- Vanessa Hudgens faced backlash after downplaying the severity of the coronavirus in an Instagram live, saying, “people are gonna die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?”
- After Hudgens apologized, Chrissy Teigen defended her, arguing that everyone has made or will make insensitive comments and should be able to learn from them without having their lives destroyed.
- Some agreed, noting that Hudgens threw her support behind those impacted by the virus before this scandal.
- However, her comments also came at a time when dozens of celebrities have been using their platforms to stress the importance of taking the virus seriously.
What Hudgens Said
Actress Vanessa Hudgens came under fire on Tuesday over “insensitive” comments she made about the coronavirus during a recent Instagram live.
A clip taken from her Monday live stream shows Hudgens telling her fans, “Um yeah, till July sounds like a bunch of bullshit. I’m sorry.”
“Like, it’s a virus. I get it, like, I respect it. But at the same time, like, even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable? I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this,” she added.
The backlash came pretty quickly as the video spread across social media, racking up millions of views.
In response to all the outrage, Hudgens issues the first of two apologies. In an Instagram story video, she told the Internet what they love to hear in situations like this: “I realized today that some of my comments are being taken out of context.”
“It’s a crazy time. It’s a crazy, crazy time and I am at home and in lockdown, and that’s what I hope you guys are doing too — in full quarantine and staying safe and sane.”
“I don’t take the situation lightly by any means,” the actress continued. “I am home. So, stay inside y’all.”
That post was then unsurprisingly met with some more anger, with many slamming her for focusing so much on herself.
Holy shit this chick is self centered. Both her videos screams “Me, me, ME!!!!!” She has no moral compass and makes even the apology about herself. How hard is it to say: “No, I am not taking lightly the fact that thousands upon thousands of people are going to die.’. Awful chick— Hanner (@GangstHannah) March 17, 2020
@VanessaHudgens Your comments were not taken out of context. A very ignorant and selfish comment. Good luck getting any work. People won’t forget this. Btw, what was the context? Do you have a medical degree I’m not aware of?— Kristen Wiltse (@kwiltse) March 17, 2020
The continued outrage prompted Hudgens to try again, this time with a notes app apology. “I’m sorry for the way i have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram live yesterday. I realize my words were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation in our country and the world we are in right now,” she wrote.
She added that this situation has been a “huge wake up call” for her about the significance of her words and sent well wishes to everyone during this time.
Chrissy Teigen Steps In
While many continued to slam Hudgens over her remarks, Chrissy Teigen took to Twitter with a different opinion writing, “sometimes people, especially famous people, are gonna say really stupid shit. & so are you. and they, and u, will learn from it & hopefully their history says they’re good. it’s ok. and at the same time, wow they really had a dumb fuckin moment. but u don’t have ruin their lives”
Teigen then replied to several people, including those who criticized Hudgen’s apology. She essentially agreed that the comments were insensitive and said Hudgens will grow from this experience, but suggested that no apology the High School Musical star issues will ever satisfy everyone.
“What can I say. Kids and online torture have made me a much more empathetic person. May you never be on the end of everyone hating you,” she concluded.
Celebs Using Their Platforms For Good
Many of Hudgens’ fans agree with Teigen’s perspective, noting that the actress has been staying home and has been supportive of those impacted by the virus. Before this scandal, Hudgens threw her support behind the organization Feeding America, donating money herself and encouraging others to do the same.
View this post on Instagram
It’s a crazy time out there in the world. School closures, job disruptions, lack of paid sick leave and the coronavirus’ disproportionate impact on adults age 60 and older and low-income families are all contributing to the demands placed on food banks across the country. Join me in supporting @feedingamerica today. Let’s help each other out rather than freaking the fuck out. Kk? LINK IN BIO
Some fans even compared Hudgens’ mistake to that of Rudy Gobert, the NBA player who prompted the NBA shut down when he tested positive for the virus after jokingly touching microphones at a press conference and reportedly acting “careless” around other players.
“It is good to put your hand up and say, ‘I’m sorry that I hurt people and got it wrong.’ Rudy Gobert has learned. Looks like @VanessaHudgens has too,” one Twitter user wrote.
But for many others, the comments were especially frustrating because they came at a time when dozens of other celebs are using their voices for good. Stars like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Hilary Duff have been calling for people to stay home. Meanwhile, others, like John Legend and Chris Martin, have been putting on free concerts via live steams to encourage and entertain those following social distancing recommendations.
Just last night, Billie Eilish posted a lengthy video urging her fans to take the virus seriously but warning against hoarding food and panic buying. So while Hudgens may have apologized, many are still having a hard time forgiving the star for her remarks at this time.
