Recently, I was watching the reboot of The Hills, and it had a very interesting storyline. The actress, Mischa Barton, who was once known for her role as Marisa Cooper on the teen soap opera, The O.C., has joined The Hills revival. Her storyline this season has been about redemption. It is during this arc of confronting her demons and naysayers that she comes face to face with her biggest bully: the gossip master Perez Hilton.
For those of you who don’t know, Perez Hilton was a very famous blogger in the middle of the ‘00s. His brand was to post salacious headlines and altered photos with handwritten insults on them. He took down everyone from Mischa Barton to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, to John Travolta, and even Halle Berry. He was the true definition of an internet troll.
Flash-forward to this year, Mischa is now part of The Hills reboot. There’s a moment on the show when Mischa accuses him of being a gossiper and using his hurtful words to slander and belittle her. Ultimately destroying her confidence and reputation. Watching this moment on television, I realized how much the celebrity gossip industry has changed. It’s in part because celebrities can now control that.
Outlets like TMZ, The Daily Mail, The Wendy Williams Show, and countless gossip magazines still perpetuate fake news. However, celebrities have decided that they’re not going to let someone else tell their story. They’re going to go straight to their fans and the wider audience to share the truth.
Because the news cycle is 24 hours per day, 7 days each week, the coverage is constant. And what better way to get ahead of a story from spiraling out of control than to hop on social media and broadcast the truth.
Similarly, there is an entire Instagram account @commentsbycelebs where celebrities slide into the comments section to shut down rumors. Or simply agree with something that was said, or to straight-up troll the trolls.
One of my favorite ways that celebrities counteract the negativity is when Jimmy Kimmel does his “Mean Tweets” segment.
America’s first family of reality TV, The Kardashians, is the perfect example of celebrities who have used their platforms to take back the narrative regarding negative press and stories released about them. Whether they’re using their hit show Keeping Up With The Kardashians or their various social media outlets, they’re course-correcting all those who think it’s okay to spread misinformation about them. Hell, they’re known for clapping back at anyone and everyone who has something incorrect to say about them.
Now, celebrities are also using social media to end speculation about everything from pregnancy rumors to health issues. So long are the days of gossip rags getting the story wrong or twisting the truth.
While outlets like TMZ and Radar Online continue to thrive because of the general population’s fascination with celebrities, it’s important to note that these individuals are just like us. They all have their ups and downs, personal struggles, and milestone moments that are meant to be kept a secret until they’re ready to share.
This National Gossip Day, I’m glad that social media has brought some good to the world. Even if it’s only to make celebrities more accessible to us and allow us into their lives. They deserve the same level of respect as everyone else. So next time you think about repeating something that may not be true, think about the source. And whether that will have negative consequences down the line.
“Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool.” – Proverbs 10:18
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