Stan culture is perhaps one of the worst things the Internet has brought out from people. The dead-eyed hailing and defending, the willingness to die on a hill for a person who is most probably not even aware of their existence isn’t just pathetic; it’s also dangerous. Just see the comments section on any celebrity news post to see how stanning can bring out the lowest in a person.
So maybe in reverse, instead of heaping praises on the rich and famous and doing the most for the least (“Hold the presses, celebrity X cut their hair and it’s everything!“), we present to you some celebs who do the most and honestly deserve the least, and the lessons none of us must be taking from them.
HOW NOT TO DO PR CONTROL: Drake gifting an iPhone to an 11-year-old heart transplant survivor and giving her his private number
When people are raising eyebrows and giving you, a 31-year-old adult male, the side-eye for having a “friendship” with a 14-year-old girl, the dumbest thing to do will be to have your PR team release the news that you’ve also befriended an 11-year-old girl who has just gone through some serious stuff and given her an expensive phone with your private number listed in it. It’s not going to make sensible people think, “Oh, this just proves that this grown-ass man’s friendship with that other teenager is innocent!” The question remains: What the hell is a 31-year-old adult doing, fraternizing with teenage girls who aren’t related to him?
Here are the Cliff’s Notes on the bigger picture for those who aren’t updated: Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, 14, recently said in an interview that she is friends with Drake, that they text each other a lot, that he has said he misses her over text, and that he gives her dating advice. This revelation caused quite the stir online, and the teenage actress felt she had to address the issue on social media.
It has been radio silence on Drake’s part, though—at least until this PR stunt came to light. And it’s such a weird move: Instead of issuing an outright denial, the Canadian rapper (and all-around fuccboi and deadbeat dad) let the minor wade into the muck, then he doubled down by going even younger with this other inappropriate friendship.
“But isn’t it sweet of him to give this girl a phone to keep the communication line between them open? Isn’t he just making a fan happy?”
No, and no. A rational celebrity who wants to keep their image untainted with anything that even gives a hint of pedophilia knows that any interaction with under-aged fans require the mediation of a PR team to maintain transparency; they certainly won’t hand their private number to said fan. Drake must be really feeling confident to throw away common sense. Why double down, when people are already accusing him of grooming young girls? Grooming, in this case, means conditioning someone to lower and even erode their sense of boundaries so that their ability to see a situation as inappropriate or abusive is highly compromised. It can be done through threatening means or by gaining someone’s trust; either way, it happens within relationships where there is a power imbalance between the two parties. In Drake’s case, he obviously has the upperhand in both situations: He’s an adult man, the more famous one, the one with more money and influence. As such, he should know better. Hasn’t he learned anything from the ongoing saga of R. Kelly? To think he had shown such a disturbing obsession over Aaliyah.
P.S. Drake is also said to be dating an 18-year-old model whom he’s said to be friends with since she was 16. He’s also friends with a guy who has been accused of human trafficking and was convicted of assaulting a 22-year-old woman.
HOW NOT TO COME OFF AS EVEN REMOTELY LIKABLE: Justin Theroux being the ironic hipster to end all ironic hipsters
Here’s an exercise for your eyes: The New York Times’ recent profile on actor/writer Justin Theroux. See if the following quotes from the piece won’t have your eyes rolling to the back of your head:
“’Let’s do something really touristy,’ Mr. Theroux said, whipping out his iPhone and Googling ‘tourist activities NYC’….’It will be ‘”fish out of water,”’ he said, ‘in my own fishbowl.’”
(When describing the NYC Chinatown) “It is kind of like a great Britney Spears song, where you put on your headphones, and there’s so much overproduced, bubble-gum, sweet poppy goo, but in a good way. There are these little robotic things clanking, and then there’s a big tub of turtles, the weird little lucky cats with their paws moving back and forth. It’s like a dream sequence from that Japanese anime movie Paprika.” (Chinatown reminds him…of a Japanese movie? )
“A few days later, when I asked if he was currently seeing anyone, he laughed. ‘Is this the part where I coyly raise an eyebrow and not answer the question?’ he said.”