Lil Nas X Starts Bail Project Fund After Releasing Prison-Set Video for “Industry Baby”
The singer said he is working to address “the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community.“
Lil Nas X Starts Bail X Fund
Following the release of his latest single “Industry Baby,” Lil Nas X launched a partnership with The Bail Project that aims to cover bail funds for people across the country.
The music video for the song took place in the fictional “Montero State Prison,” a reference to the title of his upcoming album and the singer’s real name. While Lil Nas X spent much of his time online promoting the video with memes, he put a pause on the jokes Saturday to announce the Bail X Fund and bring attention to issues regarding incarceration in the United States.
“On a serious note, I know the pain that incarceration brings to a family,” Lil Nas X tweeted. “And the disproportionate impact that cash bail has on the black community. That’s why I teamed up with @bailproject to create the Bail X Fund.”
The Bail Project aims to eliminate cash bail in the U.S. It has posted over $47 million in free bail for over 17,000 low-income people across the country. It also provides post-release support and services to those who need them.
“Music is the way I fight for liberation. It’s my act of resistance,” Lil Nas X wrote in a statement on the fund’s website. “But I also know that true freedom requires real change in how the criminal justice system works. Starting with cash bail.”
The Fight to End Cash Bail
According to the Prison Policy Initiative, like many issues within the criminal justice system, cash bail disproportionately harms Black Americans. The group claims that Black and brown defendants are somewhere between 10% to 25% “more likely than white defendants to be detained pretrial or to have to pay money bail.” It also argues that Black men are 50% more likely to be detained pretrial than white defendants, and says Black and brown defendants generally “receive bail amounts that are twice as high as bail set for white defendants – and they are less likely to be able to afford it.”
Lil Nas X said he is “doing something” to address these issues and invited his fans to join him. He hopes that his efforts will encourage other artists to use their platforms to likewise speak about these injustices.
“Ending cash bail is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time,” he wrote. “Donate what you can to the Bail X Fund. Let’s bring people home & let’s fight for freedom and equality.”
A donation tab was attached to the song’s music video, where it says nearly $44,000 has been raised for the Bail X Fund. The video has blown up on YouTube, racking up over 31 million views. It remains the number one trending video in music as of Monday morning.
The song has likewise found success on Spotify, where it debuted at number two and eventually reached the number one spot.
Fire at Home Reportedly Owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Under Arson Investigation
Officials said there were no injuries or evacuations during the fire, which was put out in around two hours.
Fire Breaks Out at Famed Couple’s Reported Residence
A Wednesday fire at a historic home in New Orleans, Louisiana believed to be owned by music titans Beyoncé and Jay-Z is being investigated as a possible arson.
On Thursday, a New Orleans Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that it had received a tip about a suspicious person in the area. Further details about the suspicious person and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.
Neighbors told local media that there is an unlocked gate on the property that outsiders sometimes use to gain entry.
Officials told The New York Post that it took 22 firefighters over two hours to extinguish the blaze, with no reported injuries or evacuations. The extent of the damage currently remains unclear, but a spokesperson told The Post that given the age of the residence, the situation could have been far more severe.
“If [the firefighters] didn’t get there when they did, it could have been much worse,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a historic home.”
About the Home
The building was first built in the Garden District neighborhood of the city in the 1920s as a church. It was later used as a ballet school and then became a high-end residence in 2000. Realtor.com says it is currently valued at $3 million.
The home was purchased in 2015 by Sugarcane Parkin LLC. According to The Washington Post, this company has the same registered address as other entities owned by Beyoncé. Sugarcane Parkin is also allegedly managed by Beyoncé’s mother, Celestine Lawson, better known as Tina Knowles.
Representatives for the “Lemonade” singer and her husband have not issued any public statements about the incident, nor have they confirmed that the home is owned by the couple.
In March of this year, storage units in Los Angeles belonging to Beyonce were burglarized. According to TMZ, over a million dollars of goods were stolen, including expensive dresses and handbags.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post) (NOLA)
Cleveland’s Baseball Team Changes Name From Indians to Guardians
The move marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Name Change Announced
Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will change its name after the 2021 season from the Indians to the Guardians.
The team announced the name change with a just over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.
“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the clip. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city.”
This marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans.
Despite long-running calls to change racist and offensive team names — including the Washington Redskins — such campaigns did not gain significant momentum until the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Officials behind the Cleveland team first pledged to change the name last year and previously removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms following the 2018 season.
It toyed with several options before ultimately landing on Guardians, which draws from Cleveland’s architectural history.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a news release.
“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14), and Indians (1915-2021).