sinus infection for a few weeks, and her condition has worsened over time. While Grande opted not to cancel her performances in the earlier stages of her illness, instead opting to power through despite feeling unwell, she recently posted on her Instagram Story that she is “still very sick” and that she “really [doesn’t] know what’s going on with [her] body right now and need[s] to figure it out.” She added that she was taking medication and was on an IV drip in the hope of feeling better for the following day’s concert, but that she couldn’t make any promises. Additionally, she posted a video of herself using a steamer to help her breathe properly.

The next day, Grande took to Instagram again to announce that she would have to cancel a show. Despite this unfortunate news, however, Grande emphasized her gratitude for having the opportunity to perform for her fans and thank them for their support. She apologized to her fans and promised they would be refunded. Grande was met with an outpouring of well-wishes and support during her illness, and Barbra Streisand advised her to “take a strong Vitamin C drink with some Manuka honey and of course get some chicken soup!”

Embed from Getty Images

Although she ultimately decided to cancel her Lexington, NY performance, the singer didn’t want fans to be disappointed. As such, she paid for the lunches of dozens of fans who attended a spontaneous meet-up at Rupp Arena organized by the Grande Tour News Twitter account. Many of the fans who attended the meet-up had traveled across the country to see Grande perform, so her paying for their lunches was a gesture of kindness towards her loyal and dedicated fans. Grande’s next show is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Kentucky, but it’s unclear whether the singer will feel well enough to attend.

Grande is no stranger to health issues. The 26-year-old singer has previously shared her battles with PTSD, brought on by traumatic events including the presence of a suicide bomber at one of her shows in Manchester in 2017, who killed 22 people and injured hundreds more. On Instagram, she posted an image of a scan of her brain purportedly showing how it had been affected by the trauma she experienced. Though the presence of Grande’s PTSD is likely genuine, experts argue that it is impossible to determine whether somebody has PTSD by looking at a scan of their brain. The singer has also been open about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and has spoken frequently about her years-long therapy practice, which she considers to be tremendously valuable. As such, Grande has used her platform as a celebrity to work as a mental health advocate, as her openness about her psychological conditions helps to destigmatize mental illnesses and encourage more people who need help with psychological problems to seek treatment.

Ellen Sign

Ellen DeGeneres Draws Criticism for Friendship with George W. Bush

On Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres drew attention for what seemed to be an unlikely occurrence: she was spotted in a suite at AT&T Stadium watching a football game while seated next to none other than former President George W. Bush. Initial reactions to the pairing were ones of humorous bewilderment; it seemed inconceivable that DeGeneres, a Hollywood liberal who is happily married to her wife Portia de Rossi, would be so close with a President who infamously supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. 

This surprise turned into outrage as Twitter users argued that Bush, responsible for starting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in fact a war criminal whom DeGeneres ought not associate herself with. The controversy, which continues to unfold even after DeGeneres addressed the criticism by urging kindness among people with political disagreements, speaks to the increased polarization of modern American culture and raises questions about the role of celebrity in shaping the image of politicians even after they leave office.

Embed from Getty Images

Adopting her trademark cheeriness and sunny disposition, DeGeneres sought to downplay criticisms of her friendship with the former president by stressing the importance of remaining civil even with people who don’t “think the same way you do,” and asserted that it’s okay not to share beliefs with people whom you consider to be your friends. Reaction to DeGeneres’ monologue were split; while many viewers applauded the talk show host for her willingness to extend an olive branch across the ideological divide that characterizes much of American political life, other, more vocal critics accused DeGeneres of leveraging her privilege as a celebrity to whitewash Bush’s image when she had an obligation to instead call him out for his crimes. 

This is but one criticism of the event; other denizens of the Internet pointed out, in detail, the former president’s long history of advocating policies that discriminate against LGBTQ people, and some argued that DeGeneres’ philosophy of kindness was ill-suited to the modern political era. The general consensus among internet thinkpiece authors was that DeGeneres enjoyed the privilege and freedom of being able to maintain friendships with people who represent harmful political ideologies because her celebrity status protects her from the consequences of these ideologies.

The fact that several other celebrities, including Kristen Bell, Blake Shelton, and Reese Witherspoon quickly took to social media to rush to DeGeneres’ defense did little to satisfy critics who saw DeGeneres’ friendship as an example of how celebrity privilege can whitewash criminal behavior. Rather, these same critics interpreted this wave of celebrity defenses as an example of class unity, as rather than engaging with the arguments of people with genuine political grievances, the celebrities simply protected a member of their tribe.

Embed from Getty Images

That being said, a handful of celebrities were among those voicing their dissent. On Twitter, Mark Ruffalo suggested that “we can’t even begin to talk about kindness” until Bush was “brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War,” among which he claimed were “American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly.” And Susan Sarandon, quoting a piece from, suggested that Degeneres’ lighthearted framing of her friendship with Bush was disingenuous, as she treated the former president as someone of differing opinions rather than acknowledging his numerous accusations of being a war criminal.

Whether or not one considers DeGeneres’ handling of the controversy to be responsible, the episode has opened up a broader conversation about celebrity privilege and how fame enables even members of marginalized groups to tacitly support oppression under the guise of friendship. While DeGeneres and her allies would argue in favor of reconciliation between political groups as an opportunity for healing during an era of extreme partisanship, those who are on the receiving end of political oppression would beg to differ.