“Looking at Lady Liberty in the distance, he added, ‘I feel kind of creepy, looking at a woman through binoculars.’”
Part of what we do here at Garage, as a men’s fashion and lifestyle title, is to interview local celebrities. And as someone who has interviewed quite a number of them, one of my top gripes about Filipino personalities is how so many of them go into interviews unwilling to play. The questions must be basically toothless and so sanitized (by the perusal of handlers and managers) that there’s barely anything interesting to get out of their answers. It can get really frustrating to write a profile story and read said story, because what kind of juice would you get from junk?
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Theroux’s approach to this NYT profile. Sure, he came to the interview seemingly ready to play—he went around the most popular tourist stops around NYC with the writer and a photographer—but did it in the smarmiest way possible, as if to mock the usual celebrity interview process. As if he’s too cool for the typical display of authenticity (or an approximation of it) that most famous people do when getting press. (By the way, it’s part of the promotion of the new Netflix mini-series Maniac, meaning it’s part of his job.) So sure, he came ready to play, but with his eyes rolling all the time. Well, here’s another eye roll back for him.
HOW NOT TO TALK ABOUT YOUR PARTNER: Pete Davidson still being gross when asked about Ariana Grande
Here’s the deal: Some people are fine with PDA, some aren’t. That’s fine. But the way Pete Davidson has been running his mouth about his decidedly more famous and more influential fiancée can make even the most “romantic” among us want to barf. Isn’t it enough that being Ariana Grande’s plus one has granted Davidson an invitation to the late great Aretha Franklin’s funeral (and a front row seat, no less)?! Isn’t it enough that he’s been getting so much media coverage, not because of any of his professional accomplishments but because of whom he’s dating? On top of seeing his face everywhere since the Grandson whirlwind love affair started, we’ve had to suffer through hearing the two say “sick,” “dope,” and “lit” as they describe each other and their love, and also backpedal their way through the suspicious timeline of when they first met, when they started dating, and when they got engaged. Enough. Everyone’s tired already.
And yet Davidson still won’t shut the fuck up. In a recent interview with Howard Stern, the comedian revealed even more about his love life, and in the process, made so many people reach for the barf bag. Some choice nausea-inducing quotes below:
“‘I get it. I was jerking off to her before I met her!’ he blurted out near the end of the interview when Stern asked Davidson how he deals with the come-ons and objectification that Grande faces on a daily basis.”I’ve been there. I’ve been in the other shoes. Who knew I was practicing this whole time [for our relationship]?'”
“Any time we’re intimate I’m always apologizing and saying thank you. ‘You’re awesome for doing this, thank you so much.'”
“Congenitally self-deprecating and insecure about his talents, Davidson admitted that before they started dating, he ‘scrolled through a list of hot guys’ Grande might date instead (including all of One Direction) and when she said she wanted to be with him, he said, ‘All right.'”
We already see the inequality looks-wise between Davidson and Grande; like their PDA, some of us mind it, some of us can’t give less of a shit. This dude still harping on the difference in the hotness levels between him and Grande isn’t coming off as romantic or charming. Aside from being pathetic, his sentiments come off as a little manipulative—like a case of “love bombing“: “Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration and attraction…When someone tells you just how special you are, it can be intoxicating, at first. However, when a person uses such comments to keep your focus trained on him or her, or to keep bringing you back in if you’ve started to back off, it could be a case of manipulation.” Not to play armchair psychiatrist here, but given how much Grande has gone through within the past year and a half, she could be just vulnerable enough for such manipulation.
Here’s the turd gem among the turd gems in that interview, though:
“Davidson said he’s ‘never been prouder’ than when former Pres. Bill Clinton appeared to be ogling Grande.”
This is just…not right on any level. This doesn’t translate into “My girl is so hot.” This just reinforces the idea that he seems to think of Grande is little more than a sex object, the receptacle of the attention of men, and that he’s lucky to be the dude to “bag” her. Just gross all around. Can’t Pete Davidson just shut the fuck up?